Thursday, September 22, 2005
I was away for a few days and was scheduled to return to work tonight. But I just got a call from the garage that they already have too many drivers for the day, and would I mind not coming in? I never really mind not working, except I am, of course and as usual, desperate for money. So now I'm not scheduled to work until Sunday, though I'm gonna try to get them to give me a cab on Saturday night as well. This means I don't really have any new pictures to post or stories to tell. I'm digging up the dregs here with this picture of the foot bath in the women's bathroom at the JFK holding lot. At least I
think it's a foot bath. The only reason I assume this is because I've seen men washing their feet in a similar contraption in the unisex bathroom at Laguardia's US Airways holding lot. From the looks of it, this foot bath in the separate and pristine women's bathroom at JFK remains unused. Perhaps I'll use it next time I'm there and try to figure out what the point might be.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
This guy was driving a black Jaguar with Pennsylvania plates. He almost hit me when he ran an all-way stop sign on W. 13th and Washington. But it was kind of him to pose so nicely for the camera.
Sometimes Billy, the neighborhood lush, greets me from under the stairs in my building with a loud snore when I arrive home at night.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
The UN General Assembly opened today, causing major gridlock on the east side, so I wasn't too upset when my second fare was to JFK. It did, however, screw up my entire night. It took an hour to get there, and then I sat in the taxi lot for another two hours. Still, the JFK Central Taxi Hold lot is a pretty awe-inspiring place. It's just one enormous lot, as opposed to Laguardia's separate little lots. At full capacity, it holds about 500 taxis. (Click here to see what it looks like from above when it's about half full. You might want to zoom in to view it better.)
To pass the time, drivers play backgammon and dominos, but mostly they just stand around and shoot the shit. They also buy food in this little building, which is a coffee shop.
And behind the coffee shop, when the weather is warm enough, they lay down mats and pray. In the winter, the praying takes place inside.
This fence is at the far end of the lot. The planes land practically next to us. I was standing here when a cab stopped on the other side on its way to a terminal. There's really no reason for a cab to stop here as it's a roadway and the drivers are usually speeding along it trying to get to the terminals as fast as they can. When I peeked inside this cab to see what was up, I saw the driver pointing his dick into a cup, peeing. Then he dumped the cup on the roadway and drove off.
This is what he left behind.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
In addition to drivers from New Jersey, I also hate car service drivers. This guy refused to let me over and caused me to lose a fare. The thing about car service drivers is, half the time, they're drunk. Seriously. If you take car services regularly enough, you should know this. There's a 24-hour Indian restaurant in Queens that caters primarily to taxi and car service drivers. On a shelf behind the counter are huge jugs of White Horse scotch, which they pour into paper coffee cups and mix with Canada Dry club soda. More than once I've seen a car service driver come in and do a shot with the waiter before taking his little paper-cup cocktail back to his black Lincoln and continuing on his shift.
Traffic was heavy when I got out today. I scraped through two fares in the first hour (the average should be between four and six, depending on the length of the ride) because both were going across town (one east, one west) and each took almost 30 minutes. My third fare, at precisely 5:00 p.m., wanted to go to Laguardia. Leaving the city is treacherous during rush hour, but, miraculously, I managed to get there in the same amount of time as those two stupid crosstown rides: 30 minutes. The guy gave me a nice $10 tip. Then I sat in the Delta taxi lot, which is what you see in these pictures. I got a fare after 30 minutes and made it back to the city in a decent amount of time, dropping off the passengers at a hotel in Times Square. They tipped $6.
I just read recently that Fiorello LaGuardia (mayor of New York from 1934 to 1945) opposed prohibition, supported women's suffrage, developed low-income housing, promoted labor unions, and fought to end child labor. He also unified the city's transit system and significantly expanded the city's infrastructure by building, among many other things, the Triboro Bridge and a nice little airport in Queens. Is it really possible that there was once an actual mayor who did actual good things for the not-rich people of his city?
Sunday, September 04, 2005
This sign is posted at the garage. I don't know if you can see it in this picture, but someone wrote 45th Str. and Vernon Blvd. at the top. I think they were trying to be funny by writing the location of the garage, except the garage is located on 45th AVENUE and Vernon Blvd. You'd think a cab driver would know the difference.
Meanwhile, I'd like to add a most dangerous intersection of my own: Ainslie Street and Union Avenue in Brooklyn. Specifically, the location of the restaurant Dumont. This is where I had my birthday dinner on Thursday night. The place was packed and our waitress suggested we order an appetizer because the kitchen was backed up, so we got the scallops. Then we waited another hour for our mediocre dinners. Exactly 24 hours later (I don't know why it took that long, but it did), all four of us were struck with ultra-violent food poisoning. I won't go into details, because I'm sure you can imagine it well enough, but suffice to say it was worse than the food poisoning I got from the veggie wrap I bought at JFK's Jet Blue terminal last year. I am finally just recovering this afternoon, though I wouldn't exactly call myself "well" yet. I am happy, however, to call myself "not puking my guts up anymore."
Needless to say, I will not be visiting that intersection again anytime soon.