Thursday, December 4, 2008


Barnard/Columbia University, Morningside Heights
The 15th was an unusual one. I wound up going uptown to Harlem and Morningside Heights several times from Midtown. I suppose the rain brought so much demand, that I never made it downtown to my usual routine of taking people to Brooklyn and Queens. Thrust into a new pattern of pick-ups and drop-offs I wasn't familiar with, my earnings were relatively low.


Barnard/Columbia University, Morningside Heights

Morningside Heights
I think soon after this shot I might have gotten an airport ride to LaGuardia. Shock of all shocks, this college student paid me in cash and tipped well.

Far West Side
To anyone familiar with driving in the city, this sight is far from unusual. All it takes is any of the following: a double parked car, a car turning left, or police activity, to jam up 34th Street East bound; quite often all of the above occur. 

Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
'$250 a month plus 10.5% sales tax monthly cars only, capacity 30 cars.'

I'm not so sure if I actually had that airport fare on the 15th or if that was another day, the memories jumble together often. Overall the day was pretty local, no big trips, but this one was a stretch: 12:30 or 1 p.m. from Midtown a guy wanted to go to Brooklyn Heights. I eventually headed to the FDR Drive, but that was a parking lot so we went back to 2nd Avenue and took the Manhattan Bridge to Court Street. It turned out he was pretty far down that street. The total ride time might have taken an hour, and he got out early and said he'd walk the rest of the way. He was really nice considering the cost of the ride and how sucky it was.

I killed so much time with that ride that it wasn't worth the bother of going back to Manhattan, but I went back anyway. I was so worried about getting someone that would send me right into traffic that I chose these particular streets in Downtown, but I found nobody, oh well.

City College, Manhattanville
I guess we have a theme for the weekend. For some reason before 6 a.m. I keep winding up at college campuses uptown, go figure? City College, unlike Columbia, is much, MUCH more affordable, its part of the C.U.N.Y. system, so City residents get big discounts. And judging from what I've heard, and just looking at the beautiful campus I think this is a very good school for certain programs. 

Grand Army Plaza
Well I wasn't thinking this at the time, but this kind of reminds me of Hitchcock's 'The Birds'. Those pigeons are clearly all waiting for the right moment to eat from the horse's bucket.


Far West Side

Central Park South
Take notice! This bus driver helped the blind man cross the street, then helped him count out his change to ride the bus, and then waited with him until his bus arrived! She deserves an award, I have never witnessed such kindness from an M.T.A. employee before. I was so shocked I could barely remember to breathe. But it doesn't end there, lately while riding the buses at odd hours of the night I'm pretty sure I saw a different bus driver give a few people free rides when they didn't have the money.

Theatre District

At the end of the 16th, I'd drove some people from Century 21 to Canal Street. After about 10 minutes and not passing one block in traffic, I turned on the off duty light and decided I wouldn't have much time for anything but going straight to Brooklyn and going back to my garage. Some tourists asked me if I could get them to the Port Authority. That was one traffic night-mare after another so I told them I couldn't do it, that I only had 20 minutes to get to my garage in Queens. 2 more minutes passed and I got approached by them again. "Can you just get us close?" Since they seemed understanding, and perhaps desperate to get their fast, I decided try to squeeze the one more ride in. At first I thought I could take them to 38th and 8th Avenue, only 3 blocks from their destination, but time moved to fast and I had to make it 23rd and 8th. 

I had only 10 minutes to get to Queens after that. I tried as best I could to return the car on time racing through the streets. At 34th Street and Park it nearly happened: the light was very green, and I raced up the hill to the intersection of 34th. Right when I crossed the crosswalk a black Lincoln Town Car rolled passed the middle island, stopping right in front of my path, it happened so fast, it always does. His right side front door was only 6 feet in front of my car so I slammed on the brakes, it was clear my car wasn't going to stop in time so I swung to the right. Miraculous! my car lay in the middle of 34th street at a 45 degree angle and the lincoln stayed in its place far from where it should have been. Our two cars, both made at the same plant in Canada, nearly the same car, almost collided, but I wound up stopping less than one inch from contact, our bumpers almost kissing. I returned my car 5 minutes late, no big deal.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Once again, I'm intrigued by your shift tales and especially your photos. You commend the bus driver for her altruistic actions, which surprisingly align with the generous attitudes I've experienced in NYC. I visited there (for my first time) recently, expecting the brash, rude attitudes that are stereotypical of NYC. I got none of that. Everyone was gracious, willing to offer directions and advice to a complete stranger. I love your city. Thank you all. I regret to say that my chances of running into someone as interesting as you are slim as I usually take the subway (it's less expensive), but you certainly do make it more enticing to just suck up the expense and take a cab. You never know who you'll meet...