Thursday, August 6, 2009


It had been so slow up until this Saturday, but maybe it was on Sunday morning, that’s a Saturday night to you, when he hailed me just before I’d have to inspect the diners and wait for a customer. “I’m going to Bay Ridge,” he said, and he proceeded to tell me the directions. I counted my lucky stars, as most fares from there had been between 5 and 7 dollars lately. When I told him I lived in Bensonhurst, he asked if the kids there were alright.

“Sure, They’re okay, why? Is there a lot of trouble over there?” I ask.

And he tells me this sad story in the paper-- “They don’t cover what happens over there often in the paper,” he says-- but none the less, in the paper there was a story about how a woman who was pregnant was shot in her apartment. There was some loot hidden in the apartment that she’d just moved into and these two young aspiring goons were trying to get it, not anticipating someone in the apartment, they killed her.

This all pertains to the mob, he explains that Bensonhurst is one of the last neighborhoods in the city with a concentration of Sicilians, the Italian town where the mob originates, and that in this neighborhood, they were still working to gain rank. I told him I lived in the Jewish part of Bensonhurst, and hadn’t really seen much of an Italian population, “It might be one of the most misunderstood neighborhoods in New York,” I told him. Then I asked where the Italian part might be. To which he replied, “I don’t know, actually I don’t know the area that well.”

He leaves me a nice 5 dollar tip, we talk about how all the neighborhoods are changing, he says he’s okay with all immigrant populations, except the influx of Muslims, he didn’t care much for them, he then started to trail off, figuring it would be best not to explain himself, perhaps even feeling guilty for his prejudices. Well, lets hope he did, if he stayed any longer He’d probably have to admit that he wasn’t actually familiar with that topic either.

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