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Tag Archives: into the driver’s seat

From the Driver’s Seat: Bits of Light

light taxista bryant park

This weekend marks six months since I started driving a yellow cab in New York City. I may still be a rookie, but I know one thing: I never would have survived any of my shifts without at least one instance of light.

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Two Lessons and Terrible Tacos (Part 2)

reality drives 1st ave

You can learn a lot about a person by eavesdropping on their cell phone calls. And when someone initiates a chain of calls from the back seat of my cab, I feel no shame about listening in. I may be invisible to some of my passengers, but they're never invisible to me.

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From the Driver’s Seat: Hysterical Bride, Repeated Pita

Wilfredo repairing my busted brake light. Thanks to him, I now know to check the Daily News on Fridays to get updates on weekend street closures.

I wasn't sure why the cop started flashing his lights at me when I turned left onto 72nd St. from Park Avenue, but I decided to let the hyperventilating bride-to-be in the passenger seat ("We're getting PULLED over?!") do the talking when he sauntered up to my window.

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From the Driver’s Seat: Lady Power & Korean Fast Food

Taxis waiting for passengers at the Port Authority bus terminal. My cab's at the front of the line.

It may have only lasted 20 seconds, but the rendezvous with the lady taxi driver on E.16th St and Union Square West on Sunday was enough to make me feel as if I actually belonged among the ranks of New York cabbies. We were both stuck in the traffic jam ...

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From the Driver’s Seat: Rushed Grandmas and Dogmatic Sausage

dogmatic path

I never suspected that the two little old Italian ladies I picked up last week could raise my blood pressure more than a banker headed for Wall Street. After dropping off the nonne, I turned on my off-duty light, sifted through food recommendations from my passengers and ended up face to face with lamb sausage.

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From the Driver’s Seat: Happy Passengers and Ice Cream

If you served gelato this good, you'd smile like that, too.

I could've picked up more fares after Alice, but I didn't want to. I wanted to end the shift on a high note, the way I used to leave the milongas in Buenos Aires after a beautiful tango, the way I like to save the best thing on my plate for last...before ice cream.

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From the Driver’s Seat: April Fool (with Tamales)

My taxi under what I thought was a taxi stand sign. Squad cars behind me.

The sun was out as I cruised down 2nd Avenue, and that's when I spotted two ladies pulling chicken tamales from a steamer on the corner of E. 97th St. Their steam warmed my face as I unfolded the banana leaves. I wanted them to be amazing. I wanted them to make up for the parking ticket that had left a bitter taste in my mouth.

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From the Driver’s Seat: Bella’s Trip to Chinatown

It was far and away the most hellish drive of the shift. It began in the post-circus crowd that was pouring out of Madison Square Garden and culminated in an impossible bottleneck at the Holland Tunnel entrance. I'll never know if my passengers made it to the dim sum I wanted them to try...

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