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Monthly Archives: October 2009

Boris, Eduard and Two Kinds of Heartbreak

Two taxi rides, one Russian and one Uzbeki-Persian-Jewish cabbie added up to a couple of mind-bending stories, zero lunch, and two tantalizing restaurant recommendations. Boris – who was born in “a small town in Russia called Moscow” and used to fly planes for Aeroflot – told me that he eats ...

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Into the Driver’s Seat: Tips from a Veteran

The march toward my yellow cab license continues – just one more trip to the DMV, finger printing, notarizing, and four hours at the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) to process my application. Then (hopefully) the TLC will give me a ticket to taxi school, where I’ll spend 24 hours ...

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To Little Odessa with Oleg

A former coal mining engineer from Moscow, Oleg Zaretskiy came to Brooklyn in 1990 and eventually brought his entire family to the United States from Russia. Oleg has driven more than a million miles over 16 years as a cab driver, and now he can barely stand to be behind ...

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Souvlaki and a Second Strike of Lightning

After five blocks in motion and 15 minutes of curbside conversation, José Pego finally decided I’d better try the lamb souvlaki at Opa! The cabbie – who emigrated to New York as a teenager, dropped out of NYU and has been driving a taxi for 32 years – was born ...

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Into the Driver’s Seat?

For those of you who read this blog on a regular basis, please forgive me. I know I’ve been inconsistent about posting recently – and I know this is a huge no-no among those who dictate the rules of the blogosphere. But I’ve got an excuse that just might make ...

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Adventure in Brief: Return to Haandi

When I asked Kadri Sayed what his favorite thing about New York was, he slapped the steering wheel and unleashed his words with enthusiasm: “This is a multicultural city. Everyone says I’m American. It’s beautiful. We love New York. You have different people from different backgrounds, and we can live ...

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The Joy of Jamaican

Though three days passed between my taxi ride with Constance Marie Barnes and the trip to her favorite Jamaican restaurant, the meal at The Door felt like a seamless continuation of the easy warmth I found in her cab. The restaurant was packed with a well-dressed, after-church crowd when my ...

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Constance Marie and The Door to Jamaica

When she’s not driving a yellow cab or working toward her nursing degree, Constance Marie Barnes makes a potato salad “that can slap your mama,” prays for her passengers, and goes to McDonald’s for one reason: their bathroom. The pint-sized cabbie from Queens – who would go vegan if it ...

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