Monday, May 30, 2016

NYC taxi model history, and a teeny tiny update on things

yargh! i've had an unexpected week off.

The update:
err, sort of. I had the cab and logged on with it on Saturday morning, but the fare was incomplete. go home try again yada yada. i don't normally do live tapings via #Periscope, but I put a tape out on that day to recite the problems and maybe take viewers on a small tour since I couldn't work with the cab anyway, so here's that tape: Live drive, story and tour

so hey, here's the thing. As a cabbie, when you're working you don't have much off time where you actually have the excess energy and the time to devote to composing a blog post online. but hey, i've had a lot of time off, so a lot of excess energy, and time.

what have I been doing with that time? I've been trying to get a better more comprehensive set of images to re-edit / replace my existing page of pictures of Taxicabs from 1899-2011...

Those were the old years though of course. I'll try to go back further than 1899, and also of course go all the way to the year 2016... yes!!! the future Conan!!

so much depth, so, so much depth, that it'll most probably have to be divided up into more posts..

so here's where I'm putting all those pictures, 124 images at the moment, building up the archive before i break it down again, and put it nicely into this blogsite.

History of New York City Taxicabs

Look, one thing though, these pictures are not my own, but be nice, if you want to post them online or wherever, you do what i did, site the sources, site the photographer, and if you straight up take like 8 or more pictures from that page, than site me as a source too, 'cause i as your one stop shopping experience deserve some notation.

to round out the cab quota, here's my other albums that fulfill the NYC Taxi images of all kinds up until today. These are my pictures, so do not steal my images.. if you make zero profit from them you can publish them as long as you credit me as the photographer, and please for the benefit of accuracy, please please get your info correct.. but yeah, if your putting it in some magazine or something, you buy now, or i'll get Kuby on the phone.

Former taxis
Current Taxi Models

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

well, that post, updating you on how i'm not updating this blog turned out awful. typos everywhere. maybe i'll update the update about not updating, and then this blog will be up and running again?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

not updated

sorry, I haven't been here to update the site/blog, in a long long while.

You can find me on twitter:

On Facebook:

or Instagram:

I still want to keep posting pics and writing stories. The latter, much harder. But year after year, I've found one reason or another, not to devote appropriate time here. I'm not saying this site is finished, but it's been quite some time. And this time like so many times before, I could write, or devote hours and hours to getting pictures together, but then i'd be taking time away to preperation for a job, or taxes, or family time / friend time.

twitter, Facebook, and instagram take the pressure off, and allow me to just plop down whatever is on the phone or in my head. But blogger has just been to much of a time consuming proposition. One pretty much has to be retired to make it work. the catch is that memories are sometimes only fresh for a few hours, or a day. but to write some stories would psyche myself out and prevent me from going to work the next day.

 I also got a little frustrated with holding on to such a simple shallow identity of just being a taxi driver, or being the taxi driver that everybody might imagine. I thoroughly enjoy being that guy, but only if it can lead to further awareness of all our surroundings. err, that probably sounded too wishy washy egocentricish, maybe i didn't not so much, but it was one of the factors making it harder for me to write. Especially when right from the beginning, I always found that my stories before even becoming a taxi driver, were far more interesting for the most part. Think of it as a numbers game, when you are outside all day, will you see more rain, will you see more stormy weather? Yes you will, but you will also see everything else, and when you see so much, it all becomes rather mundane.

i'll try to keep my eyes open to see the interesting side of things, I'll try to look for visual word picture type things to write about in the future. But I'm thinking right now I may have more viewers on Facebook, so I might just write the occasional entry, VERY OCCASIONAL, over on my Facebook page of the same name. Instagram is more of a very crude rough draft for pictures i'll take with my iPhone. and I still want to send the best pictures over to this site, where i can keep them organized so that I know what I've got tangibly.

so that's pretty much all, in summary, I aim to get the photo albums updated in due time (4-12 months) and keep them annually updated. while for more regular quick updates, you can find me @ twitter, instagram, and Facebook.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

What brought me to the yellow cab:


Long time no type, sorry folks, tax time rolls around and I have to get all my records in order..

That was oh what now, 2 years? 3 years ago?

soon enough, it was one thing after another, if it wasn't taxes it was tickets, which puts me into a frantic state of paying lawyers and checking my record, then doing the math to see if I will still make it without a suspended license...

That all has come and gone, and now come again, but my schedule had it's ups and downs from when i was last writing here on a somewhat regular basis, I was then working 4 days a week pretty much..

There is so much to explain between then and now,

Basically it is like the equivalent of checking in on me when I'm a distressed teenager in junior year of high school, and then the next time a child in that state would have time to touch base would be when they've just been accepted into a masters program or a Phd, I equate it to that.

Lets start from the beginning:

So much has happened. 9 years ago I started driving and at the time I was doing weekends, just day shifts, always day shifts. I was in college in Boston, which was hard enough, because it was a city, but it wasn't my city, everybody was calling it a city, but the only parts of it that had a soul were Cambridge and Alston, and Sumervile, but Boston proper was a mockery of the term city. Add to this that college didn't seem to show any obvious solutions to the job market that lay ahead of me. I was working on a BFA in photography, and only one person would get an internship working with a magazine. I took a class on editorial work, and it most definitely showed itself from day one to not match my personality or my skills, or my preferences and values at all. Creating a photograph was not my thing, I was teaching myself to work with what I had, to grab what was already there and to show reality as best as I could. If a photograph would transcribe itself as a dream that would be just peachy, but I wasn't going to ever input ingredients like light boxes, strobes, red dresses, make-up, all that junk.. into my pictures.

The idea that the field of photography demanded professionals who could work with all these ingredients and under all circumstances, tell the models, and the contractors that they know exactly what they're doing, sounded to me like professional lying, and I needed to get to my plan B immediately.

 The Taxi Plan:

My circle of friends from New York was strong, all solidified mostly by a friend of mine whom I've known since Kindergarten. A friend of his who I knew as well through junior high school was working with his own cab. He owned the taxicab, and leased the medallion, and shared it with his best friend who also was a big piece of our New York City gang. It was told to me through that friend and through others that they would make $200 per night!! So I was like where do I sign up? Oh yeah there was a 3rd driver too, they all knew each other and got all tangled up in this New York friend triangle, more on this later.

So I went through the whole process of getting my taxi license, which i think ran about $500, transfering my drivers license to a chauffer's License, getting a doctor's check up, signing a sheet proving I wasn't a dead-beat dad (pretty easy as I'm not a dad), taking a class for a week, and barely passing a test that proves I know my way around the city, and have basic understanding of English, and finally passing a drug test.

Then I called up the third guy which at that point had become the only guy. They were a ragtag trio. Guy number one i think had his license expire, I'm not sure if it was because he failed the annual drug test. Guy number two had his license suspended and figured there were better things to do anyway. I believe he may have gotten a speeding ticket in the underpass on first avenue by the United Nations and it put him over the edge for points on the license. But guy number 3, who's dad was a member of the police benevolent association, never got a ticket, EVER. Also what else what else, Guy number one's sister got knocked up by guy number two, and also, also, they both shared an apartment, a tiny apartment, in the east village, and everybody knew everybody, so that must've been a trying time, or not, we all love each other now, sort of, i mean those two got married and moved to Portland, but are now divorced, guy number one moved to Europe for a time and also got married, but they're back in Brooklyn... my my my how the years go by, and everybody is a fricken adult with children, and they all wistfully tell me that they wish they could drive a cab again. umm how? why? whatever

anyway where was I? oh yes so I called guy #3 and eventually got through to him when he wasn't sleeping over at a friends house, or partying all night long, or smoking tons of pot, I figured, he had a cab, oh that's right, at the point I got through to him I had already signed up with a garage,, you know, because I don't wait for no one! hah! but he was then the owner of the cab because i mentioned previously kid number one and two lost their licenses, and kid number 3 seemed to be a natural. well he asked me how good I was or something along those lines... which As I wrote earlier in this piece, I despise greatly, because I'm brutally honest about things, and anyone who's honest with themselves should realize how badly they do stuff.

So yeah I told him that I once fell asleep behind the wheel in Maine, and I did have a few bumps with my personal vehicle, but I didn't see how that same stuff would happen in New York with my career.. this may have scared him, and he didn't get back to me about assigning me to his cab.. The amazing thing was it was just him with his cab. There were no other drivers.  That cab in those last few years was a rickety lucky thing, and in the coming months it would get to a state where the alternator failed so he would park it at the club, or our house at Staten Island and leave it running, HE WOULDN'T TURN THE CAR OFF EVER!! and he would go to the roof light, unscrew the light bulbs, and turn off the headlights, so nobody would know. One time I was told he was pulled over on the Verrazanno Narrows Bridge for speeding, and the cop saw his PBA badge and let him off the hook.

I do firmly believe that all you need to do to be ticket free in the city is have a connection to the Police Department, or any of those departments, Fire, Sanitation, Corrections, maybe Judges, senators, district attorneys, and the like, would also get off the hook from tickets. How do you get tickets all the time?? well you only have to drive a yellow cab, and make sure to leave the roof light on all the time, and work constantly, don't refuse any ride, and you will get a ticket, the more you drive, the more you get tickets. Tickets are never issued for driving past a potential customer, but time and time again, somebody raises a hand, and it's the pullover for acquiring the potential fare and doing one's service to the city that pisses off the cops, especially if they're right behind you. It is understood that trash trucks need to stop to pick up the trash, and busses have to get their passengers... and yet the general consensus is "why won't taxicabs get out of my way?!" Can't they see I have nothing important to do!!?"

Anyway, I digress I digress, where was I? Oh yeah, so I never got assigned to the cab of my circle of friends which was just as well I guess, or so I told myself. That cab was at the end of it's life, though it is still alive with it's partition and stickers in Northern California now, Guy number 3 got an offer to move out there and try his hand at farming or something, you know, farming or something like that. Sorry to blow up your spot if you're reading this, yeah well he really likes potatoes or something, so he grows them out in the California sun I think.

The most amazing thing I never understood is that he drove that cab like it was always a holiday. His friends would call him up and he'd drop everything and drive them home, he'd also stop driving routinely and then go to a club with the gang.. I... I could never do such a thing. Firstly, I was driving the day shift, and secondly, it would take me the first 6 hours of my 12 hour lease to get enough money to pay my daily lease, then the next 4 hours would go in my pocket, so partying and hanging with friends was always out of the question. Even when everyone was having a party on my off day, I couldn't possibly hang, because I had to stay on a schedule to get to a Queens garage and pick up the cab at 4am.

The Career:

So in due time all three of my friends were no longer driving taxicabs and they were free to smoke their trees and also in some cases put out smoking trees (one of them does some volunteer firefighting, when he isn't driving an ambulance now)

I should mention that many people see my youthful face, and it's pink pigment and they react "Wow, are you an American?" then they feel ashamed and embarassed, "I mean, umm, you're like white, are you an American born cab driver?"

Yes I tell them, and then I tell them the story I just told you, without so much details, that it was a friend of mine from high school, they all drove a cab, I explain without any harshness, that this is New York City, and we were all chums, no matter how our first and last names look. We all knew each other from an earlier stage of life. I told you of my friend who was the route of our big circle of friends, he has a charm of seeing the character and positive virtue in everybody, and I knew him at a time when we would learn to tie our shoes at lunch breaks. It's only as we get older that as a copping mechanism we get hung up on strange parameters, we grow up trying to put everything in it's place, and sometimes, different languages and skin tones get thrown into the mix and we find oursleves separating, we forget that once upon a time we all watched the same movies and learned to tie our shoelaces. guy #1 who first had the rickety cab the called Vicky (short for Ford Crown Victoria) I'll make up a name for him, let's say his name was Joe, his name was Joe Busch, okay, now this is how we knew him, but one time when he drove us around in his cab, with his sister by his side, I saw his Taxi License: and it read Johan Busimilleritiger... Okay, okay so I made the name up, but you get the idea?? I joke around and say that it is a taxi law, that once you start driving, your last name has to be at least 10 letters long, and have at least 3 syllables. These folks that were once our friends growing up, were now certified professionals LOL.

Right, right, so my career. I started with this garage in 2005.. hey you know what, this blog entry is already getting kind of lengthy, so maybe we'll stop there.. and I'll continue with an essay describing perhaps, my whole career from the beginning to where we are now.. Let us say.. this was the introduction, this is the juicy fluff of vicarious lives that surround my beginning.. See you soon guys.

Friday, March 7, 2014


I've just begun a new step in the digital abis. abiss? obis? ah there it is!

I've begun to tweet, or just to listen as the world tweets at me. Anyway this is my 6th tweet, and I just saw an option to embed a tweet, so

There it is, A pic I took of one of the few brand new Nissan NV200 taxicabs. I'm hoping to eventually feed the twitter directly into this blog. I'd rather have it turn tweets into posts here, but i'm not sure if this can be done. I've seen a way to put it on my right bar, but that's messy and unnecessary.

So, that's where i'm at right now.