Friday, October 18, 2013

Reaching Too Far Down on a Saturday night taxi shift

     This Saturday night was a night shift that started in the afternoon since I was able to get a cab before 5pm, as is the case with most weekend nights. Because it was a weekend I knew it would be a busy night filled with lots of action, good and bad, and lots of traffic. Because it’s October, it’s the fall season in New York City and this means more traffic, more people, and more money for us drivers. The afternoon was a bit slow but during the night I knew things would heat up. After I went into the city over the Manhattan Bridge I had a passenger take me to the ever popular Williamsburg. From there, I found a pretty young girl going to Greenpoint, about 10 blocks or so from Williamsburg. From here, because of some backups on the W-burg Bridge I decided to go into Manhattan via the Queens Midtown tunnel and pay the toll of $4.55 myself because I really do not enjoy sitting in traffic.

 For a few interesting people, check out my celebrities section:
     Back in Manhattan I got two preppy whiteys going to Penn Station from 34th. Traffic was bad. Next I got an Italian blondie going to Rockefeller Center to do some shopping. Then I got two teenagers going to a store in the Soho section of Broadway. They didn’t know how to pay.  Later I found a suave couple going from the East Village to the Upper East Side. They were foreigners from Austria and were speaking to each other in a throaty, sexy German accent. The girl was a hot brunette and the guy was a scruffy looking blonde, tallish with a short beard. The girl was kissing the man as we headed up First Avenue. We got stuck in some traffic because of some construction, and I heard the Austrian man speaking to some work client in a clean American English accent on the phone. He must’ve been an MD and was discussing some recommendation for bleeding gums for somebody who was probably a hemophiliac, asking “when was the last time the patient had a platelet transfusion?” We stopped at the hospital at York Avenue and 68th Street. Then he asked me if I would wait until he came back with a package and take them to JFK. Definitely I would. He said “I’ll leave her as collateral” He grinned I said alright, but just so you know, JFK is a separate fare. He said okay. While he was gone I asked the Austrian woman, “are you guys here visiting New York? “No she said” He’s working here for past 13 years, and I’m visiting him” I said “you must’ve known each other for a long time – that’s dedication. “ Are you married to each other? I asked. She said “no.” With that she gave me a flirty grin. Then she asked about my taxi driving career. “It’s not usual to have an American driver. Is it hard to get a job in NYC?” I explained to her my situation and my part-time career as a driver. A discussion I would repeat another 2 more times tonight. Next the man comes back and we put in her suitcase, he pays the $25 fare and then we restart with $52 on the meter. She would be returning to Austria. I recommended we go over the Triboro Bridge by heading north on the FDR, then hit the Grand Central Parkway and then the Van Wyck to JFK Airport. We entered terminal 8 and I discharged them and then went to the holding lot.
    After I exited the holding lot, I picked up a Scottish family headed to a hotel in Times Square, the Novotel on west 52nd. Darkness began to set on Gotham. As we drove I asked them some questions about life Scotland, because I, myself, am part ethnically Scottish. Some branches of my tree immigrated to the United States in the 1800’s from Ireland and Scotland. These Scotsman foot the bill with a Britishy accent, and the stereotypical fair skinned complexion and blond hair. The guy up front told me that Scotland was a rolling country with a good amount of sheep farms, the more north you go, the less crowded it gets. The climate in Scotland is moderate to wet and cool. As I asked questions about Scotland, I tried to give them a tour of the different neighborhoods and the skyline of Manhattan. After we arrived at the hotel they paid me $80 for a $57 fare.
    Later on into the shift I had a REALLY strange encounter with a young blond lady. I had just finished dropping off these two eccentric men with strange accents near the ice cream shop at 7th Avenue and Christopher Street so I keep driving west into the West Village looking for my next passenger. The street was crowded with pedestrians but nobody looked my way. Then I pulled closer to the NJ Path train entrance in the village I spot this young blonde lady walking down the street in black tights and a tanktop with a bag. She turns and then walks a few more paces before hailing me. She’s cute. So I pull closer and after some indecision she gets up front with me by herself. That’s a bit forward.  Once inside the vehicle, she tells me to drive to Debrosses Street and the West Side highway. That’s a luxury apartment building down in Tribeca below Canal Street. She proceeds to tell me that she suffers from a heart condition and that her hands are a bit numb and I asked her if she has any medication? She says she does at home. I asked her to explain a bit more about her condition. She said it had something to with a valve in her heart. That sounds dangerous, poor girl. Then we drive on.  She makes some more small talk and then we talk about cab driving. Then she tells me she thinks that I must have a graduate degree and I tell her yes, that's right. Then she rats me out as a finance guy. Right on the money, but just part-time. That was a shocker because NOBODY EVVVVVER says something like this!  Then she makes an excuse for me "well you have to do what you have to do." Then I make some excuses about my career as a part-time cabbie.  She then asks me if I’m married or have a girlfriend. I said no. Again a bit forward, but I’m not complaining – she’s cute. Her name was Lina/Lena she was from Philadelphia and/or Texas and was youngish probably around 25. I gathered her entire life story during the ride. She was a graduate of Upenn. What I haven’t mentioned yet is that she was acting a bit “drunk” or “high” but she was not. Perhaps her heart condition was causing her to act like this or perhaps she was just crazy. It just seemed like a weird vibe. We go down Washington Street in the West Village. Washington doesn’t go straight past Canal Street so we swing around right on Canal left on West Side, then we continue south on Washington, then make a right on Debrosses. I am creeping along because I’m just curious what else this young lady will say to me.  We arrive at her place then she says something really weird. She wants to go upstairs to get me cash instead of just paying with her credit card. She is holding a bag and she tells me she does not want to reach all the way down into her bag because she says “it would be reaching too far down” Huh? I thought? So it’s easier to go all the way upstairs on the elevator to get cash rather than reaching all the way down into her bag? That’s weird. Now I thought this cute girl was going to try to rob me of $10. I’m like; can you leave something inside the taxi so I know you will return? She says “I will leave something of value, my phone or something.” Then she’s like “something like this never happened to you before?” Huh? I respond. I offer no response but just shake my head uhh okay? Then she proceeds to ask me if I’m attempting to videotape her with my cellphone. I tell her no I’m just playing with my phone What is that weird light on the top of my phone? It’s just the charger connection I tell her.  Then she undoes her key for her Range Rover.  Now that’s a first - leaving your key to your Range Rover so you can go back to your apt to get $20.  This is one of those "I'm not crazy, but everyone else is kind of conversations." A few minutes later, she comes back down and she appears to have changed her clothes in addition to getting the money, wearing a white sweatshirt advertising Saint Anne’s boarding school. The meter ticked upto to $13, she hands me $20 - claiming earlier she would pay twice the meter, I then ask her name again so that I can perhaps add her on Facebook or get her #. Then she looks oddly at me, cuts me off and asks, me why I keep asking what her name is? Oops I asked that twice. She tells me that I am beginning to creep her out –you don’t say I thought (the feeling was mutual). Then she asked me for her change, stiffing me on the tip and leaves. Really strange I thought!

   Later on is when you pick up people who are headed out for the night and even later is when you pick them up coming home – mostly drunk. This is not something that I enjoy a great deal because they tend to be a bit more riled up and out of control. This list included an arguing multiethnic couple, and a rich couple headed back to the Upper West Side from a dinner after a wedding. The male told me I was an anomaly in cab driving because I’m American/white. Then I re-explained my situation as a part-time driver and freelance IT professional. The wife was working in medical device sales. The husband was working in philanthropy so I assumed they were probably very wealthy. They were a dapper couple, wearing formal wear, like a tuxedo and formal dress, with the man being bald and the woman cute. I picked them up from some hip restaurant in Tribeca near West Broadway. At the end of the ride I waved them goodbye and drove on.

 Well after dark, I had an interesting conversation with a sound technician/paramedic/livery driver who was married. I picked him up in Times Square. He was a bigger man with a beard and a wiry afro haircut. We discussed some things I had seen behind the wheel of a yellow cab, I told him about the weird sexual stuff, the drunks, the druggies, and the fights, and the freaks inside my cab. He told me about how as a livery driver, he picked up mostly corporate types going to meetings and the airport and it was boring. I told him he should totally get behind the wheel of a yellow cab for a nightshift and feel the burn. We got stuck in traffic, going down 2nd Avenue due to the Queensboro tunnel. So I made a left and went down the FDR, towards W burg bridge. We got stuck in traffic near the exit at Grand Street for some reason it was extra brutal tonight. He then proceeded to tell me some of the weird things he saw as a paramedic. He told me a whacked story about a call he went to where an old man was buck naked and called for an ambulance. He showed up and the guy had an erection. At first I thought this dude might’ve been trying to come onto me, but then he proceeded to tell me the rest of the story which was pretty cool. He said the man said “my wife won’t stop cumming, what should I do? My wife won’t stop cumming what should I do?” That’s weird. It turns out his wife was having a seizure during sex and the man had an erection he couldn't get rid of. It was their 50th wedding anniversary and the guy had taken her out and then popped a couple of Viagra to have sex. They had to take the old lady to the hospital. He also had seen a lot of stuff like gory subway accidents, car accidents, gunshots and stabbings in the Bronx. Then we discussed the fact that he was married and his marriage is like a business agreement – with sex and a business partnership of both people working. Not sure that I agree with this totally, perhaps my views were a little too serious for a casual conversation like this so I didn't bother to broach them I just said "uh ok yes that has virtues for sure."  I dropped him after a 1 hour ride, in W burg with apologies for such a run-up on the fare, then I picked up a group of older hipster types going to the movies and then another 2 girls headed into Manhattan to Alphabet City. After that I had a Danish model who was a very tall girl with bleached out white hair and a cute accent. The streets were crowded tonight.

    Towards the end of the night it began to get more crowded and crazier as is usually the case with a Saturday night as people began fighting for cabs on their way back home. I picked up these two Australian girls from the club Greenhouse. This was about 4am. One of them was a skinny blonde wearing black stretch pants while the other girl was a bit taller/bigger, wearing super-high black heels and an outfit covered by a trench coat. They were rip roaring having a good time and tanked like most people at this time. We made a left and went up 6th Avenue and the girl with the trench coat said “maybe I should text this guy, I haven’t had dick in over 2 days” I laughed, then I started talking to them and they started trying to get to know me, but I could tell they were kind of trashed because they would sometimes ignore what I said and then suddenly ask the same question as a few seconds ago. They asked me the standard list of questions, where I’m from etc. She didn’t want me to think she was a totally whore because this was a guy she already knew. I asked if she had a boyfriend. She said “well yes but my situation is kind of odd because I’ve got this boyfriend who likes me but he kind of screwed up –we have some technical problems.” “What kind of problems? I asked. She responded “he’s too jealous. And I have this other guy who’s super cool that I like. I love Austrailian accents - they are cute. I laughed, this was in reference to what she said earlier. Then she goes into a discussion of this booty call guy who I thought was the other guy she mentioned above.  I made a turn towards Park Avenue instead of 3rd so I could stretch out the ride a bit while the conversation got progressively dirtier. Then a few minutes later she asked me the same question again, she leaned over the partition and in a joking manner said which guy should I go with "What type of girls do you go for?" I responded, just average skinny white girls. "What are your hobbies?" She asked. "Well I like the outdoors."   Her friend was skinny and cute but was too busy trying to stick her head out the window yelling at some other guy on the street.  We stopped and exchanged #s in the neighborhood of Gramercy. That was it. Enough hookers for tonight I’m going to bed.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Top 10 Weirdest Sights Seen While Driving a Taxi

Hello again, from John Doe at New York City's Craziest Taxi Stories! Summertime has rolled around in NYC and just as in years past, many Manhattanite dwellers have left for the Hamptons and other jetset spots for vacation. Some of these are replaced by out of state tourists but the city is generally quiet and a bit slower than in the normal time of year. I have continued to put in a few shifts a week while also doing other part-time jobs and I've continued to enjoy the series of random, weird, sexual, and ridiculous events and people that are streaming into and out of my taxi cab while at the same time bringing in the $.  Lately, I've been thinking of writing a bit more about some of the strangest things I've seen while driving a taxi around New York City for 12 hours a day or night - that is, things I've seen outside the taxi, including fights, accidents, freaks, weird coincidences flashers, transsexuals and so on. Here are a few I have come up with off the top of my head:

 1. Taunting the police. One afternoon as I was headed south on Columbus Avenue below 96th Street and I saw a man with a knife taunting police. He was gyrating and swinging the knife wildly, grabbing his crotch. It's not often you see these kinds of confrontations in Manhattan, especially in the middle of the afternoon. I drove on south looking for passengers while the police were still dealing with the man.

2. Snowed Under. Late one night, I was headed south on 9th Avenue in the West 30's. It was snowing on a weeknight with under an inch on the ground and hardly anyone was out. A club on the west side over near Marquee had just let out and there were quite a few African Americans waiting for a taxi but none of the yellow cabs driving south would pick them up. Some of them were even waving money in the air. I thought that was pretty surreal and quite embarrassing for all of these blacks. The reason was probably that the other cab drivers did not want to get stuck in an outer borough area with deep snow or icy hills.

3. Head Injury. Late one night, I saw a young man who was sitting in the road on 2nd Avenue in the East Village with his hair all messed up and blood on his head. A car nearby had a smashed windshield. The car had apparently struck the young man and was now stopped with the police nearby. Hopefully he was alright.

4. Drugs on the FDR.  Late one night I was coming back from Harlem down the FDR (the highway on the east side of Manhattan). As usual, nobody was on the road at that time of night, save me and a few other night owl cabbies. A car had crashed and in the back of the car I could see huge bundles of cocaine in the trunk, as it was smashed open. The NYPD was surrounding the car. The car with the drugs had apparently been involved in a chase and lost control and crashed.

5. Crazy Bicycle Rider.  Unfortunately, bicycle riders can be a nuisance to taxi drivers because they do not often follow the rules. The bike lanes can also be an extra nuisance to watch out for. One afternoon, I was going to make a turn from 2nd Avenue onto 9th Street, and then I saw a pedestrian hailing me. I stopped my taxi mid-turn. At that same moment I see a cyclist coming down the bike lane. My cab was partially in the bike lane so I just stopped and waited for the cyclist to pass me. Instead he hits my wheel well on my cab with a thud. Then he becomes angry and punches my windshield leaving a crack. I saw so shocked I didn’t even respond. Eventually he just moved his bike and rides on. I did not want to get cited for an accident so I just let him go. The passenger gets in and I drive him from A to B. It’s a possibility that the cyclist had rammed my taxi on purpose since he had plenty of room to see me in front of him! Really strange I thought.

6. Topless Parades.  I have seen two topless parades. One was in the West Village and was part of a small gay pride protest. The second was at a bar called Bowery Electric. Standing outside late one night were several groups of people, the closest consisted of two young ladies and a taller male companion. They were smoking cigarettes and talking with one another which is often the case with potential passengers outside of bars. This went on for another couple of minutes. The thinner girl then took off her jacket and held it by her side. She then lifted up her shirt for a second and turned towards me. I could see her black bra. She was very thin. Now what’s going on? I was wondering. She turned back then continued to talk with her friends. A minute later, this young lady took off her shirt and her bra and began walking along the sidewalk topless, with her clothes in her hand. This continued for about 6-8 blocks south on Bowery.

7. Knockout.  Violence isn't really my thing personally so I despise fights but I've witnessed a lot over the several years I've been driving. One night late night I was driving on 11th Avenue near midtown in the 50s. There are a few clubs around this area and of course the drunks follow the clubs. I witnessed this confrontation. This thuggish guy approached this preppy looking bald man and argued with him. The thug then punched the preppy looking man and he fell into the street knocked out. His friends tried to wake him up but he just laid there. The thuggish man walked away. A few minutes later the bald man awoke and they hailed a cab and went on their way.

8. A “Big” Cross Dresser.  If you spend any time in NYC you will find there is a theme of tolerance for gays, lesbians, transsexuals, cross dressers, and anything else under the sun. There’s a club called Lips in midtown on East 56th Street. Lips is a drag club where men dress up as women in a show in front of diners. One afternoon I picked up a “big” cross dresser in front of Lips. By big, I mean really big, a man who must’ve been at least 6’6’’ tall or so and big enough to be a football player with his blue wig he must've topped out at 7 feet, quite a site to see. I drove him to the East Village and let him out on East 14th. I did not say a word to him.

9. Airport Rewind.  One afternoon I picked up two metrosexual wealthy type men in the East Village. I drove them to JFK Airport but traffic was pretty bad. We didn't make it in time for their flight at Delta Airlines, Terminal 2. It was probably because they were too relaxed about leaving in time. I drop them off anyway, and then go to the holding lot at JFK Airport. I spent about 30 minutes at the holding lot, get dispatched to Terminal 2, wait in line. About 10 minutes later I pull into the #1 position to pick up a passenger and it's the same two guys who missed their flight. One of them shakes his head “oh no, not this guy again.”

10. A “big” woman for sale.  Prostitution is actually not that common in NYC as it was in the olden days. One night, late night, I was driving through the Meatpacking/West Village area in the western part of Manhattan. However, tonight I drove by a “big” black woman who was for sale on the street corner. As I looked her way she undid her fur coat exposing her entire “big” completely nude body. No thanks, next.

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Taxi Shift on Crack, June 19, 2013

Welcome to another chapter of New York City’s Craziest Taxi stories. Tonight was a Wednesday night, a summer night in June, and distinctive because summer tends to be quieter in the city with more tourists and less traffic. For us taxi drivers that just makes us a bit more desperate, needing to scrape up whatever passengers we can find in order to make bank, including psychos, druggies, and criminals. Tonight, I was lucky enough to get a cab earlier in the afternoon. My first fare after coming across the Manhattan Bridge was a mother and daughter asking to go to the Empire State Building. Easy one. Welcome tourists. The ride was conversation free. After this one I turned around and near Grand Central, the major train station in NYC and I got a fatty going back across midtown to Penn Station, which is at 7th Avenue and 32nd/31st Street. After this one I headed back north on 8th Avenue. Here I saw two darkish males hailing me on the right side.  One of them was gangster looking, the other more average looking.  Should I stop or not? Better go ahead and stop – it could be a TLC undercover sting. They wanted to go to Richmond Hill, Queens which was a bad neighborhood near JFK Airport, oh no, here comes trouble!!! I said, “okay you know it’s gonna take about 50 minutes or so given we are near rush hour right?” They said okay. Then I asked them for a deposit. They responded handing me a $100 bill. Oh great, I thought I bet this is not legit either. I looked at the $100, holding it down so they wouldn't see that I was examining it. It seemed okay so I drove on. We encountered some traffic headed east near the Queens Midtown Tunnel, just sitting there for like 20 minutes. No fun because I've got a couple of hot potatoes in here now. Eventually we made it through the tunnel and onto the LIE, now we're stuck again, just waiting on the late afternoon tie up that plagues the LIE, everyday. I exit off Woodhaven Blvd. I notice them messing around with a colorful pipe and I realize at some point the gangster guy has lit the pipe. These two non-legit passengers have taken a taxi so that they can smoke crack in the back, great I thought! I hope that vapor doesn't make its way up front here. I cracked the windows. I didn't ask them to stop because I thought they might kill me. We continue on and I notice the gangster type guy has lost it, slurring his speech and falling around in the back. He was speaking with an accent and I'm not sure what country these two are from. Not a big fan of drugs myself because I’ve heard it can really mess you up but it’s something I encounter sometimes. I drive on. I stop at 114th and Liberty in south Richmond Hill, eager to be rid of these two. There’s some ethnic looking people around. The fare was over $60 and we were driving for 1 hour or so. I give them the change for the $100. Exact change, no tip.
Next, I drive on down to JFK airport holding lot, which was conveniently only about 10 minutes from Richmond Hill. Luckily, the holding lot was only about 1/3 full so it shouldn't be that long of a wait. I get in line behind the other taxis. The dispatcher for JFK holding lot gets on the PA and asks for a 5-seater. I pull my van around and ask for the 5 passenger fare. The dispatcher then comes out of the office and tells me that my handicap van is not a legal 5-seater (technically it is, but 1 passenger must be in a wheelchair). Oops! I am rejected then I go back in line again, turning my van around. The TLC dispatcher, a middle aged African American woman, comes back and yells at me to exit holding lot, and go all the way to the back of the line. “You cannot make a U-turn in the taxi lot!” Oops! Double burn on this one. Luckily there was no ticket. Dispatcher yells, “oh god!” I wait my turn.  My next fare was an Australian family headed to a midtown hotel. Lots of Aussies visit NYC during the summer and it seems I pick up half of them. The patriarch sits up front and we proceed to discuss his tour of the United States. He speaks with a Britishy Aussie accent I think is cool. He tells me that he’s going to visit the Gettysburg Civil War battlefield. Then we proceed to discuss both the Civil War and the Revolutionary War in the United States. I discovered that Australia had never officially declared independence from England like the United States had in 1776 and it was still part of the British Commonwealth, something new to me. Then I tell them a few things about the sights and sounds I see behind the wheel of a taxi driving through NYC and about my encounter with the druggies earlier in the day.

After I drop them at the hotel a foreign couple gets in and asks me to drive across 45th to go to some play. They tip low which is a total stereotype for summertime, luckily tonight I was booked up solid to make up for some of the low tips and the weather was fabulous tonight, which was to my liking. After a few more fares I met this interesting guy who told me a whacked story about a taxi he took in Mexico. I picked up him and his daughter on 14th and we headed to Park Avenue and 37th. He looked to be in his 40’s. He explained to me and his daughter that his fraternity in college went on vacation in Mexico and this was his first time going outside the US. They didn't want anyone to steal their money and wallets and passports so they put the wallets in the lighting fixture at the hotel and didn't turn the lights off.  The hotel caught on fire and they caused half the hotel to burn down, oops! They moved rooms to another wing of the hotel. The US consulate replaced all the money lost plus more that they said they didn’t have on the order of $10,000 worth of US dollars. What about the taxi I thought? The last night of the trip the owner of hotel said they could go and get a buffet, eating or drinking anything they wanted due to the misfortune. The owner did not discover they had actually caused the fire. So they drank up a storm. The bill was $35,000 but the frat boys thought it was all you can drink for free so they stiffed the hotel on the bill. Now here is where they meet the taxi driver. The taxi driver drove them away from the hotel after they stiffed the owner. On the way back to the airport the hotel owner chased them down and the taxi got a flat tire. The taxi driver went to change the tire but didn't want to let frat boys go so they could escape. Instead the biggest frat guy then punches the taxi driver who goes out cold onto the pavement they then grab the luggage from the trunk and get another taxi. They race to the airport and make it onto the airplane without getting caught. Wow, triple burn on this one – hotel owner, driver, and US consulate to the tune of 45 grand!

Later on into the night, I had some pretty good luck, financially. Summer is slow so you never know if you'll be able to make bank for the night.  I drove a white collar type guy to 113th and Broadway, then I headed back south where I stopped for this other group of ethnic looking people probably Puerto Ricans. As brutal as it sounds, these are “leftovers” for summertime. Not the typical yellow cab taxi passengers but gotta take what I can get from anyone. I drive them north to 143rd and Broadway. After this I head south and grabbed two guys at Metro North on 125th. I take them to Crown Heights, a nice, long, expensive ride. A livery guy quoted them $50 and I said, hmm I’m not sure how much it’ll be, maybe $40 or $45? On the way there I tried to give them a tour of some neighborhoods as they were shopping for an affordable apartment in NYC, a search I have personally conducted myself. I told them the hot areas for an affordable place would probably be Bushwick or that I might also consider the western part of Harlem, around Columbia U. If I wanted to go further out into Brooklyn or Queens there are probably more choices. They asked me about the Bronx and I said that was probably bad news as in my experience that’s probably the most dangerous borough of NYC. We chatted all the way through the Hasidic portion of Williamsburg, and then we stopped in Crown Heights and rang up a $60 fare.Oops, way more than $45! I got their bags out of the back, and then I drove a few blocks and picked up a young lady who then took me to Park Slope area after what appeared to be the end of a date. She left without saying a word, then I got two assholes who took me from Park Slope to the West Village, They were drunk and if I’m not mistaken one of them still had a glass in his hand from the bar. I completely ignored the belligerent one who was harassing me about not passing somebody and rest of the conversation they were having with each other about BS topics. The friendlier one took up the slack and paid once we got to The Village. As soon as they got out a couple got in and took me downtown to the Financial District. They seemed interesting and fit the stereotype of the monied youthful and upper middle class working professional types. The male tried to make some friendly small talk with me and asked me how my night was going. I responded by telling them it was pretty busy and I had some luck. Then he mentioned that James Gandolphini died tonight from a heart attack. I was like “yes, wow! That’s too bad.”

My little string of lucky fares added up to way over $150 or so and my luck wasn't ending yet. Immediately after the couple exited I spotted a curvy young woman with big breasts in a conversation with some other cabbie immediately ahead of me. They did not strike a deal so I pulled alongside. I wanted this young lady in my cab and I knew it was probably some out of town trip somewhere. Right on the money - Jersey City. She said $50 without tip plus toll that wasn't much but I didn't care it was plenty for now. We headed up 6th Avenue toward the Holland Tunnel. Enter stage right - some sex-related conversation from a drunk girl. Same bullsh*t, different night. The girl was stone drunk and blabbering a bit. She was a friendly young woman from PA. She started going on about how she was hooking up with this guy and that they had a spat about some stuff being said over text messaging. The context of what she was saying was not totally clear, but the dispute was over birth control. She was talking about birth control. Something about the pill making her moody or something. The she had told me about how she had gotten pregnant last year when she wasn't on the pill. I was like, this is TMI. This girl was tanked, but eventually the conversation moved to other topics and we got stuck in the tunnel because they were cleaning one part of the tube. Then we stopped at some deli in NJ. After this she got out and I went back to Manhattan. 
By the time I got back to the city it was getting pretty late and things were dying down. On Hudson Street headed north I picked up another young lady who took me to East Midtown. She didn't say a word. Then I picked up a few more forgettable types one of whom was a flaming homosexual with a suitcase and tattoos. He said hello, but my voice was getting hoarse from all the previous conversations I had had and also because of a cold I caught from running the AC in my apartment for too long at night. Then I headed over to meatpacking to close the night out with the club scene. Here, I found some guy who worked at one of the clubs there. We were talking about how it’s much cooler to go out on a Wednesday night rather than a weekend because of all the meatheads from Jersey and Yonkers clogging up the streets on a Saturday night. The he started telling me about the dope he used to do with some celebrities and who go there, people like Justin Bieber, Jim Carrey, Ray Liotta, Leonardo DiCaprio, and so on. I asked him about the Bentleys parked out front. He said those belonged to some obnoxious drug dealers who frequented the club and not the celebrity types. My last fare consisted of two super sexy Scandinavian tourists who were gibbering to each other in Swedish. They were both hot and skinny. I was too exhausted to try to converse with these two girls so I just went home and went to bed thus concluding another shift of NYC’s Craziest Taxi Stories.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Few Taxi Odds and Ends & Hurricane Sandy Video

Hello again from John Doe at New York City's Craziest Taxi Stories! There's not really a good story about shift here for this blog post. I've posted below a video I made during Halloween night and a few weird happenings from recent shifts.
Winter time has been cold and dark in New York City, but luckily we have not had much snow because taxi driving in snow and making money is really hard. I have continued to put in a few shifts a week while also doing other part-time jobs and I've continued to enjoy the series of random, weird, sexual, and ridiculous events and people that are streaming into and out of my taxi cab while at the same time bringing in the $.  

Katarina Ivanovska: Just recently while I was cruising the Meatpacking District, I picked up Katerina Ivanovska from Macedonia, the model who is the face is Victorias Secret. I told her that I thought she looked familar and she looked tall and skinny like a model so I assumed - lots of models in NYC. She sat up front with me while her Macedonian girlfriends sat in the back. They were not as tall as her but were just as hot. As is typical with most pretty girls she asked me if she could break the rules by smoking in the car. This time I was able to say no (not usually the case), since there were a lot of cops out tonight. We had a conversation a bit of smalltalk. nothing more really. I let her out at 17th and 10th Avenue at a restaurant called Cafeteria. For a few more cute babes who are famous, check out my celebrities section:

Katarina Ivanovska

A few other interesting passengers, lets see, I picked up a guy who runs a site and club called The Social Man. Its a club that is really designed to teach shy guys how to pick up women. They also have some videos on if you search under The Social Man. Kind of interesting videos and tips. They recommend being fun, dominant, chill, and intriguing in order to be attractive to women. Ehh, interesting tips but not sure that I agree with that totally. I think the key really is just two things, be confident in who you are, and know how to talk to women, especially ones that are strangers, then finally, relax and enjoy, thats it really. 
Here's another interesting mini-story. Got some money from a rich guy. Usually they can be a bit stingy. One night, I had a breakdown during rush hour. It happened in a bad spot at Meeker and Morgan in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. If you have any experience with Brooklyn traffic patterns, that intersection is right where the BQE exits onto Meeker Ave and there was tons of cars trying politely to pass my broken down brand new cab. The alternator on my van went bad, as is sometimes the case with these van cabs. So I had to have it towed back to the garage in Brooklyn and this cost me an hours worth of time during rush hour. Later on into the shift I picked up a guy from Park Avenue. Now Park Avenue types usually don't wanna chit chat with cab drivers or tip us well. I would describe them as overly formal passengers, you know just treating you as an employee. Well this guy asked me how it was going and I said I had a breakdown earlier in the night that cost me 1 hour but what can you do, sh*t happens. When we stopped at his doormanned building on Park Avenue, he handed me a $50 for a $8.00 ride and says thats yours to make up for the breakdown. Wow I thought, I was speechless! Thanks.

Hello guys, I want to show you a video I made during Hurricane Sandy, although this has been about 6 months ago. It was one of the weirdest nights to drive a taxi. There was no power, rush hour had HUGE traffic jams and hardly anyone was out on Halloween. It was surreal! I had a fare from the UES to Williamsburg that ended up costing $100 when it normally should've been $40 because of a huge traffic jam. Normally, there is a big Halloween parade in Greenwich Village but they canceled it this year. There was snow that night as well as a gas shortage in NYC. I had to ride the bus in order to get to the taxi garage because the subways were not running during hurricane. Here is the video:

It's also on Youtube here: