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New York Food Adventures

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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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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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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The Greatest Frank of All?

They’d run out of lasagne by the time I got to Frankie Franks last Friday. An hour on the subway and twenty minutes trekking through the Bronx to taste the dish that cabbie Mohamed had recommended with so much enthusiasm had led to a dead end. Of course I was ...

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An Exile’s Cheesecake and the Lasagne that Wasn’t

This post was sponsored by Vancouver Taxi. I was a few blocks from the Ferragosto celebration in the Bronx’s Little Italy when I found Mohamed Baba parked at a de facto cab stand on 3rd Avenue near Fordham University. Assuming I was unlikely to find a yellow taxi in this ...

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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things (So Far)

A summer of taxi adventures in New York City has led to some astoundingly delicious things to eat. In the interest of exploiting remembered pleasures, here are my seven favorite cabbie-recommended dishes to date – in random order. If you’re anywhere near the Biggest Apple, I hope you have a ...

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Cool Cabbie, Top Ramen

A film editor by day who drives his father’s taxi two nights a week, Eric Rodriguez keeps his distance from cyberspace and the world of perpetual communication (He’s not on Facebook or Twitter. He only got a cell phone two years ago because his girlfriend insisted). Lucky for my co-adventurer ...

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