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.


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