Wednesday, April 18, 2007

saturday 4/14

Airport fare:
The Sheraton Manhattan to LaGuardia Airport, through the Queens Midtown Tunnel, not worth it, 23.70 plus 4.00 for the toll, which he pays. He gave me 30, and I gave him 2 back, so basically he didn’t tip. Why? He’s French that’s why. He was very friendly and comfortable during the ride.

Not from around here:
Three Guys that never took a New York taxi before got in. Two of three didn’t want to do it. They asked not to be ripped off. I took them from Greenwich Village to Penn Station. I already made a left on Waverly Place from 6th avenue, where they hailed me. Usually when being hailed by someone, I quickly negotiate with him or her through hand gestures to decide which street on that corner to pick up. But they didn’t really understand me, and I didn’t really understand them, so we had to go up 8th Avenue rather than 6th. I took Christopher Street, to West 4th Street to Hudson up to the 8th avenue side of Penn Station. They were rowdy, it felt like I was on stage as a driver and they were heckling me, so I paid them no mind:

“Man I got a bad feeling about this.”

“Wow, look at that it already started at 250.”

“Wow, man that thing just keeps ticking away. Its already 5 bucks and we’ve gone a block.” –We drove around 14 blocks at that point.

“Holy crap the meter just went up, did you see that, it just went up and we weren’t even moving. Is this by time, or by distance?”

Me-“That’s just how it works.”- I really didn’t feel like describing the whole pricing structure, it’s on the door. Besides If I was quizzed on how the meter charges, I might not pass. I turn on the meter, and it works, that’s all I need to know.

I was noticing the cab to my right; it was a nice visual distraction. There were three women in the back and one of them was putting her heels up on the partition. Honestly I was looking because it seemed disrespectful to me to put one’s feet up that close to the driver. My male trio seemed to notice the other cab as well. The same one who was overwhelmed by every increment of 40 cents on the meter wanted to be noticed by the women. He rolled down the window and shouted something like, “hey”, or “ahhh”. As is my job, I found myself in a fast moving lane when the light changed, and the other taxi was 5 cars behind.

“Hey why did you pass them?”- I didn’t respond since it was all a joke to me, and I don’t think his friends were illogical enough to take him seriously either. And we arrived at Penn Station,

"Woah, man it just jumped up another 50 cents!"

Me- "That's the nightly surcharge, there is a surcharge of 50 cents at night."

surprisingly they tipped really well, the fare was 6.20, total paid: 9 bucks. The crazy one (evidently) then raced off after a random taxi cab and looked in the rear window, alas it wasn't the women. Too bad, he really had a chance.

An older woman and her middle aged daughter got in. This was a long trip from Battery Park City to 86th Street and 5th Avenue; it was around 20 bucks. The older mentioned how she didn’t like talking to them whoever they were,

“All they talk about is what they are doing. That’s no conversation at all.”

This comment set off some journey of thoughts in my head. What is good conversation? And if you were to analyze every conversation, would you converse at all? But I do agree, people should stop thinking of themselves when talking, isn’t that what talking is all about?

Then they both talked about which colleges certain family members were going to, Yale, but not Harvard, at least it’s closer to the city, and also Brown. But then the older spoke of a new building going up in her neighborhood. The lobby was see through, whatever that means. She saw a man with two dogs bigger than the man himself, and so she told him she felt sorry for the dogs,

“How can dogs that big live in this city?” she asked.

“Don’t feel sorry for them,” he said. “We have two apartments, one is for the dogs.“

“It is beyond comprehension how much money some people in New York have,” she exclaimed in the cab. She went on to talk about how some of the son’s, friends went to the Bahamas with a credit card from the parents to spend unlimited amounts on. Yet the son has a small place in Brooklyn smaller than the dogs' apartment they figured.

Pictures from that shift:

Astoria, Queens

Sunnyside, Queens

Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

No comments: