Archive for May, 2011

23
May
11

Waterworks.

Another Saturday night in the Twilight Zone.  The whole doomsday prophecy came and went with a 0.0 magnitude earthquake striking NYC…although it did rain though.

I had just dropped some Eurotrash chick off on Bleeker and MacDougal streets and decided to continue up that annoyingly crowded stretch which almost ensures you of picking up a passenger at 330am.  This chick hails me down just past the light and I have to find a way to pull over; I was gonna allow her in regardless but she felt obliged to ask me anyway because I’m sure a few cabs with their off-duty lights on had already passed her.  Yes I’d be going into Brooklyn, but right in the downtown area at the Mariott right off the Brooklyn Bridge.  Oddly enough, it was merely my 2nd trip into BK that night (on an average Saturday I find myself making at least 4-5 BK trips).

All of a sudden I hear a never ending stream of sniffling.  In my head I’m thinkin “here we go again” and figure this was some case of gettin played by some dude.  Saturday nights + drinks= boyfriend/girlfriend tiff or breakup.  I don’t bother asking right away though.  It’s not until she asks me near Canal street about how to get back on the Jersey Turnpike that I finally get some answers.

Her (crying): I’m so sorry for crying in your cab I know it must be annoying.
DK’s Brain: Yes you do sound pathetic.
DK’s Heart: Show some damn compassion man.
Me: What happened to you if you don’t mind me asking?
Her: I did something really stupid tonight and feel like it’s all my fault…because my friend warned me about it but I still didn’t listen. (cries)
DK’s Brain: Saturday night hijinks…OH BOY.
Me: Like what though?
Her: I drove four hours to meet this guy that I had been talking to for two years…you would have thought that you would know everything about that person over a course of two years…but I guess I was wrong. (cries)
Me: Well damn, sorry to hear that.
Her: And I should have listened to my friend because she warned me but I didn’t listen.
Me: Did you have a gut instinct though?
Her: Yes.
Me: It’s a tough situation because eventually yall were gonna have to meet up but it looks bad on you because you were the one to put the effort in.  Who is he though?
Her: He’s a football player.
DK’s Brain: PLAYA PLAYA
Me: Oh damn.  Professional?
Her: Not really, he plays for a non-profit league.
Me: Sounds fishy.
DK’s Brain: Maybe he’s a professional touch football player.  He probably ain’t shit.
Me: It happens to people though, whether online or in person.  It’s just riskier online because you’re either gonna find gold or concrete.
DK’s Brain: Or in her case another vibrator session when she gets home.
Her: You’re so right.  Thank you for calming me down a lot (crying).

She also thought her drink had been spiked.  I don’t know if she was driving home right then and there at 345am though…I guess she had booked a couple of nights at this hotel too; what a bad look overall.  It wasn’t her night to say the least and havin to drive back four hours (I’m assuming she came in from DC if that’s the case) red-eye style??  Brutal.  I shoulda told her to skype me.

Yo, imagine  if I really asked if I could stop by for a few minutes and “console” her tho?  Nah, I actually never thought of that until I got home myself about an hour and a half later.  It wouldn’t have happened tho.  And so on.

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18
May
11

The Rainbow Hunt.

Driving a cab for nearly 15 months now (anniversary is on Friday), I have found out about many places that even as a NYC native that didn’t know existed or had any interest in going to.  Usually, when people tell me to take them somewhere they just give me the intersection or the address and I think nothing of it.

I just dropped some guy off in Chelsea on 21st street between 8th and 9th avenues.  These two guys saunter towards me and ask me if I’m available (which I am) and then ask me where some spot is. I couldn’t tell you the name they gave me but I think it started with an A.  I started my meter but then turned it off about 10 seconds later because they didn’t know what direction they wanted to go.

Foreigner 1: Do you know any gay bars/clubs around here?
DK’s Brain: The fuck I look like to you??
Me: Umm…honestly no.  I don’t go out of my way looking for them.
Foreigner 2: You sure?  You got internet on your phone?  Can check it out.
DK’s Brain: My poor phone.
Me: Aight lemme check for yall.
(pulls up Bing…then eventually Foursquare to see what’s around there namewise).
DK’s Brain: Never have I ever.

Well, figuring I’m in Chelsea it wasn’t gonna be that difficult anyway to find a gay bar/lounge for them.  But they shoulda just asked someone on the street and they probably woulda pointed them in the right direction anyway…or take them to the “pot of gold” aka Christopher street.  After seeing on Foursquare some lounge had 4 check-ins by people on 24th between 6th and 7th avenues, I opted to take them there.  That was for me, weird.

Of course, I have to give the obligatory “I have no problem with gays” quote.  Because I don’t.  This was just unprecedented to me because I don’t take the time out to know nor care where the gay spots specifically are.  I just know areas really.  And so on.

17
May
11

Drive-Thru?

Friday the 13th.  Typically, 13 is my favorite number and I don’t take much credence to the “bad luck” that that day supposedly brings.  This shift was arguably one of my most frustrating ones though.  I had three successive short-haul trips from JFK (which is the last thing you want on a Friday or Saturday shift) before finally getting a trip into the city.  Then this kid asks me if I can take him to Jersey City & how much it is.  I look in the book and it tells me it’s $44 plus toll.  He tells me that he’ll pay $50 flat (trip + toll + tip).  I was a bit skeptical but since I figured the trip wouldn’t take that long I was cool with that.

Traffic for a Friday night at 1030pm wasn’t too shabby and I got to the Holland Tunnel pretty quickly.  Now, I know he mentioned something about passing a Burger King on his way back to his apartment…but he tells me to turn INTO Burger King.  The fuck?  “I wanna order some food.”  For real though?  On this long-ish line…this could only happen to me on a night like this.  This whole process wastes about 15 minutes of my precious time, time in which I am stewing because the smell is makin me dumb hungry.  I try real hard to avoid eating at those chains because I’m watchin my figure and all that you know?  Anyhow, this dude orders a #2 (I forget what that is) meal, an extra chicken sandwich and a order of Chicken tenders.  Food fit for a king.  Or, a drunken one at that.  You’d think he’d have the decency to ask me if I wanted anything.  Of course not though; even though I would have declined anyway.  Almost $14 worth of junk goin into this poor dude’s system.

Now this dude is eatin some of this food in my car and it’s pissin me off because my stomach is now tellin me stories.  He pays me the $50 and gets out.  I was pissed at him and continued the rest of my worthless shift.  And so on.

13
May
11

Dumbos.

You know certain passengers you’re gonna pick up are gonna be headaches, yet you pick them up anyway because you wanna abide by the rules.  The area near Webster Hall (the 3rd avenue btw 11-14th street strip) isn’t the most ideal area to pick up passengers even though I hang out there almost all the time when I go out.  I pick up these two dudes eatin pizza and as they’re gettin in, all you hear them do is bitch about the space in the cab.  “Ahh damn they ain’t no room back here yall need to do somethin bout this space.”  “It fit like a cop car back here.”  Oh so yall fought the law and the law won huh?

Dude 1: We goin to Brooklyn.
Me: Where?
Dude: Downtown Brooklyn.
Me: Where in Downtown Brooklyn?
Dude 2: Take the Manhattan Bridge
Me: (shakes head)
DK’s Brain: Incompetence 2, Common Sense 0 FINAL.

As I hop on the Manhattan Bridge they tell me about halfway on the bridge that I need to go right off the bridge.  Alright fine…but yall told me yall were goin to downtown.  Last time I checked, downtown BK was the area around Fulton Street, Livingston Street…not under the damn bridges.  That’s DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) you fucks.  Nothin irks me more than when people give me last second directions.  I’m on my right lane exiting and trying to figure out what they wanna do.  GO STRAIGHT they tell me.  GO STRAIGHT.  Yeah dawg the light is red.  It’s fairly simple from there and I drop em off at Bridge and York streets after a cheap $9.10 fare.  I know I ain’t gonna get a tip; I’m just thankful they gettin the fuck out because I was annoyed.  Earlier they had asked me where some club (Promenade) was and I told them it was far from where they were…which was true and I mighta lied to them anyway.

They pay me with $8 in bills and a $1 coin.  Fuck.  I can’t hate though because sometimes when I hop on the dollar van (really the $2 van) I pay them in quarters.  Even though I ain’t acknowledge the dude at all (like I said, I don’t acknowledge non-tippers), he went on a mini-rant talkin about how they need to do somethin about the size of the back of the cabs.  Yeah, like I have any say in the manner…and they approved the cabs for a reason.  “Yo, some fat person gonna get in and they gonna sue bc they can’t fit or have a hard time gettin out…nah mean pap?”

Go to sleep.

And so on.

09
May
11

Young Cougars.

I’m down in Tribeca, nowhere close to DeNiro nor will I be hood forever.  Crusing up 6th ave, all yellow Volkswagen.

Anyhow these four ladies run up to my cab at a green light down here and are heading to the Meatpacking District to grab some dinner.  These girls are loud…and anytime I get loud people in my cab I automatically assume they are Bridge & Tunnel Muh Fuhs.  One of them keeps talkin about how cute and gentlemanly some dude they met at some bar was.  I swear I felt like I was caught up in an episode of Real Housewives of New York with the way they were discussing this guy.

“Did you get his number?”
“Uh, YAH!  I gave him mine too AND I kissed him.”

You get the idea because if I were to type more it’d give me a headache no acupuncturist could relieve.  The strategy was to have this guy come hang out with them later at some MPD spot and they were thinking Maritime Hotel (9th and 16th) and asked me for suggestions.  The fuck I look like?  I’m not an MPD guy whatsoever but hey if you’re looking for somethin more hip since yall considered Maritime to be “old news” then go to the Standard Hotel (13th and Washington).  Fuck the overrated as hell Gansevoort Hotel (13th and 9th).

Blonde Girl: “Damnit I’m 34 years old and I need to have more fucking sex with guys before I settle down and get married.”

I applauded her for that comment and her female friends also did the same, getting a kick out of the fact their cab driver clapped for her.  Well shit, what you want me to do, put a gas face on?  I joke about cougarlife.com but the lady that was sittin in the front with me wasn’t as enthused.

Her: 34 is NOT a cougar.
Me: What is it then?  To me it is.
Her: Not at all, cougar is like 40-45+.
Me: I’m 26 so 34 is cougar-ish…ok fine fine that’s a kitten.
Her: (shakes head in disagreement)
DK’s Brain: You meant PUMA.
Me: Meh, age and height ain’t nothin but numbers anyway if that makes you feel better.
Her: True…true.

And that was pretty much it.  Lately it’s been the blondes in the groups that have been the most vocal, I dunno what gives.  They looked too much like socialites tho and sounded as such because they were talkin about dudes + finance sector.  Unless you can get a hookup on stock tips, prices on precious metals and so forth…the whole schlep ain’t shit.  My 2 cents (no tip).  And so on.

07
May
11

Friday Night Lights.

I understand the confusion some people have with the pronunciation of Houston Street.  It’s “HOW-ston” rather than “HUE-Ston”.  However, to the blonde chick asking her boyfriend what the difference between the two of them are…think about if a “to-MAY-to” is different from a “to-MAA-to” and then holla back at me.

Intelligent conversations do occur in my cab and I had one with a fellow African-American whom I took to 123rd and Lenox from midtown.  It all began when he asked me what I meant by my sign and I explained it to him, then he told me that he believes we actually did kill him (which I don’t).  But we focused on other topics; namely how the media shapes our thinking since we’re so used to getting our news from one source- thinking it’s the ultimate source for information.  We also discussed how we try so hard to fit in, but in a material/capitalistic way as opposed to Japan how they’re culturally/morally brought up to fit in.  He was 100% on point when he mentioned our complacency noting the last time especially African-Americans stood up for something and actually rioted was during the Rodney King days.  Now it’s been reduced (overall as people) to blogging and online petitions…but no one going out on the streets and doing anything (unlike what they did in Egypt, Syria, etc).

These three dudes I picked up at Delancey Street heading to 49 Grove (which looked all poppin with the red carpet and just the bouncer standing there lookin hella bored) wanted a shoutout on here and I’ll give it to yall.  One of them has a blog you can check out here.  Hopefully yall had luck goin there on a non-gay night (as yall feared it was gonna be a gay night).  It wasn’t too long of a ride, but one of them told me a story about how a cab driver had a portable TV and was trying to watch a Giants’ playoff game while droppin the kid back off.  He was high as well ha.  Don’t worry guys, I’ll keep my sobriety to a maximum on my shifts.

I pick up these three kids on 6th and 52nd near the infamous Chicken and Rice.  One has to assume they just had some from the Holy Grail of Halal.  I noticed two of them had Greek letters on and I didn’t wanna jump to conclusions really quickly but I had a feeling they were in my fraternity (TKE- Tau Kappa Epsilon).  So I let it rock as I took them to South Ferry and bumpin Shade 45.  Normally I’d hop on the FDR but since it was 230 in the morning you just slingshot down 5th avenue to Park Avenue South which turns into Broadway.  After hearin them talk about the potential they had of dominating bitches at the spot they were at, I drop them off and as they go to pay, I ask them what fraternity they were in.  When I tell them I’m a brother too and prove it, they lose it.  Honestly, if I were a passenger I woulda been stunned also.  They’re brothers at College of Staten Island; I’m one from NYU and they just ask me a couple quick questions.  “TKE RULES THE WORLD!” one of them says.  Yes sir.  But learn how to tip tho.

I’m always skeptical of taking passengers to the Bronx.  I detest going up there.  Almost every cab driver does.  I’ve likely explained this before a long time ago.  This dude asks if I can take him up to 204th and Grand Concourse from 91st and Columbus.  I cringe for a minute but then realize it’s 4am anyhow and that area of the BX isn’t too bad so I let him rock.  All it took was 20 minutes to get there; which was pretty surprising but not really.  The surprising thing?  His 20% tip.  The Bronx is usually the worst tipping borough, but my last two fares up there have been on point.

Word.  And so on.

06
May
11

Musical Chairs.

It’s a concrete jungle out there.

I just dropped off some chick on 7th avenue south between Charles and 10th streets at some bar (I can’t remember its name right now).  I see a blonde girl standing at the opposite corner but initially I didn’t think she needed a cab, until I pulled away from my spot.  I get my way to that corner (there were no cars on that block so I was safe to do my thing) and she proceeds to try to get in.

Suddenly, I see this guy in glasses running over thinking that because I’m looking straight up that he’s gonna get the benefit of the doubt.  I forget that my doors automatically lock so I’m trying to unlock them for the girl.  Somehow, they both open the door and hop in the cab at the EXACT SAME TIME.  Ahh shit, we got ourselves a little situation.  This looks like some bumped into each other classic movie type shit.  Now, I saw the woman first so I already in my mind knew whom I was gonna drop off.  The dude is trying to plead his case to the woman “I’m going to Grand Central come onnn, I got a train to catchhhh.”  She don’t really care because she’s going to Wall Street and Water down in “FiDi” (I despise that hyphenation by the way).  Time for DK to get caught in the middle of this mini firestorm.

Me: So what’s it gonna be, yall gonna share this cab or somethin?  Yall are going in opposite directions tho.
DK’s Brain: Blonde.
Girl: Wall and Water…or Grand Central?
Me (no hesitation): Wall and Water.
Guy: AHHHH COME ON! I’m running late.
DK’s Brain: So fuckin what.
Girl: HA!

I don’t feel bad about this at all.  I drop her off and I find her passed out ha.  Trying to come to her senses, she thinks she’s given me a $20 for her $11.10 fare when she only gave me a $5.

Her:  Lemme get $5 back.
(I hand her the $5 she gave me)
Me: You only paid me $5 tho.
Her: No I gave you a $20.
DK’s Brain: Get on that Motel 6 shit and leave the light on for her.
(Turns on light so she can see)
Me: You got some damn good sleep tho I’m jealous.
Her: Oh my God you have no idea (gives me the $20 now).

And that was that.  I’m sure everyone else in that position woulda picked up the girl over the guy too.  And so on.