DK’s Taxi Cab Chronicles (from 5/7/10).

Yesterday felt like somethin out of the Twilight Zone.  It was a good day overall but it just felt off.

My first passenger of the day was this Indian dude from St. Martin headin to the Hotel Pennsylvania.  Prior to him gettin in my cab this couple in front of him kept takin pictures of the yellow cab they were about to get into & even took a picture with their cab driver.  I woulda been on some WTF tip.  I still was, but not in the picture fortunately.  He wanted to sit in the front with me which I don’t feel all that comfortable with but it’s not as if he was gonna try to rob me so whatever.  For someone who was comin to visit for two days he had three bags worth of luggage packin like a girl.  With that said; he asked me where are the best stores to shop at for good deals (Century 21) and what there is to do in NYC that I recommend (entirely way too much).  He told me he was gonna stay in a hotel in Queens but I told him that would have been foolish because most of the action at night is in Manhattan.  You’d only stay outside of Manhattan if you had family in the NYC area.  He tells me he’s a vegetarian because of a skin condition he has.  I could never be one; kudos to anyone who is whether by choice, religion, etc.  After dealin with the traffic for quite a while I finally get there.

One of the bellhops at the Hotel Pennsylvania starts playfully fuckin around with me as if he was one of my dad’s friends.  Umm..what in the hell are you doin playfully punchin my stomach n pinchin it??  He asks me if I want a job to Newark Airport.  Hmm..oh okay that’s fine.  He tells me to give him $5 and the passenger gets in.  He asks me how much it’s gonna be and I tell him I have no clue because it’s a metered fare.
Him: “You take AMEX?”
Me: Yezzir
Him: Then who cares let’s do this.

It came out after toll and tip to $72.30.  Of course, with Newark Airport being in New Jersey I can’t pick up anyone from there so I have to run back to Manhattan empty-handed.  Why did the passenger have to pay the toll you’re wondering?  For my return trip back.

How would you feel about getting a $1.40 tip on a $19.60 fare?  I personally laughed but at that point in time I wasn’t complaining because the fare was from near the Holland Tunnel on Hudson Street all the way to 66th and 2nd avenue.  Hella traffic on 8th avenue between 37th and 42nd streets which I wasn’t necessarily anticipating.

I don’t get people’s love affair with taking the highway.  I picked up these 2 chicks on 64th and 2nd avenue and they wanted to go down to 5th street between Avenues A and B to this restaurant (can’t remember its name).  They wanted to go down the FDR though.  Actually in this case it’s somewhat smart..except they were waiting on the far right corner when they should have waited on the far left corner since crossing over via 64th street would have been much easier (62nd street you have to contend with traffic coming from the Queensboro Bridge).  But hey, whatever way the passenger wants to take right?  They’re feedin money to me.

This Chinese dude pulled the creep on me.  I was planning my next move & talkin to myself a bit (which is what I do when I’m hella bored) and he goes “HEY”.  It scared the fuck out of me ha.  I pick him up and he’s just takin a short trip to Suffolk & Delancey streets.

This gay Asian kid who had to be 5 foot nothin and had the strength of .10 men hails my cab like he’s jousting someone and then looks at me and says in that voice “6th avenue..and 8th street!”  Umm..hop…in.  I drop him off on the corner and he hands me a $10.
Him: Here’s $10, keep $6.
(5 second pause)
Him: I get $4 back.
Me:  Ha I know my math.

It takes him about 8 seconds to figure out how to open the door and then he struggles with the sliding door for another 7.

I pick up a triad of gay dudes around St. Vincent’s Hospital or the artist formerly known as (sadly).  They’re goin crosstown to Avenue C and 18th street.  One of them comes in with a balloon caricature.  They went to this spot CARNIVAL for sure in this case.  Overheard in the cab:
Dude 1:  She doesn’t have an accent anymore? (insert lispth)
Dude 2:  She talked to me for a year with it and then suddenly she stopped talking with one.

Huh what the fuck?  Is it even possible to fake an accent on someone for an entire year much less an entire conversation over the course of an evening.  Get the fuck out of here ha go home.

Anyway, I pick up an older couple in their 50s and their son.  Their son has me drop him off on 5th street and 1st avenue..while the couple is going to 64th between 1st and York.  Then…THEY START MAKIN OUT I swear it looked like something out of a soap opera.  I don’t know which one…maybe The Bold & The Beautiful?  But take the B out of Bold for this one.  I was perplexed as shit.  (cues Twilight Zone music).

I’m about to get the hell out of dodge then I hear this huge knock on the side of my cab.
Me: Where to?
Girl: Downtown.
Me: Anywhere in particular?
Girl: Just start going downtown.

So I hop on the FDR since it’s right there.  They ask me for recommendations for restaurants.  This is NOT my cup of tea really.  The only place I really recommend them going is Little Italy ha.

Girl: 58th street between 8th and 9th avenues.
(we’re on the FDR but this is the one case where it’s fortunate there was an accident because she told me this before the 53rd street exit)

I ultimately get there and it turns out whatever place they were looking for was closed.  I waited about ten minutes before once again she tells me to start going downtown.  The guy with her hands me a $20 “for the time being”.  Finally when I’m on 18th street she gets a phone call telling her to go to 13th street & Washington street.  Once again.  The guy gives me a $10.  Their fare I believe was $23 after that tour of the city ha.

On Friday & Saturday nights in particular, you’ll often see cabbies who have their off-duty lights on pick and choose who they want to pick up…so for the passenger, don’t be discouraged if you see the lights on, especially if you’re white and not going out of the borough.  No, I’m serious.  There was this Spanish dude tryin to hail a cab and two cabbies flipped their off-duty lights on him before a cabbie finally picked him up.  Meanwhile, I seen quite a few with their off-duty lights on pick up white girls and then go back on-duty.
Sidenote: I do this too…but only when I’m out of the borough or if I’m north of 110th street.  And that’s to everyone.
Anyhow, this dude in front of me is off-duty at Chambers street and I know he saw me behind him with my signal on which is why he made his left turn without signaling.  Ass.  These couple hails him down and he asked him where they were goin.  They weren’t picked up.  My turn.
Girl: WIlliamsburg
Let’s do this.  To be fair the ride was nothing special…except at the end the girl kept smiling at me and tellin me to have a good night about 3 or 4 times.  The dude she was with did not look all too happy ha.

I tell myself that around 215 in the morning that I’m gonna pick up a passenger and they’re gonna take me to Brooklyn.  It was around 120 I believe now.  More on this in a minute but I had to return to Manhattan first.  I pick up this muscled-up dude and I wanna say his sister.  He hails me via that “You’s available?” point.  I give him the point back ha.
Dude: “How you doin my brotha? Native New Yorker I could tell.”
Me:  Ha.  Yezzir.

We talk in length about how frustrating it is that everything is being gentrified in NYC and it’s not like it used to be with all these transplants acting like they’ve lived here their whole lives.  He tells me that there are condos being built over in Queensbridge, which made me bust out in hysterics.  “The other fuckin day I see white people round there joggin!  And cops over by that park man there never used to be around there…fuck outta here!  They used to go over there for their shit now they get it AND live there.  The mailman can stay local now.”  Word.  When Spanish Harlem gets nicknamed “SpaHa” and ads subliminally call Washington Heights “Upper West Side” yes you have a problem.  He went to Bayside High.  I went to St. Francis Prep.
Him: All these fuckin NYU and Columbia kids man…
Me: I went to NYU…
Him: You ain’t one of them.  I know what you mean though.  Them white kids.

The convo was funny overall.

Now it was 210 and I was drivin up 6th avenue when I pick up this girl who looks like Daria from that MTV show with the same name.
Her: I’m goin to Brooklyn.
Her: Bushwick & Forrest.  There were like 4 people in front of me who had gotten cabs & I was the only one without one.
DK’s Mind: Aww.
Me: I guess you got lucky with me coming up 6th ave then eh?
Her: Yes.  Do you take credit card?  I only have a $20 just in case it comes out to more than that.
Me: I sure do.
DK’s Mind: Fuck I hope this ride is less than $20.

The ride is $16.70 and she gives me $18.

You’d think I’d return to Manhattan at this point and I was going to.  Then right before the entry back on the Williamsburg Bridge I see these 3 dudes and a chick so I bust a hella hard right and say fuck it I’m gonna pick them up.  It’s hella unusual for me to do this, but on a day that was so, whatever right?  They’re goin to Kew Gardens.  Jackpot this is gonna be my last trip of the night (or so I thought).  This dude sits in the front with me and he’s real chill talkin about how they just performed a show at this bar and then got hella free drinks.  Ahh the perks of havin talent.  I wish I could say the same, I just have this blog ha I’m kidding.  I don’t remember much of our conversation specifically but the best part was when he told me this story about how these 2 cops chased him and his boy in Chicago because they were drinking outside on a stoop.

It’s about 245 and I’m gonna hightail it home.  I have my off-duty lights on and I’m about to take Metropolitan Avenue down towards the Van Wyck and it’ll be a wrap.  For some reason though I see this Italian-lookin kid hailing a cab and I let him in.  Greed won that battle.
Kid: Yo wassup bro. (other shit that’s not important).  2 stops.
DK’s Mind:  Fuck…why did I just do this?

I’ve never picked up anyone in my home borough yet and you’d think that I would because well..it’s the one I’d feel the safest doing this shit.  Not so much with this one.  He talks to me about how he was talkin to a 38-year old flight attendant who was “horny as fuck” and how he was about to smash it but since he lives at home with his mama…it wasn’t goin down.  I feel his pain; I live with my rents still too.  Don’t judge me.  The best pussy of his life to him was from a 46 year old woman.  Fair enough.  But back to the ride.  This first stop I’m makin is to some kid’s apartment to pick up somethin supposedly and this is out by Liberty Avenue & 104th street (A Train).  This feels hella sketch so I’m ready to just hightail the fuck out.
Him: Yo bro I’m so sorry I went to go get some money from him because he owes me but he spent it all tonight on yayo.
Me: Uhhhh.
Him: I feel so bad bro.
Me: It could be worse.

Yeah way worse.  I didn’t get what was up to that point $9 (he woulda had me take him back and even considered doing a flat rate with me but that wasn’t goin down)…but shit that was sketchy as it can get.  I need to be smarter than that.  My dad chastised me for doin that.  No more mister nice DK.

Bridge & Tunnel Saturdays begin at 5pm EDT today.  My car’s being washed by Mother Nature right now.  And so on.


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