Monday, November 19, 2007


Bushwick was the first neighborhood I called home when I moved to New York. And in that same corner of Brooklyn is where I found housing affordable enough to establish a suitable address for my little sister, her two schoolmates, and our mother... all new transplants from Florida. Living under the same roof since August, we've adapted well, and maximized the occupant capacity with the arrival of my father. It's a commonwealth consisting of three college students, an electrician uprooted from the tropics thanks to economic upheavals, a social worker/housekeeper who can't live without her adult children, and a yellow cabbie who has postponed world travel plans to provide the aforementioned people with general sustenance until they can stand on their own ten feet.

It's been seven months since I jumped back into the taxi profession full force, and a lot has changed since I first got my hack license (last year). GPS is now in the cabs and well, every handful of shifts feels like a half decade's worth of hands on experience with a vast spectrum of socioeconomic anthropology and urban clockwork in this unique city. I keep a notebook of mentionable adventures and serendipities encountered while on duty, which I plan to share on this blog, inspired by fellow cab driver Melissa Plaut, who posts her stories on

So here we are, embarking on our first full winter season ever as a family unit. We've come along on a counterclockwise rotation around the nation. From L.A. in 1984 to Houston in 1993, to West Palm Beach in 1998, to a post 9.11 big apple. And all the while there was nothing I wanted more than to circle this planet on a bicycle (so to speak). The first rain check that got in the way was college. Then it was paying off college loans as 'steadfastly to avoid interest' as possible. A quick glimpse of South America and now it's back to work, cause I won't allow financial trouble in the family to prevent my little sister from going to the best university for the field she wants to study. And now matters are made worse with the advent of higher monthly mortgage payments and a recession in Florida that is making remunerative employment scarcer for working class people like my parents.

Luckily, being a yellow cabbie in New York is so magnanimous and temerarious that it eases, or numbs the psychological burden of a seventy some odd hour workweek. Upcoming entries will zoom in on genuine moments inside (and outside) the 13,087th taxicab as it expedites human beings uptown, downtown, and across town.

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