Archive for July, 2010

28
Jul
10

DK’s Brain- Random Did You Knows.

#1- The only times a cab driver is legally allowed to refuse passengers are if:
a) The cab driver has their off-duty lights on.
b) If the passenger wants to go to Westchester, Nassau or Newark Airport and the cabbie has been working for 8 or more hours.
c) If the passenger is going anywhere outside of the 5 boros or the places mentioned above.
d) If neither you nor the passenger know exactly how to get to a location.

#2- Top 4 easiest places overall to catch a cab in NYC (as of April 2010 in order): Penn Station, Columbus Circle, Port Authority Bus Terminal, Grand Central Terminal.

#3- Easiest places to catch cabs late-night Fridays & Saturdays: Meatpacking District, 10th ave & 15th street, 10th ave & 27th street (Marquee), 11th ave & 27th street, Bowery btw 3rd-4th streets, 3rd avenue btw 11-13th streets, 2nd avenue btw 2nd & Houston streets, Ludlow & Rivington Streets.

#4- If a passenger requests AC and/or the radio to be turned on or off and the driver doesn’t comply- if the passenger reports you you’ll get a $25 fine.

#5- Arguably the harshest penalty a cab driver can receive is if he offers a taxi dispatcher money to get a passenger going to a certain location.  If caught, the cabbie gets fined $10,000 AND has his license revoked.

#6- Some sample out-of-town rates from Manhattan (doesn’t include toll and are negotiable- but these are the rates via the NY Taxi Chauffer & Tourist Guide rate book):
a) Hoboken- $32
b) Newark (anywhere other than the airport)- $64
c) Jersey City- $44
d) Alpine- $68
e) Atlantic City- $480
f) Mineola- $92 (is metered though so depends where in Manhattan you are)
g) Greenwich, CT- $132
h) Foxwoods Casino- $540
i) Hampton Bays- $344

That’s all you’ll get for now.  I’m sure I’ll give yall some more random facts later.  And so on.

27
Jul
10

DK’s NYC Taxi Cab Chronicles (Run-in With The Police).

On a day in which I wasn’t even gonna work…I decided that I was gonna work for a few hours to make some quick bucks and call it a day.  It almost turned out to be a disaster for the ages, though.

I’m driving on the JFK Expressway heading into the Central Taxi Hold to begin my shift.  Yeah, I drive on that bitch pretty fast to try and get around some of the slow fucks that I encounter.  As I’m closing in on the ramp there’s this car that’s drivin relatively slow on it so I’m attempting to slow down myself and it slows down even further.  In essence for this five seconds I’m tailgating him but this isn’t deliberate.  When we both get to the exit, he tells me to go in front of him.  I then notice “Ahh shit, it’s an unmarked police car.” I hesitate initially but then I give him the thank you hand signal.

He puts his sirens on and tells me to pull over.  You have got to be fuckin kiddin me.

“Explain to me why you were drivin like that behind me?  What’s the rush for? What’s the rush for?  I should write you up for 5 summonses right now.”
Umm, first off what the fuck would you write 5 summonses on me for?  Aggressive driving and tailgating I could see.  But then what?  Driving while black? Because I drive a taxi & I just wanna make your life even more miserable.  And what would be #5?  Shut the fuck up.  Man…I was trying so hard to bite my tongue.
“Whaddaya got to say??”
Bitchmade, if you STOP talkin for one second and actually give me a chance to speak…I told him that I apologize and all I was doing was gettin ready to begin my shift.
“I could make you lose your job if I wanted to..you don’t drive like that on MY highways.”
Last time I checked, it was the JFK Expressway not Officer Donut-Shaped Dimwit Expressway.  And of course you’d try to..everyone knows cops are out to get cab drivers.
“Next time I catch you doing that I will arrest you.”
Uhh, yeah okay.  I bet no one has ever been arrested for tailgating unless they failed the breathalizer test.  Thank god he was pretty far from me because he most def was spewing shit & I didn’t wanna smell it.  I told him there won’t be a next time because this will be the first & only time we’ll ever see each other.
“You didn’t even thank me for allowing you to get in front of me”
I actually did, but I’m sure the lard in your neck didn’t even allow you to see you jackass.

He gets back in his car & I drive off.  Thank goodness.  But that’s yet another reason to hate cops.  See; I respect the job that they do and it’s as dangerous if not more dangerous than driving a yellow cab/gypsy cab.  But when they try to go overboard with their power just because they have a badge..that’s when I lose the respect.  You could have been calmer with your explanation…not barkin at me tryna threaten me with summonses & getting my TLC license revoked.  Go play in the mud, pig.  Cops like that are reasons why quite a few people have little sympathy for them when something bad occurs to them.  Myself included.  There’s no sense in talking back to a cop because they can write you a disorderly conduct summons for being slick with them.  That’s why you shut the fuck up, check your pride at the door for a few moments and just act like a bitch to them to make them feel better about their pathetic selves.

And so on.

25
Jul
10

DK’s NYC Taxi Rules of Engagement.

I’ve been having one of those apathetic weeks where I don’t really feel like talkin to anyone or socializing…but of course I’ll do so if prompted.  Nevertheless here are a few things that as passengers you need to recognize.

1) If you need to get to the airport (whether it’s JFK or LGA), please do NOT hail a cab an hour BEFORE YOUR FLIGHT IS SUPPOSED TO LEAVE.  I had this couple hail me down at 830opm on Friday night around Rockefeller Center wanting to go to JFK- Delta’s Terminal 3.  They ask me how long it’s gonna take and I gave them a low-ball estimate of 45 minutes because of the fact it was Friday & there were severe thunderstorms in the area.  They exclaim “WHAT??!! Our flight (to Toronto) leaves at 930.”  Granted, they had no luggage or carry-ons with them..but if I hit ANY traffic jam they would have been fucked.  Regardless, it was likely their flight was delayed.  Fortunately for them I got there at 905pm even in the storm but everyone knows you’re supposed to be at the airport 30 min before your flight (and 2 hours for international) and from Manhattan…you take NO chances.  Personally, if I have a flight out of JFK at 4pm- I leave my house at 245pm and it only takes me 10 minutes or so; but you have to take into account possibilities of a long line at checkpoint.  Retards.

2) “Take me to a bar in Chinatown where I can find some older Chinese bitches.  Like in their 30s or 40s…I’m fifty-fuckin two years old I don’t want those girls in their 20s; nor those ABCs (American-Born Chinese.”  Umm, okay?  Do Asians past the age of 30 even party/drink?  I need the answer to that.  Oddly enough Chinatown doesn’t even have that many bars.  It’s probably against their religion.  I dumped dude off somewhere on Mott & Baxter that shit was hella confusing.  He was talkin bout how he lived in China for 20 years and was fluent in Chinese.  I asked him if he liked Korean women and he said that he did…but they’re too conservative for his liking and he doesn’t speak Korean.  Otherwise I woulda taken him to K-Town.

3) If you need to make a stop off somewhere…I usually let the meter run (and that’s what you’re supposed to do) but I made an exception for this dude who needed to go to Taco Bell.  He asked me if I wanted anything ha.  I normally would say yes but I had just ate something and I’m trying to avoid fast food while on this retarded Quick Cleanse (which frankly ain’t workin too well).  I was rewarded with him tippin me $5.50 on a $9.90 fare so it was one of those rare times which someone followed through on their promise and I prob got more for stopping the meter than for letting it run.

4) On 3rd avenue & 11th street; why would you ask me where the nearest pizza spot is?  Maybe because I’m usually hangin out around there I know that New Amici on 12th street is the closest one.  So I tell this chick and her two guy friends this but they wanted somewhere closer to 116th and Amsterdam…yet they didn’t want to go too close to there because they were starvin.  And this is while they’re eating pretzels.  Man I hate those dough pretzels..them shits usually have no taste and the salt is too much for me.  I dumped them off at a Famiglia’s on 43rd and 8th avenue.  They’ll be aight.

5) Tellin me that you need to go to Brooklyn is NOT a destination.  I understand though; you want me to get there and then you’ll direct me from there I respect that since not a lot of cabbies are familiar with places outside of Manhattan.  Frankly on the Geography portion of the test we take (more on this in a later entry); about 85% of the questions are Manhattan-based ones.  With more people moving out to Brooklyn & Queens, knowing those areas will get you brownie points from your passengers.  Most passengers have no problem directing you somewhere because it’s more important for them to not be lost than it is for you to take some roundabout way actin as if you know where you’re goin.  If I actually know how to get somewhere it can piss me off but I do have to put myself in the passengers’ shoes.

6) My quick music recap:  I bought the new Rick Ross and Big Boi bootlegs; as well as Fabolous’ Lamborghini Loso & EPMD old school mixtapes.  If you want a blueprint on how to make it big in today’s “Hip-Pop” game; listen to Rick Ross’ album.  No that’s not a good thing.  All he raps about is money, cars & bitches and he has an all-star cast of cameos.  He has gotten better since he’s found his niche, though.  Big Boi’s album is pretty tough although he definitely misses Andre 3000.  It feels like somethin is missin from an otherwise solid album.  Mixtapes are what they are to me…I used to dig them a lot in high school but for some reason they don’t appeal to me much anymore.

7) Thank yall for not making out in my cab anymore and not askin me if this is Cash Cab…but I do take it in stride.  Here’s two questions I asked yesterday:
– Who is on the $2 Bill?
– How many Broadway streets are there in Manhattan?

8) If someone says “53rd and 6th” you better believe they’re gonna haul ass & wait 30-45 minutes for some chicken & rice.

That’s all the time we have for now.  And so on.

21
Jul
10

DK’s Brain- JFK Airport Terminals.

I always go to the JFK Central Taxi Hold to begin my shift since I live 10 minutes from the airport.  All cabbies who are looking to pick up an airport fare must stop there first, wait on a queue (which is usually about an hour wait but can be longer or shorter pending on the day), get a ticket and then wait on that taxi queue.  The advantage to having a 5-seater minivan comes into play for a couple of reasons:
1) At certain times, the dispatchers will make a request needing a 5-seater so you can skip the line.  However, you have to have your van parked in the front of the line that you’re on.
2) When a passenger has a TON of luggage you’ll get that one. All. The. Time.  Which can suck though especially if they’re movin their lives into your van.  Hella tedious.

Terminal 1: Mainly international flights from Air France, Luftansa, Japan Airlines, AeroMexico, Alitalia and others.  Personally I hate this terminal because you have some ofthe worst tippers basically bunched together (French, Germans, Italians) even though 95% of the time you’ll get a trip into Manhattan.

Terminal 2: Delta’s Business Class/First Class as well as London, San Francisco & LA flights.  I tend to have fairly bad luck with this terminal also because 75% of the time I’ll be stuck with a “short haul” ticket (a trip to Queens or Brooklyn).  They tip well for the most part though.

Terminal 3: Delta (International & Domestic). There’s actually two taxi stands (3 and 3D).  3 you have to go underground and is extremely annoying.  It is easily my least favorite terminal because you get the clueless international arrivals.  I also never know where I’m gonna go and often times I find myself waiting for a passenger for damn near 15-20 minutes.  They tip the worst as well.

Terminal 4: The International Arrivals.  Unless otherwise noted, this terminal has essentially every other airline that arrives from outside of the US.  A huge terminal; most of the time I do get Manhattan trips so it’s all gravy.  The people tip okay..can’t complain about it.

Terminal 5: Jetblue.  My second favorite terminal because not only is it well-designed, but also the passengers that I usually get from this terminal are domestic travelers..so they understand the deal tip-wise.  Although lately I’ve been getting quite a few “short hauls” from here.

Terminal 7: British Airways/United/Qantas and a couple others.  My favorite terminal of the bunch because you’re all but guaranteed a trip to Manhattan.  Good tippers also.

Terminal 8: American Airlines & friends.  My 3rd favorite terminal.. the easiest & quickest terminal to enter/exit out of.  A bit unpredictable in regards to where you’ll head & often times Spanish-speaking drivers are forced to head to this terminal due to the influx of flights coming from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, etc.

And so on.

19
Jul
10

DK’s NYC Taxi Cab Chronicles (Bitter Bitch Bureau).

As we all know, women are some hella emotional creatures.  I don’t give a fuck if they claim they’re “heartless”; that’s still evoking a strong emotion toward somethin ha.  When they fall for somethin, they fall hard but it takes a while to build trust.  But once a trust’s gone, it’s gone forever and Funkmaster Flex will have to drop a few bombs to demonstrate how one can go off.

I just dropped off someone in Williamsburg and I’m driving back down on Broadway to get to the Williamsburg Bridge.  Since I don’t necessarily want to pick anyone up at this point I put my off-duty lights off but I see these two white chicks hailing for a cab near the Marcy Avenue train station so I turn my lights off and let em in.  They greet me and tell me their destination (Greenwich Street & Spring Street- they’re goin to this bar I can’t remember its name but I have been there before).  I have the Capone-N-Noreaga album poppin (which by the way, if you love 90s hip-hop you’ll def appreciate the album- even if it’s depressin as fuck sometimes) and they ask for some radio action.  I put it on 92.3NOW for them ha.

The taller one was rockin a aqua blue dress and lookin quite dapper I must admit…redhead probably around my height with those heels on.  She was the one to go off.  She’s hella angry at her ex boyfriend and is telling her friend all about it. “FUCK HIM! ALL I ASKED FOR WAS FOR MY SHIRT BACK AND HE TOLD ME TO GET A GRIP??? WHAT A PUSSY, GAH!”  Ha well I have no idea why he is one, at least for now.  Then she pulled out the classic line “I used to think he was amazing- I would go out my way for him and I NEVER did that for anyone else before…but now I just think he’s a pussy and a monster.  A total monster.”  Umm..wait a second; how can someone be a pussy AND a monster?  Unless you’re referring him as a Lady Gaga?  Yeah, that’s probably it.  “I hope he goes finds other bitches and fucks other bitches because you wanna know why?? Because he’s gonna be the only one to enjoy it.  He was HORRIBLE in bed.  Absolutely HORRIBLE.  Yeah I’ve told you the horror stories but I’m not even gonna bring up S-E-X in this.”  Now you see fellas; if your sex game is off-point you have BETTER work on improving it if you intend on turning into a “monster” or else she will use this against you.  We know where it hurts.  They know where it hurts.

The conversation moved on to other shit that was unimportant but all I know was the smell of their perfume or hairspray was a good overpowering scent.  After they thanked me for the ride, I thanked them for their entertainment and the one who had gone off on her ex decided to give me some advice.  “If there’s one rule in guaranteeing yourself of having a girl, always make her feel special.  Yeah, be a little bit of a dick to her early on if you really like her; if you’re with her and a group of your friends in the beginning don’t be all over her or anything…but when you’re alone make her feel like the one and only.  Don’t give it away too soon or else it’s over.  Also, if you aren’t feelin it, let them know early and be honest with it; we’ll get over it.”  I thanked her ha.  Now if I could only stop my cab and hang out with them…

No, I had to keep it movin.  And so on.

17
Jul
10

DK’s NYC Taxi Cab Chronicles (Drake’s Thank Me Later Review).

Nothing too special this past shift workwise.  It was one of those nights where I only stayed in Manhattan.  The only highlights of last night were:
1) “Driving on the left lane..the slowest possible lane (on 2nd avenue).”- Umm, ever heard of the right lane where the bus runs you jackass?  Not to mention the left lane has a new turning lane on every even block..so shut the FUCK up.  The middle lane is the “fastest” lane down 2nd avenue good point but to say I was on the slowest lane is ignorant.  Then again they were comin from the most ignoramus bar in the city (Calico Jack’s).
2) While dropping this chick off on 9th avenue and 59th street, I was driving behind a Porsche 944.
Her: BEEP HIM!
Me: LMFAOOOOOO okay (honks)
Her: I’m a New Yorker by nature I can’t help it.
Me: Well, he’s drivin a Porsche in the city…if I was, I’d probably be driving just as slowly/carefully.
Her: Point well taken..you got me.
DK’s Brain: Well, you know what they say when you got her mind…
3) I had to go to 88th and Broadway and I knew the 86th street transverse was closed (Sun-Thurs 9pm-6am & Fri 11pm-8am) so I took 79th street.  After I dropped the dude off he goes off on one of my “colleagues” not knowing the transverse was closed.  “He said ‘No no it okay I know it open’ then we get there & it’s closed he says ‘Oh no no I’m so sorri'” ha.
4) These French muhfuhs I pick up in my only trip to the MPD that evening (yes it was that busy in Manhattan) were askin me where they could find pussy at this time.  Uh, everywhere.  But if you wanna pay for it, go to a strip club.  Prostitutes are outta the question.  It was around 3 so they tell me it’s still very early (yes, but no) and they think they can just voulez-vous couchez avec broads just like alakazzam.  Pfft, if it was that easy Geico would make a commercial featuring me as a pickup artist.

With that said; I’ve been spinning CDs in my cab lately since my iPod has decided it’s wanted to be a piece of shit.  After listening to Eminem’s ‘Recovery’ and being extremely impressed with it…I gave Drake’s debut album ‘Thank Me Later’ a spin.  For the loyal readers who actually know me, they know that I’ve never been too impressed with Drake; he’ll every now and then get me hyped but that’s primarily because of the beats he rhymes to.  Nevertheless, given the hype around the Toronto native since he burst onto the commercial scene- I was REALLY hoping that he’d be on some Stephen Strasberg/LeBron James impactful shit.  I didn’t hear the ‘So Far Gone’ EP of his (which has sold over 500K by the way) so I didn’t know what to expect from a dude who right now has four songs on HEAVY rotation in NYC.  I didn’t want to believe that it would be as overrated as Lil Wayne’s ‘Tha Carter 3’.

I don’t think I ever purchased a CD (actual or bootleg) that made me cringe.

Here I am expecting a hip-hop album and I’m basically gettin a hip-pop/R&B album.  His second song (whatever the hell it’s called) is about 4+ minutes long…but somehow it’s only a long chorus twice and he sings a verse.  Now don’t get me wrong- I can see why some of the ladies really yearn for him; he says shit that ladies really want to hear with his patented “hold this memory like a picture” (and variants of it) lines and him sounding like a fallen hero in a fairytale book.  His flow/rhyme scheme makes him easy to follow and sing-a-long to..which is also nice and I dig that.  But then he confuses the shit out of me.  One minute he’ll talk about how he can’t believe that he’s risen so fast so quickly and how humbled he is; and then the next he’ll talk about nobody’s ever done it like him and the haters are all mad but oh well; then the next he’ll talk about how he hasn’t changed; then the next he’ll talk about all he’s doin is celebratin, VIP, champagnes, bitches, etc ha.   Lights Up with Jay-Z is the best track and shows the potential Drake has.  The Oh You Fancy Huh track I found myself boppin my head to…thought it was a cool little song.  But aside from those two songs and the ones you hear on the radio all the time (which aren’t even that good)…this is a hella forgettable album.  As my homegirl just told me not too long ago, it’s probably the instant fame that got into his head which caused him to be lazy; which he got away with because people long since accepted him.  Every artist has a lazy album or two (hell Jay-Z and Eminem have) but already on your debut album?  He’s lucky that the mainstream accepts mediocrity.  I’ll thank my local bootlegger now for making me only spend $5 but that’s a $5 I wish I had back.  Overall Grade: D+

And so on.

16
Jul
10

DK’s NYC Taxi Cab Chronicles (from 7/15/10).

I didn’t get to Manhattan until around 915pm…which was fine with me because I don’t even like getting there until around 7 or 8pm anyway.  Both of my shortie trips from JFK took me to the mean streets of Sheepshead Bay out in Brooklyn.  For those that don’t know, it’s a predominately Russian neighborhood in the southern section of Brooklyn- close to Coney Island.  For those wondering approximately how much a fare runs to that neighborhood from JFK, you’re lookin at around a $35 fare before tip.

My second shortie trip I had this Russian chick who decided she wanted to sit up front with me.  Not a problem of course; man was she tall though..about 6 feet tall but pale as all hell (sorry there were no Maria Sharapova comparisons).  She was visiting for “2.5 months up to a year and 2.5 months” ha but it was contingent on how she feels or some shit I don’t know; her English wasn’t that bad but is still a huge work in progress.  We talked about how different schools are here vs. in Russia (Russia teaches you a little bit of everything; while in the US it’s more specialized) and how far it is from where she is staying to Manhattan (about 30-40 min by train).  Nothing too exciting.  For some reason she said that American people smile more than Russians.  Makes sense- her teeth were fucked up.  I wouldn’t smile either if my teeth looked like glued on paper mache.  The Siberian native then asked me what do I know about Russia.  Well…this is my basic knowledge of the country:
Alex Ovechkin, Jaromir Jagr, hockey, vodka, Moscow, Chernobyl, Siberia, spanning through 11 time zones, Putin was your president, Anna Kournikova, Maria Sharapova, flag having the same colors as ours.
She was kinda impressed that I knew about Putin.  I forget who the president is now but she told me it means “Bear” which is the national animal of Russia.  The more I know.

Shoutout to the dude carrying a dozen roses and his girlfriend for heading over to the Gavesvoort Hotel in the M.P.D and the dude callin his mother to tell her that they got engaged earlier on in the afternoon.  How nice to hear.  They went to Central Park to row a boat and on the boat he proposed to her.  I applaud that man.  Ladies, I know what you’re thinking.  And the 29% tip ($10 on a $7.10) was a pleasant surprise given most people who head to the M.P.D don’t tip more than 5-10%.

I was bumpin the Eminem Recovery CD in the cab most of the night- with the exception of listening to parts of the Mets-Giants game (a 2-0 loss ugh) and DJ Kay Slay of course doin his thing on Thursday nights.  As someone who enjoys listenin to Eminem, I was very satisfied with this album.  It’s his best album since Marshall Mathers LP and it’s no exaggeration…the only song I found myself skipping was “The Way It Hurts” with Rihanna and that’s only because it’s on the radio 24/7.  Also, it’s a refreshing change of pace as it’s more lyrical and less sinister/depressing than his previous works.  It’s  as if he appears to be at peace with himself and just being a lyricist.  One thing that stands out is the lack of guest appearances on the album.  Only Lil Wayne, Pink, Kobe (not Bryant) and Rihanna are his features (and only Lil Wayne actually raps a verse- and gets crushed by Eminem in the song “No Love”).  I was asked if Em goes after Mariah Carey, in which he doesn’t…but he goes after Brooke Hogan.  I don’t know why exactly so someone fill me in.  Recovery gets an A.

This chick was on the phone (or so I thought) and she was asking how much it would cost to go to the Hamptons.  Only, she was actually talkin to me.  That caught me hella off-guard because I wondered who on earth would want to take a yellow cab out there.  I asked her “right now??” and she said “no no, just for reference.  Would you do it though?”  I told her that I personally would; though if you asked most cab drivers they would probably say no- especially on a Friday afternoon when it’s an epic nightmare getting there.  If yall are wondering by the way, from Manhattan it’s $424 per cab flat rate (to East Hampton)- obviously one-way because you cannot pick up outside of the 5 boros.

Best way to trick a cabbie into getting out of Manhattan- say that you’re going three stops with the first stop being Penn Station.  Then you tell me you’re going to Queens and with the city poppin hard around 1130 I clenched my teeth.  I hoped for a quick Astoria/Long Island City jaunt…but it was Forest Hills.  Noooooooo.  Then I had to go to Fresh Meadows from Queens Blvd. and with my GPS broken I sorta got lost.  I had forgotten that the Grand Central Parkway cuts across a lot of the avenues separating Forest Hills from Fresh Meadows.  I hate getting lost, for the passengers’ sake and for mine; but the chick didn’t seem to mind.  Except she kept shakin the fuck outta my cab.  NO IDEA WHY; unless the AC had her freezing or she needed to pee.  I did get $45 but I was in no-man’s land because it was after midnight; LGA was basically done for so I had to drive all the way back via the Williamsburg Bridge.

Nothing cracks me up more than when people realize how short a trip really is, especially when they cram into my cab.  2nd avenue and 6th street to Broadway & Astor Place is basically a 5-minute walk people.  But thanks for the $5.70 after tip.  Even if it was via credit card (sons of bitches).

I’ve significantly reduced the area that I cover when I drive.  I only pick up passengers now south of 42nd street; with the only exceptions being if I’m already uptown and working my way back down.  And my West Side-East Side ratio is about 80%-20% because the West is the Best in Manhattan.  It’s a true story.  So now you know.  My Power 5 Rankings:
1) Meatpacking District
2) 6th avenue
3) 9th avenue
4) Williamsburg West aka the Ludlow-Stanton-Rivington Conundrum
5) Bowery-3rd avenue up to 14th street.

And so on.