Monday, May 22, 2006

Hotline




Last night was ok. The day started off slow mainly due to all the street fairs and random parades and marches, like the one pictured above, which was proceeding up the east side of 6th Ave. Not sure what it was for, but I'm already fed up with street fair/parade season. The only reason to work on a Sunday is to have a little break from the weekday traffic hell but, come spring and summer, Saturdays and Sundays become a test of one's patience and endurance -- at least until 6:00 or 7:00 pm, when they finally clean up and give the streets back to the cars.

Business picked up after dinner time, and it was actually pretty decent for a Sunday night. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get the picture of the cop car/taxi collision that I drove past on 14th Street around midnight. Nor was I able to get a shot of the new parking spot for the police cruiser that sits on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge, but this new placement came as a pleasant surprise. For the first time in many months, there was no late night traffic getting on the bridge. I guess the police department finally realized there was a better place to put their cars, one that doesn't terrorize every driver who needs to get over that bridge at night.

One funny thing I should mention is the little taxi-driver phone network that goes into operation during each shift. Last night it was in full effect. Around 11:30, Elliott called and said, "I'm at LaGuardia. It's stripped," meaning there were no cabs there. "You should get over here if you can make it. There's a huge line of people at American waiting for cabs." I was near the 59th Street Bridge at the time, but there was traffic due to construction, so I decided to skip it and stay in the city. I didn't want to risk going out there empty and arriving too late for all the action, which has happened too many times before.

Two minutes later, Diego called and said, "I just talked to Elliott. He said LaGuardia's stripped. I might head over there." I told him I wasn't going out there and we hung up. Five more minutes passed and the phone rang again, this time with Allen on the other end. "Yeah, hi. Elliott's at LaGuardia. He says it's stripped. I don't know if I'm gonna go over, but I thought I'd let you know."

There's actually a hotline we can call to get updates on the capacity of the taxi hold lots at both airports. It's supposed to be updated hourly, but LaGuardia is notorious for rarely changing their outgoing messages, especially at night. For example, I was in Astoria around 9:00 and called up to see what was doing over there. The most recent update was from 5:00 pm, a mere four hours earlier. Later, when they finally did update the message, the announcer never said what time it was, making it impossible to know how relevant the information was.

Occasionally, the message will include a number that you can call to complain about the "service." Apparently no one ever actually uses it because Diego tried once and the guy on the other end cursed him out.

Diego did end up going out to LaGuardia three times last night and got three good jobs out of it, catching the last of the wind-delayed flights. I guess I should've gone.

For updates of LaGuardia's taxi lots, call 866-296-2238.

29 comments:

Bea said...

I guess some things aren't too good to be true. Of course I don't know how many times I've had a situation like that where I get a good tip that I blow off which turns out to be good. Cynacism attacking the wallet I guess. Nice pictures by the by.

kigogal said...

Those are lovely, colorful pics. I'm a Yankee fan and I always wonder if you get really busy after the games? Those would be rowdy passengers, eh?

bored suburbanite said...

I called the LaGuardia hotline, its kinda scary.

Katy said...

I love it a number to complain about the sercive the hotline gives you and then they curse you out. LMAO

AWE said...

I know you hate it but I would love to be up there during the festival season.

Tableside Hack said...

blahahahaha! that's so funny! those people are so rude- like those creditors who are supposed to get you to pay your credit cards off on time.
nice touch of garnish by adding that phone number. I think I might give that to people I don't like as MY phone number and then tell them to call the number given for "service".

Anonymous said...

I was actually at LaGuardia at 11:30 last night waiting for a cab. Luckily mine was the third bag off the conveyor belt so I got on the line before most of the people in my plane. By the time I got in a cab, the line of waiting passengers was over 200 people long. I was wondering WTF, so it's funny to see why I had to wait forever to get home last night.

San Francisco Taxi Driver said...

That phone network thing happens here (San Francisco) as well. I almost never go out to SFO though unless I take a fare there and even then I usually turn around and come back to the City. Our other two Bay Area airports are out of our jurisdiction so we can only drop off at them.

greg said...

Why is that a toll-free number? Would anyone call it using a landline outside NYC or from a payphone? My tax dollars at work.
>:o

BBC said...

I was sitting at home watching a movie. he, he, he. Retirement sure is great.

EverJack1 said...

Looked like some 'Krishnas' in the parade...... probably some mimes, too. I'll pass. :p

EverJack1

Drunken Master said...

Looks like Buddhist Lama's to me. Win some, lose some with the LaGuardia thing, any stories of surly passengers from the others?

Leann said...

It's nice to know you look out for each other, but I guess that's to be expected within the same company?

I enjoy the inside info on NY since I've never been....vicariously thru you! :-)

Anonymous said...

Damn, that LaGuardia number has been busy all night! How many people you got reading this thing anyways? ; )

The Anecdotal Life said...

Maybe it's time to be the author you are?.. Your writing and honesty has helped me a lot. thanks, Jackie

Natalie said...

The people that answer that number have probably taken the phone off the hook. =)

Anonymous said...

I think you need to reconsider your view that the streets belong to cars. City streets belong to people. Street fairs are a pain in the butt, because you have to change your route or deal with more traffic, but they are announced in advance, so you should know which areas to avoid. That said, I do enjoy your blog.

Candy Minx said...

Great photos. Glad you're back home!

Candy
http://gnosticminx.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

whats all this bullshit about city streets belong to the people. You have parks in the city. Take your fucking fare or parade to the park. Roads are for cars that have people inside that have to travel from point a to b. Youyr fat ass eating 4 hot dogs at a street fair does not own the road. Walk your lazy bum to a park to your fair or parade.

maria inés said...

I´m so agreed to usuario anónimo. In my country you have parades and marches EVERYDAY except sunday and sometimes also sunday . Before you go out to the city, (I live in the suburb) you must check a map where you can go. I understand many of their plea, but nobody respect my rights and needs.We call them "piqueteros".
Are you writting for the book?

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AllBeehive said...

Give the number and we will call. That is a fun little slice of NYC life. Loved the accent on the message. It reminds me of a friend who used to forward me the daily phone message of the menu at the Hospital. "Fried chicken fried chicken, um, fried steak" was an actual recording.

R2K said...

: ) LaGuardia sux. Worst airport.

New York Bathrooms

Chasberto said...

"I think you need to reconsider your view that the streets belong to cars."
Whoever said that I've just got one thing to say to you, don't be a cunt all your life take a break.

Cheetarah1980 said...

I hate taking taxis from the airport. Too damn expensive. I prefer to phone a friend.

Anonymous said...

it'd be pretty funny if you went to the airport, and the person you got was going somewhere close..

it'd be more funny if elliot was lying to tease you people. :)

Daisy said...

It's obviously very tricky being a cab driver. You've got to get where the fares are, don't you? I don't really get the pics you've posted. What's the story here?

紅音ほたる said...

I didn't know New York Yellow Cabs were founded by My. Hartz (famous car rental company founder).

jess said...

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