Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Posts

The savvy person will realize that I haven't posted anything in quite some time. Why, you ask? Well, in my infinite wisdom, I didn't decide to start a blog when I started driving a cab, but rather after driving a cab for some time. I wish I had started from the beginning.
I've since moved on to other aspects of the business. It was a fun run and I may post and old story here and there, but my days of driving a yellow at night have passed.
If you've ever read the blog "HACK", which was one of my favorites, you'll come across the same situation. I know how she feels, about how you miss it sometimes, but that what you're doing now is satisfying and driving the yellow was only a step on the way.

I'll keep this blog up for people who may be interested in the things I wrote, and my email address remains the same for anyone who may have any questions, and I check any comments regularly.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sunday, August 3, 2008

New Jersey

If you read my last post you see how happy I am with NY at the moment. Be that as it may, New Jersey sucks! You have no street signs. You can't turn left, you have to turn right first in your stupid jug handles. Your tunnels are too expensive. Your state troopers suck and have weird hats.
The only thing that New Jersey has to offer that is even remotely on the acceptable side is Atlantic City. Besides that? Nothing. So put up some signs, make lefts legal, let us have self service gas stations and maybe I'll move you up to "tolerable."

That's all for the moment folks. I had to say it. Thanks!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New York State of Mind

Last night I had a great shift. Every person was nice, entertaining and generous. I went all over the city and most of the borough's (no bronx) and while I drove some cool people, like a continental airlines pilot who was on his way to work and a surgeon on his way to emergency surgery uptown, these weren't the prevailing thoughts that I had to write about. Instead, I feel like writing about New York.
See, my whole life I always feel the need to go somewhere else. See more places. Do more things. Travel. When I was a teenager I drove through a few nearby states just out of boredom. Then one day I drove all the way down south and stayed for a few months even though I was broke-ass the whole time. I've seen other countries, still looking for something exciting. I still want to go see some of them... but not right now.
For the first time I can remember I'm completely satisfied being right here. You believe that? I realized last night, in a flash, that I love this place. New York City is THE city. Every other city is just pretending.
Sure it can be a little dirty. Of course some schmuck is going to piss you off, but you can flip him off and be on your way! That's the excitement! I travel through the city and in a relatively small distance you go from SOHO, thru meat-packing, up to the upperwest and see so many different niche's and neighborhoods that it's almost like traveling through different cities all night. Where else can you get that? London is London. Paris is Paris. In New York, it's like, "which part? Upper-east? Awww, so close. I'm from the lower west. I thought for a second we're from the same place but it turns out we're not... close though!"
Myself, I'm from Brooklyn baby! And we're a world of our own.. the "REAL New York" if you will. Ed Norton himself called it "Brooklyn USA!"
So when you're driving the Henry Hudson PKWY and stop off south of 125th at the lookout, or on the FDR looking at the PEPSI sign, and in Union Square watching skateboarders hurt themselves you should take it all in and realize just how awesome it really is. I realize that I'm lucky to get to drive it all night long and see all these things every day. It never gets tiring because there's always something new to see.
So yes, I want to go to Dublin! And I want to go Australia and drive cross country from Sydney to Darwin, and I want to go to the desert in the west and stop by Vegas. But for the first time I don't want to do that right now. That would mean time away from my city. And if you think that I should be out of my city for a while then you can SUCK MY...!! I love it. Only in NY baby!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Some little things I noticed

While driving around the city you get to people-watch alot. I've noticed some things that make me wonder. Like, why do so many people in the city have those rolling suitcases? Where are they going? Why do you need to carry around so much stuff?
Why are there so many people carrying water bottles around like it's their canteen? They have these backpacks on and water holsters like they're backpacking through the outback! This is NYC! There are at least 17 stores on every block that can sell you the water you require to survive. There is no need to get all survival on us.
Why do people continually hail cabs when our lights are off? Have they not figured this out yet? Let's start a public education campaign to teach them the intricacies of LIGHT ON vs LIGHT OFF.
Why do people wait until we are in front of their house before they realize they should get some money ready?
Why do people ask you to put the AC on but then open their window after you do so?
Why do 500 people line up at a hot-dog stand while the one across the street is identical but has only 2 people on line? Would you rather wait on line for 40 minutes than cross a street?

Ahh. I feel so much better. Anyone else have any observations please add comments!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gas Surcharge

Well, I'd like to start my entry today by apologizing for the long break in my posts. For one, I've been quite busy and simply didn't have the time to post and then when I did, Google had a problem with my account and I couldn't access this blog or my email for a little more than a week. Now that problem has been settled and I got home early so I figured I'd catch you all up on the current news.

The Taxi Drivers Alliance is calling for a $1 fuel surcharge per ride. The TLC says that "under no circumstance" will they allow it. Do you want to know my feelings on the matter? I think that $1 per ride is too much to ask for. Gas is up a little more than $1 from last year. Lets even say $1.50, even though it's not quite that much. Now lets figure that on an average day you use about 15 gallons of gas. At $3.00 a gallon that's $45. At a current rate (tonight's fill-up) it was $4.29 a gallon which would come to $64.35. That's $20 more than last year. On average I drive more than 20 rides a night, so the proposed surcharge is actually just profit for myself.
Besides that, let's agree that EVERYONE is affected by gas prices. Even so, people are still getting into my cab. I work nights, so it's at a MINIMUM $2.50 to sit in it and a $0.50 surcharge making it $3.00. This is an acceptable price that people are used to. During rush hour it's $2.50 plus $1.00 making it $3.50 to sit. Also not bad. BUT. Now lets add the $1 surcharge. That makes it $4.50 and $4.00 respectively. In my opinion, that's too high. What they should ask for is a $0.50 surcharge making it $4.00 and $3.50. Using the math from before, the $0.50 surcharge gives you an average of $10 more per day which is half of the new cost of fuel. So yeah, we're still losing some money, but like I said, everyone is affected by these gas prices so we have to eat some of it ourselves. Admit it cabbies, we can afford the $10 a day.
I read in some of these news stories today that cabbies are claiming that with the new price of gas they are only making about $7.50 an hour for themselves after expenses? I read that one guy has to spend less on food? C'mon now fella's! Everyone has an off night every once in a while, especially in the dead business summer, but if you're AVERAGING $7.50 an hour I suggest that you immediately stop driving a cab. You have no idea what you're doing. You are working way too hard for the money you make and you are just taking up space and adding to congestion. I don't want to be the person that's siding with the TLC, because an answer like "under no circumstance" shows close-mindedness, but I do agree with them if they call bullshit to your claim of $7.50 an hour.
If I made $7.50 an hour, as an average, for more than one week, I swear to you that I would never drive a yellow cab ever again. And yet here I am, driving away. Yes. I had a bad night last night. Yes. I had a bad night the night before. But today I made 5 (yes boys. Count 'em FIVE) runs to Hoboken/Jersey City which more than makes up for it. And if I didn't have the Jersey runs and I had a bad night like I did the previous two, I'm still above your $7.50 claim.
So yes, I do want a surcharge (or a fare hike) but no, not $1. Let's be reasonable and ask for $0.50 and maybe then the TLC will take us seriously.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Odds or Evens?

Springtime in NYC, the time when a young men's thoughts turn to... thinking about insane allergies! I haven't been online for a few days because my allergies were kicking my ass. I feel a little better today so it's time to update the blog with yet another wacko I picked up this week.
Early in the night, about 6pm, when traffic is at it's near-worst in midtown, I picked up a seemingly normal human female in the meat-packing district, on 9th and 14th. She was around 40 years old and dressed normal, spoke normal and otherwise appeared mentally functional. She said hello very nicely and asked me to bring her to Madison and 66th. No problem! Nothing hard about that!

Or was there?

Just as I turn my meter on and about to drive she adds this: "But! I'm a little superstitious! We can only drive on even numbered streets! Odd numbers are bad luck!"
Fantastic. An OCD weirdo. Telling me I can't drive on odd numbered streets cuts all my options in half. But this wasn't the worst of it. She continued and said that name streets were bad too. Ok. Now I'm down to about 30% of the streets in Manhattan. Oh, and guess what! She doesn't like 6th avenue either because there is a 6 in "666." Are you kidding me?!?
So, if you're a not a New Yorker or familiar with the city, these next few paragraphs will mean nothing to you, but if you are, let me run this by you real quick. Can't cut to the east side through 14th because I can't go uptown on Madison (name street) Park (name street) 3rd or 1st (odd numbers) or the drive (name road), I can't go up 6th (666) or 8th (because 8th would bring me through Columbus Circle which is a name street. I told her it's impossible because 10th avenue becomes Amsterdam Ave which is a name street. She said it's OK because it's still really 10th avenue. Ok. So she has rules within this brain of hers. So I had to take 14th to 10th avenue ALL the way up to 86th! 65th is the Central Park Eastbound transverse and it's an odd number!! So I took 86th across and soon found myself on the east side with another problem. I can't go down 5th, Park or Lexington! Odd, name, name! So I went all the way to 2nd ave, down to 72nd and cut across to Madison. I pulled over and said: "Here we are. 72nd and Madison. The closest you can possibly get to 66th and Madison without dealing with the evil streets."

My meter was at $52.20. The normal meter for a trip from where I picked her up to the dropoff should not be more than $20. And she thanked me profusely! And tipped me well! She says that other cab drivers yell at her so she appreciated me going how she asked! I don't know why other cabbies wouldn't go that way.. I mean, if you want me to go the longest possible way I'd be happy to oblige. I'm adding keywords to all my stories to sort them out. File this one under WACKO.

There are 8 million stories in the Naked City. This has been one of them.