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Tag Archives: New York Food Adventures

The Hack as Hero: Part 2

The Village Voice called her “a driver worthy of a superhero comic book” and voted her the best cab driver in New York in 2004. The New York Observer dubbed her “Iris the Fare.” I call this 39-year-old mother of three – who dressed dolls and drove 18-wheelers before she ...

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The Hack as Hero: Part 1

“And each man stands with his face in the light. Of his own drawn sword, ready to do what a hero can.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning Color me romantic. Call me an idealist. Accuse me of being overly sentimental. But I dare you not to be amazed when I tell ...

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A Banker Falls and a Cabbie Rises

What’s your idea of a ‘typical’ New York City cabbie? Is it a heavy-set Russian who’s been driving for generations? A jovial Haitian? A Pakistani with a bluetooth clamped to his ear? How about a recently unemployed banker descended from fallen Hungarian nobility? Ladies and gentlemen, meet Michael Dick. Michael ...

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Punjabi Paradise

A port in a storm, an oasis in the desert, a refuge in the urban jungle – Punjabi Grocery & Deli is all of these, plus DVDs, breath mints, Thai soft drinks, Sikh devotionals and marvelously cheap sustenance. 24 hours a day, this standing room only deli/den serves samosas, roti, ...

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Can You Go Home Again?

New York taxi drivers seem to have different answers to this question. For Vinod Dogra, the taxi astrologer from New Delhi who will “always be hyphenated,” and Ilyas Chaudary, the Pakistani cabbie itching to return to Gujrat to grow vegetables, the answer is a resounding yes. But Leslie Destine, who’s ...

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Adventure in Brief: Mr. Chaudary’s Greasy Spoon

Cabbie name: Ilyas Chaudary Where he comes from: Gujrat, Pakistan Currently resides: Brooklyn Years in New York: 22 Years driving a taxi: 10 Pre-yellow taxi vocations: Gypsy cab driver, cook at a Greek restaurant What he misses about Pakistan: Everything. In 2 years, he’ll retire from cab driving, go back ...

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Two Strikes and a Haitian Feast

Today’s was a hard-fought food quest. After two failed attempts to persuade cabbies to guide us to their favorite spots to eat – taxi driver #1 flat-out refused to reveal his preferred restaurant in Queens, while hack #2 tried to take us to Carmine’s – we climbed into Leslie Destine’s ...

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Adventure in Brief: Nepalese That Tastes Like Home

Cabbie name: Nyima Tsering Age: 29 Home country: Nepal Nationality: Tibetan Currently resides: Elmhurst, Queens Years in New York: 10 Years driving a taxi: 5 What he misses about Nepal: Spending time outside Best thing to do in New York: Play basketball with friends Worst thing to do in New ...

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Diamond in the Bronx

“Do you want to go to the Bronx?” I’d hopped out of the cab on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. (a.k.a. Seventh Ave.) in Harlem, bounded over to La Marmite, discovered it was closed, and returned to report the bad news to Godfred. The taxi driver had spent the last ...

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Fire in Queens

The first thing I noticed when I opened the menu at Tangra Masala – the Indian-Chinese restaurant recommended by Mizanur, the star of last week’s taxi adventure – was the sea of chili pepper symbols. 108 chili pepper symbols. 108 hot and spicy dishes out of 159. (Yes, I counted ...

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