I love how after a certain hour the suits are all in their conference cubicles and everyone hailing a cab from that point on is a character of some sort. An elder whose life brims with synchronicity and she glows because of it. The Guatemalan futbol fanatic who brings me up to date on global preparations for world cup 2010 in South Africa. An rt gallery assistant who promises to teach me Mandarin. The Scottish dancer on crutches who lies on the phone about being 5 minutes away for her doctor's appointment, and the FDR Drive that facilitates it from being too far from the truth. Some down-to-earth guy with a feathered hat. An immaculate expedite (minimal use of brakes for any reason and wise grid navigation by maximizing use of traffic light patterns) of a young lady from Essex Market in the LES to the Film Forum in NoCa is rewarded with an 80% tip. An NJ girl appreciates the bright blue jacket compliment, which I spot a 1/2 block away. It's the 1st time she "successfully hails a cab from across 14th street like that".
Finding myself surrounded in a sea of empty cabs with numbered roof lights brightly lit is like having my tail between my legs. Independent, yet humiliated... and seeking to go off on a tangent, ASAP. Technical tip for fellow cabbies: cruise up the Bowery from Delancey to Houston for droves of art zealots exiting this recently opened venue. That one goes out to Aziz, the Moroccan cabbie I met at LGA, who's trying to write a better guide for NYC taxi drivers than the one that's currently offered. He confirmed the intuition which led me to believe that Arabization of northwestern Africa was heralded by the Yemenites. But that does not take away from the fact that the world's greatest accordionists and Salsa musicians are Colombian. And don't forget: no left turns from 57th unto Broadway between 8 and 19:00, unless it's Sunday.