Saturday, January 24, 2009
Have you driven past Madison Square Garden lately and noticed the treehouses? I personally feel that even though the artist didn't mean to be cynically sarcastic, it's still mighty audacious of the city to allow these installations while denying homeless people the right to live in them. That's just me. This might be a good conversational piece to have with your passengers, as you taxi them across E.26th, eh? Don't always be so glued to your telephones. It has really created us a bad reputation, especially amongst tourists, who wish they could have a friendly chat with their cabbie. My tips grow exponentially when I choose to engage in even the smallest dialogue. I know, sometimes it takes a huge effort to break the ice, but a comfort zone is worth snapping. And the first thing they always ask once I've established an atmosphere of openness is "who the hell do they talk to all day and night?" Perhaps some of you fellow cabdrivers can answer that. And about the art....
REMINDER: Central Park Drive is HOV 2+ from 72nd to 7 Ave (8-10am/ Mon-Fri)
Sunday, January 18, 2009
On Hudson, just as you cross Canal, if you're traveling on the two rightmost lanes and you continue straight instead of entering the Holland Tunnel (during afternoon rush), there are often cops standing there to pull you over.
Off Bleecker, if you turn unto 7 Av too widely there is often a lucky cop ready to have you for breakfast. Always turn unto the closest lane at that West Village location.
We all know about the FDR North speed trap. Don't go over 40 mph as you approach the Brooklyn Bridge.
Heading out to Rockaway Beach on Cross Bay Blvd., an unmarked cop car hides in the median as you enter the residential zone of Broad Channel. Speed limit is reduced from 50 to 30 mph.
The No Left from Astoria Blvd. unto Crescent St. (7 am-? ) is enforced by one of those interceptor golf carts, as soon as you make the turn.
ON THE RFK:
A Port Authority cop parks on the shoulder of the Queens bound Tri Boro Bridge. He stands right where the lanes begin their decent into Astoria, pointing his radar gun at motorists. The limit there is 40 MPH if I'm not mistaken.
EB 42 if you make a wide right turn unto 2 Av, they often stop 1/2 dozen cars at a time.
EB 34 at 7 Av on Sunday mornings, as soon as it's 8 am, they set up a trap for those who make that right turn. Victims include mostly vacant yellow cabs innocently attempting to see if Madison Square Garden has any fares because the streets are empty. Now this rule is to alleviate congestion caused by heavy pedestrian traffic on the crosswalk, which is non existent at this hour. So WTF? Cabdrivers aren't the ones with money growing on trees in our backyards, if we even have backyards, and money certainly isn't coming out of our ass. Go pick on someone else for your quotas.
P.S.: Don't forget that many yellow cabs are used as undercover police cars. You can point them out because there are usually two big, buff, serious men in the front and no passengers. Their license place often has a different, longer sequence than other taxis.
Click on these links for more help with this:
P.P.S..: I was once sitting vacant at a red light on EB 34 at 7 Av when two cops on foot approached a yellow cab on either front side window because a Penn Station security guard had already asked the cabdriver to leave the No Standing zone (in front of L.I.R.R.). Before the light could turn green the hack sped off and one of the cops jumped into my cab all of a sudden. "Follow that taxi!" It was like out of the movies. He had me run the red at Herald Square and turn the corner at the Empire State. When we caught up to him, he was trying to hide amongst a line of other sitting cabs. Cop jumped out and drew his gun at the sky in anticipation of anything. I got no reward for my efforts and decided to scram when I saw his weapon. Does that make me a traitor to our quasi brothersisterhood of yellow people?
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
The taxi school instructors recommend you purchase a $17 Geographia 5 Borough street atlas, but I would go with one of those folding maps that only cost $5. That way you get a better feel for the city as one whole interconnected thing, while still being able to zoom into a specific street.
And the other suggested taxi driver's guides are expensive and unnecessary as well. Just jot down info you think you might need off of Google. Or here. Why am I being such an anti-consumerist? Well....