I gave my father a lift from home (Brooklyn) to his job site on Sixth and Spring at 6:30 one recent morning. He normally does not work in Manhattan, so he uses his truck and finds easy parking in the outer boroughs. But when the job site happens to be in the city, he tries not to hassle with driving and parking. However, he still has too lug all of his heavy tools on the subway, which is a pain, so I pick him up if I can.
I had begun my shift at 3:50 and I was hoping not to lose the momentum of business when the time came to go fetch him. My prayers were answered when, in the minutes leading up to the deadline, a fare appeared out of nowhere, asking to go to where else than Brooklyn. Thanks to being in the right place at the right time, my shift did not skip a beat.
Dad and I shared a lovely sunrise back over the bridge. I told him about two unlikely fares in a row that I had come across before dawn. Passengers from Haiti come along an average of once a month or so. That morning I was blessed with two separate ones within an hour. The first a woman crossing 34th from First to Eighth to catch an uptown A train. Her son was having a baby at the hospital and she expressed her disappointment and reluctance to be a grandmother just yet. Then I picked up a man my age who begged if we could put his bicycle in the trunk.
Little did he know that he had just hailed one of the only cabbies in town who is just itching to transport the commonly rejected, or at least unprofessionally and unkindly served patrons of the taxi world: pets, unusual cargo, bicycles, blacks, blacks with bicycles, the outer borough-bound, homosexuals, stranded tourists with flights to catch, people who speak no English, the emotionally unstable, physically disabled, elderly, improperly dressed, drugged (as long as they don't barf or piss in the cab), etc.
And later on that day I spotted an accident involving a taxicab and a brand new BMW on Park and 48th. As you can see below, I tried to get a good shot of them, but the incessant flow of traffic wouldn't allow it. I pulled up to a spot next to a one-lane deep construction barrier where I wasn't obstructing anyone and proceeded to walk back a few feet with camera in hand. All of a sudden a stern gruffness sounded off in the distance. "You can't leave it there!", barked a uniformed guard from in front of the JP Morgan headquarters. Right then I realized that I posed a perceived threat to homeland security. Oops. Back into the cab and I was off again.
Speaking of accidents involving taxicabs, a truly rare incident considering how many of them are always out in this city, here is a clear shot of one from above.....