Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Aquamarine Street Litter Basket

MTA buses shift lanes like barbaric, self-entitled whales, and in my book they have the right to, since they have the least selfish purpose of having the most fuel efficient carpools. Meanwhile, taxicabs swerve around them like frantic schools of yellow fish. It's a truly dynamic sea of nimble ambulation on the streets of this city, when you take everything and everyone into account. My adopted homeland of elated madness.

Since I get to take out a different cab each day, and every cab has its own unique set of idiosyncrasies, I'd like to start a brief new series of listing and comparing these quirks.....

#6N14: Driver side door does not open from the outside, even when unlocked. And the front passenger side window doesn't close unless helped manually.

#3H60: The floor cover in the back is busted and its bulky, cumbersome edges are pointed hazardously up at the uncomfortable legs of my passengers, if they didn't already trip over it upon entering. Not a single soul passes through my cab without making annoying remarks about how I should get that fixed. As if it were my car. As if the mechanics at my garage are willing to spend any time on such an 'insignificant' matter. They'd say,"does the car run? Then hit the road jack. We've got some truly sick taxis up in here. You don't wanna trade. We ain't got no time."

I don't mean to disrespect Simon Garber, the founder and president of my garage. Everyone says he such a nice guy. Him and his family emigrated from Russia to Jersey when he was 12. At 17, he started driving a taxi in Manhattan to pay for college. The following year, recognizing potential in the industry, he borrowed money and purchased two medallions. He soon added more medallions and funded growth by establishing a financing arm to offer insurance and loans to drivers. Now with almost 400 taxicabs on the street he is also one of NYC’s largest independent cab company operators. Not to mention his other fleet, the fastest growing taxi garage in Chicago.


  1. Jenine2/26/2009

    Do you usually explain to fares that you lease a different cab each shift? I bet you do, you altruistic educator. 'Ats a sexy brain you got on you.

  2. Back at my old taxi garage, we had this cool, opinionated, semi-cynical mechanic who spent a lot of time building radio-controlled helicopters. He was a former helicopter mechanic, a reader of books, a former taxi driver, and quite amusing to be around, if you didn't mind the occasional absurd racist rant. He slept at the garage in his old taxi, a true behemoth circa 1990 Crown Vic. My favorite quote of his: "Pooor drivers!" delivered with gleeful mock sympathy. I sure do miss the colorful background of driving. When I left for Costa Rica, the mechanic said, "You'll be back."


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