Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I drove both Monday and last night.  I've started noticing certain things happening over and over.  Monday, I kept having two people hail me and then me make different stops.  Then I kept making the same stops, pretty much.  It was weird.  I had never been down to Battery Park City in the cab before and then within the span of two nights, i had made several trips down there.  And thankfully every person who I had taken down there has been very kind in helping to direct me since I have limited knowledge of the area. 

I had a nice conversation on Monday with two ladies who I dropped off down there.  They seemed like they were having a lovely night on the town and we talked about how nice the weather was that evening, jazz music and life as a taxi driver.  It is rides like that that really make my night go by much quicker and more pleasantly!  And made up for the rude, entitled jerk I encountered earlier in the day.
The diner from "Seinfeld", passed by on Monday afternoon
I managed to get a cab really early on Monday, so I was uptown much earlier than I usually am.  I was driving up York when I see a woman hailing me from about a block away.  I first put on my right indicator, and then when I am a little closer, I put on my hazards.  I pull over a bit, but cannot go all the way to the curb since the woman who is hailing me is still in the street and if I were to try, I would hit her, and that is just bad for business.  Now, at this point, there are no other cars going in the same direction except one, right behind me.  Now despite my overly fair warning, and trying to move over, and the fact that the guy had two unobstructed lanes in which to proceed, he honks his horn, which he had modified to sound like a siren(note: NOT A COP).  He then pulls up beside me and rolls down his window and in the most condescending voice while rubbing the bridge of his nose gives me a "WHY cant you PEOPLE pull alllll the way over?  can you PLEASE explain this to me?"  I laughed in his face.  Seriously.  You had fair warning, no obstructed paths and I didn't want to run my customer over.  Do you THINK I maybe had a reason?  And seriously, WHY are you taking it personally.  Just drive around and stop thinking that the rest of NYC needs to do everything to accommodate you!  Seriously!  I have been lucky.  I haven't encountered many outrageous assholes.  But some people....

Monday night i was nearing the end of my shift and was hoping for that one last big fare.  And I was in Chinatown when a guy hails me and asks me to go to the Bronx.  I told him to hop in!  This was the fare I was waiting for.  He was really nice and we had a nice conversation all the way to the Bronx.  he even helped give me directions back to the city from where we were.  So we get to his destination and he is paying by credit card.  All of a sudden, my meter and terminal start acting up.  But eventually, he swipes the card and a receipt prints out.  It wasn't a signature receipt which i thought was odd for it being the amount it was, but i thought maybe that was the type of card or something.  I give him the receipt and he gets out.  And that's when i notice the meter has reset, like everything is paid, but my terminal is still saying waiting for the card.  So it was frozen.  I tried resetting it, and nothing happened.  Still said the same.  I tried pressing various buttons.  Eventually it went away, so I figured it went through.  I get back to my garage, and when you end your shift, the meter is supposed to print out a end of shift receipt.  It didn't.  I knew something was up with my system.  When I go to settle up at the garage, I see on my credit card details, the Bronx fare was missing.  I found out yesterday that I must have hit "no charge" when I was trying to  reset the system, so the credit card didn't go through and at this point, there isn't anything I can do.  Great.  So I gave a guy a free ride to the Bronx. 

Cars waiting to be dispatched at my garage
Last night, I started out at JFK.  They were so empty, they sent out a bulletin to the drivers that they needed cars.  I was there for all of 5 minutes before getting dispatched to the terminal.  Picked up a gentleman and his parents from Paris.  They were very nice, although didn't speak much to me.  But when I delivered them to their destination, the father gave me a big handshake as I helped them with their bags.  They did also seep to appreciate the view from the bridge on the way into the city.  It really was breathtaking.
On the short line at JFK
Things were slow for a while.  Then I got a ride to Brooklyn.  Once in Brooklyn, i ended up getting two more fares before heading back into Manhattan only to be hailed right away by a hipster couple to Williamsburg.  And after driving them over the bridge to their destination(which they changed several times, mind you) they didn't give a tip.  Thanks guys!  And you wonder why some drivers don't want to drive you to Brooklyn!  Douchebags.

Got back to the city and again, I get hailed and go back to Brooklyn!  At this point it was getting a little ridiculous.  I also was starting to feel a little under the weather(as I write this I am in bed with the sickies).  I decided I would drive until I got taken to Brooklyn again.  I got back into the city and was in the West Village when a girl hails me and asks to go to Astoria.  It's not Brooklyn, but close enough.  At that point I decided to call it a night, even if it was a little early.  I dropped her off in Astoria and turned on my "off duty" light and headed back to the garage. 

View of the Empire State Building from the Manhattan Bridge
I originally planned on working today before my body rebelled.  I think its a combination of this time of year along with my body acclimating to this new schedule, but it is not happy.  Hopefully its over with quickly so I can hit the road again soon!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pip Pip Cherio

Drove a day shift today.  I realize now, I am a night driver.  Today was rough.  Aside from my bad morning and commute to the garage, the day was slower than I would have liked, and traffic was a pain in the ass all day.  Nobody was unpleasant, but i just wasn;t feeling it today.  One of the small redeeming qualities of my day was this:

It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful the city is, day or night.  Going over any of the bridges into the city always takes my breath away.  I'll count that as a small victory for today.

I did notice a disproportionate ammount of ex-pats that I drove today.  Seriously.  I had about 15 fares.  At least five of those were Brits who weren't tourists.  It was odd.  Really odd.

Really, not anything exciting to write about today.  Day shifts are boring compared to the nights.  So, in the meantime, enjoy this photo of my new manicure.  I know there isn't any yellow, but it's got checkers like the old taxis used to have.  So, close enough, right?

Checker Nails on the Girly Cabbie, the girliest of cabbies.
Oh!  and also as I mentioned yesterday, I rode in a tiny Prius cab with my sister.  It was tiny.  But I took a Taxi Snapshot too.  So there is that.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Candy Cabbie

Found this article a few days ago and thought I would share.  It would be fun to wind up in this guy's cab...

LINK:  NYC Candy Cabbie

And on a side note, today I was in Manhattan with my sister and we hailed a taxi and got one of the newer, smaller cabs.  Holy crap!  They are so small and uncomfortable!  And they want to phase out the Crown Vics!  Ridiculous.  Crown Vics you can fit three people in the back COMFORTABLY... It was just me and my sister in the back of the little cab and it felt cramped...  ugh!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Run of the Mill

After a good night shift on Sunday, I decided to work a few more night shifts this week.  Monday, I made sure to get to the garage nice and early.  And it payed off, too!  I was in a cab by 3pm!  For those not in the know, most taxi shifts go from 4-4 or 5-5.  So that means at about 3pm, most cabs go off duty to head back to their garages.  This also means that for the few cars who are on duty, this is big money time.  It is always good when there are more passengers than taxis.  And that happens until about 6pm when most of the night shift drivers make it into the city.  So that was a three hour advantage.  And to top it off, I got a fare on my way into the city too!  So, double bonus!

Monday night was busy.  Surprisingly so.  But I found most people weren't up to chatting or anything.  So even though I had over 30 passengers, only a small handful wanted to talk.  I did pick up one couple down on Bowery after the gentleman hailed me with one impressive whistle.  They were very nice and clearly they were having a good night.

I was driving around the Times Square area a little later, cruising for passengers.  Coming up to a corner, i thought some other cab was trying to edge in to cut me off until the driver rolls down the window and calls over to me "Hey lady!".  I looked over and there was another girl driver.  She was very excited to pass me by.  We managed to chat for a few moments and exchange numbers at the light before we took off in different directions.  She was very sweet and told me to give her a ring if I ever needed any help.  So nice!  I forget how rare we are in the industry.  According to an article I read the other day, there are only about 170 female drivers out of the over 46,000 male drivers in the city.  It is nice that she reached out to me.  Its like a little club in the midst of this huge boy's club.

Anyways, after a while things got a little slower.  I was cruising the West Village(which terrifies me less and less every shift I've driven) and I picked up three girls to go waaaay uptown.  Then as I was headed back down Broadway, a guy hails me.  He gets in and says we are going to Astoria.  I told him no problem, but he would have to help direct me a bit once we got to Queens.  He tells me to take the lower level on the 59th st bridge and then he can direct me from there.  So I drive to the bridge and go over it on the lower level.  As we are almost on the other side, I turn to ask him where we go next.  He was fast asleep.  And had headphones on.  So I had to holler at him to wake him up.  I ask him again where to go and he tells me to take the lower level at which point I say "uhhhh, yeah, we are already in Queens".  He is confused for a few moments before he gets his bearings and directs me where we need to go.  Finally I get him to his destination.  And after all that and an almost $25 fare, he gives me a dollar tip.....  Thanks, buddy!

JFK Central Taxi Lot
I didn't drive on Tuesday, but I did last night.  I found out at the beginning of my shift that the JFK lot was pretty empty, so I headed over to the airport.  It was my first time there in a cab, so I was a little confused as to how things worked.  But I managed to get it sorted and got dispatched to Terminal 5.  I got to the terminal and within a few moment I had a young guy come up to the car.  I got out to help him put his bags in the car and he asks me if I knew where Coney Island Ave. and Corteleyou Rd were.  I laughed and told him I grew up around the corner from there and he was happy that he wouldn't have to direct me every step of the way.  We had a nice ride up Linden from the airport too talking about everything from iPhones to mixtapes and how the neighborhood had changed over the past few years.  And by the time we made it there i had a nice chunk of change for the first hour of work. 

The rest of the evening wasn't very eventful.  It wasn't crazy busy, but it wasn't dead either.  Like Monday night, not that many people were feeling chatty.  So I just had my radio to listen to as i made my way around the city.  Later in the evening, I got a text from my parents.  They had been to a concert and if I was in the area, I could pick them up and take them home.  I was in the area, so I gave them a ride.  It was fun!  I got to show off my cab(which for the evening, wasn't one of the nicest ones I've driven thus far).  And after dropping them off at home, I even had a fare in Brooklyn on my way back.

One lady I had a nice chat with about what I've learned in my short time in the taxi industry and we got talking about bikes, and in particular those goddamn rickshaw bike taxis.  These things drive me crazy!  They just drive wherever they feel like, cut into traffic without signaling and even drive the wrong way down busy streets.  And what I have assessed over my short time driving, is I HATE THESE GUYS!!!!  They are seriously dangerous and I don't understand people who think its fun to take them.  I would be terrified.  I don;t think they have any sort of regulations and if they do, they aren't enforced. So, yeah.  Ranty rant rant!!!!

So far, I am enjoying driving nights much more than days.  The money is better, the traffic is better, and the city is so much prettier at night.  I am finally taking a little break for a couple of days.  I need it.  Driving is fun, but it is exhausting.
View from behind the meter driving into Times Square

Monday, October 15, 2012

I like the nightlife, I like to boogie.

Tonight I worked my first ever night shift.  I was a little apprehensive about nights, but my mind was put at ease after this evening.

I got a fare headed into Manhattan from in front of the new Barclay's Center.  This was awesome because instead of sitting in traffic into the city for free, I was getting paid for it.  And the two guys who hopped in were really nice and rather entertaining.  Apparently we are all going bungee jumping in the Bahamas some day.  Good times.

From there on it was pretty steady all night.  And the fact that it was Sunday night, the traffic was pretty clear.  I picked up a nice old couple downtown and drove them to the Upper East Side.  They were very sweet and put a smile on my face.  The woman said she thought I was a very good driver.  I wish they were my grandparents I could go over to their house and eat fresh baked cookies......  okay, okay...  too far....  but they were very nice. 

I found myself downtown again and tried hitting up the Seaport for a fare.  Didn't find one, but as I was about to get back on the highway, I was hailed by a group of people with cases and cases of wine.  I guess they were bartending for some function that supposedly Andrew Zimmern was at.  They seemed like they had been partaking in the wine as well, but were nice too.  And when they got out and unloaded all their wine, the one guy who seemed like the boss handed me a bottle of wine.  Very nice!

I picked up a group of very clearly high school kids on 14th.  They were rushing to get back before their curfew.  I thought it was adorable.  They were very much drunk or high or both.  But they were nice and asked nicely if they gave me a good tip if they could play some loud music.  So I let them.  They were having fun and made me laugh.  Ahhhh, high school........

I had a fare from Times Square to Queens and decided to call it a night.  It was almost 2 and i was starting to get sleepy.  So I headed back to the garage.  Overall, it was a good night.  Not super busy, but nowhere near dead.  Made a nice chunk of change for the evening and I had interesting passengers and no bad traffic.  Can't complain!  Contemplating working again tomorrow night.  Gonna go to the garage.  Hopefully I'll get a car.  Until then, enjoy this blurry photo of the Chrystler Building I took from my cab:

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Just stumbled upon this video.  Watch it!

Women Cab Drivers


I realize I haven't posted in a while.  Partially due to having to leave town for two weeks on a pretty last minute trip to Florida.  And then the few times I have worked since being back, things were kinda mundane.  Nothing really interesting to speak about.  I did have a few nice people last weekend.  Had a very sweet family from New Zealand who I wanted to join their vacation.  They sounded like they had the most fun week planned. And they were really sweet.  Also had another family from, I think they said Philly.  Drove them from midtown down to Ground Zero.  Had a nice conversation with the father who sat in the front.  It really makes a day go by much faster when you have nice conversation to get you through.

I drove yesterday, and then promptly got home and passed out.  So my update is coming a day late.  But overall, yesterday was pleasant with the exception of the end of the day, but I will get to that in a minute.

Started my morning off with a fare as soon as I was pulling off the Manhattan bridge.  Picked up a young couple headed to Wall St.  From there i caught another gentleman headed up to Mid Town.  As I was dropping him off on 34th street, I see the hoards of costumed people headed over to the Javits Center.  Comic Con!  I really wanted to pick up some costumed people all day.  Or at least pick up a fair to the Con so i could get a better look.  But I dropped off the guy and ended up going up town.

Picked up a lady on the Upper West Side looking to go up to the commuter train station on 125th.  She was really nice.  Had a nice conversation with her about art, summer camps, and Connecticut.  Really, a very nice ride. And as soon as she got out, I picked up a guy headed almost exactly back to where I had just picked up the previous lady.  It amused me.

For a while I bounced around, picking up a fare here and there.  Nothing really remarkable.  But I didn't feel like I wasn't picking up anyone, so that's always a nice feeling.  Nothing is worse than driving around for ages with nobody hailing you. 

Eventually I found myself in the Midtown West area and thought i would try and head over towards the Con and maye pick up a fare of people leaving.  As I headed down 41st street, I look out my window and walking down the street in full costume, I see a familiar face.  One of my co-workers from my other job!  I roll down the window and yell her name and pull over to say hi.  Her costume was amazing(the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland) and I was very impressed with her handi-work.  We chatted for a minute or two, but then I was off.

In front of the Con, I picked up a couple headed downtown.  I asked them how the Con was, and they said it was cool.  They seemed like they just went for the expreience rather than being big comic fans.  We talked about it for a little while when they offered me their passes since they were done with them for the day and thought maybe I could use them after my shift.  Awesome!  Really sweet of them. 

I picked up a few more fares before deciding to call it a day.  But by the time I went off duty, I was uptown and had to race to get downtown and back to Brooklyn.  This is where my day went south.  I managed to get downtown very quickly and was thankful.  But then I hit Canal St.  It was a PARKING LOT!  AND I got stuck in the middle lane and couldn't maneuver my way out.  Although I don't think it would have done me any good if I had.  The Brooklyn Bridge was closed one way all weekend, so a lot of the traffic is diverted to the Manhattan Bridge.  Which means all approaches to the bridge are screwed.  I just happened to be in an awful position and not much I could do about it.  It took me over an hour to get down Canal.  And the traffic cop who let every other lane pass thru the light except the one i was in, did not help.  It was hell.  And every other person on the street kept trying to hail me despite me having my "Off Duty" lights on and doors locked and clearly on my way to the bridge.  Also, WHY would you want to hail a cab in the middle of a traffic jam?  So you could pay to sit where you were?  People are nuts.

Just for Reference, my TAXI SNAPSHOT of the day illustrates my frustration.

By the time I got out of the jam and back to Brooklyn and my garage, I was over an hour late with my car.  Thankfully, they were understanding of the traffic situation and didnt charge me for having the cab late.  Which is good.  Because even though i felt like i had people all day, I didnt have any big fares and didnt make all that much.  So a late charge would have not been good. 

Also, I need to make myself a map or something of lady-friendly bathrooms with parking nearby.  I have only a small handful of places where I know I can make a pit-stop and sometimes those places are far away from me.  Any NYC ladies, when you gotta go, where do you go?

I am driving later today, doing my first ever evening shift.  Sunday evenings are supposedly good to drive.  Light traffic, no turning rules and lots of people coming back from the weekend, so its busy.  I'll be sure to not leave you all hanging for as long.