Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cell Phone Ban in Effect

Did you notice that your cabbie was grumpy this weekend? That's because taxi drivers are no longer allowed to use cell phones, iPods, or any other wireless devices, even if they're hands-free.

I'm going to decline listing all said wireless devices and let you use your imagination. So go wild.

The ruling came down from the Taxi and Limousine Commission to a pissed-off force of drivers.

I've documented in this blog my feelings about driving with cell phones. But I still empathize here. So my suggestion to you, when it comes to dealing with drivers going through wireless withdrawl, is to act in empathy. Take the cell phone off the side of your head, take those ear buds out, and have a chat with the cabbie. You might learn something.

Or not. There are no guarantees, people.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Taxi Gourmet

Most people living outside of New York don't associate taxis with food, unless it's smelly food stains on the backseat. And for these people I say Listen Up! Because you're going to learn something here.

I'll start with this: Taxi Gourmet. And then I'll go here: Pakistan Tea House.

Taxi drivers know all the best restaurants, the secret sweet spots in neighborhoods you're too snobby to go to. Hands down, the Nepalese driver knows where to find food that his mom used to make.

Also, when they're driving, they have to buy their lunch somewhere. And guess what? It's not from McDonalds. For those of you outside of NYC, this might blow your mind, so proceed carefully, but Manhattan McDonalds don't have drive-throughs. That's right. You actually have to walk in, because who in their right mind drives in Manhattan?

Taxi drivers, that's who. And they eat. And many from Pakistan and India eat at the Pakistan Tea House, a superb, and superbly cheap, taxi joint in Tribeca. Another warning -- the ambiance here is a bit like a cafeteria. Not for a first date. But great for a second date, if the person is cool.

Now, for Taxi Gourmet. If you want to know where cabbies like to nosh in the big apple -- or Buenos Aires, Argentina -- hit this site. Your taste buds and travel wisdom will thank you. And read my review of the Pakistan Tea house, their curries, their ambiance, their cheap-as-dirt prices.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Taxicab Reciept Necklace

A must-have accessory for the cab lover in your life -- the Taxicab Reciept Necklace by designer Kristin Victoria Barron. Is it a real receipt, doused with some hardeneing glue and strung on a chord? Or did the artist create something entirely new, based on the receipt? No idea.

What I do know is that it's made in Napal, for those of you who care about that type of thing.

I saw it the other day on MoMa's gift shop website, but it's since been taken down, but I still say your best bet is to inquire there.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

$21,000 Returned to Forgetful Passenger

This just sent in by alert reader Rita Devlin:

A cab driver spent his Christmas Eve tracking down an Italian grandmother visiting family and friends and New York. Can we mention the purse contained $21,000, jewelry and a passport? Kudos to Mohammad "Mukal" Asaduzzaman for being a seriously up-standing guy.

Also, someone needs to introduce this Italian grandmother to Travelers Cheques. Seriously.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hot Sausage

I was hitting some after-holiday sales in Soho when a cabbie stopped in the middle of Broadway and stuck his fully graying head out the window.

"How much for a hot sausage," he yelled in a gravel and whiskey voice, while gesticulating with a cigarette. He seemed to be trying to address a street vendor at a nearby hot dog stand, who had his back to him and was waiting on other customers.

"How much for a hot suasage," he shouted angrily in his New York accent, "how much for a hot sausage. How much for a hot sausage." He kept repeating the sentence, as if getting angrier and pushier would make the service better. (And alas, sometimes it does work that way in NYC).

Finally the vendor turned around, "Why are you yelling at me," he asked.

The driver sped away.

Above a picture of a totally different hot dog guy on a totally different day.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Search for the Happy Cabbie

Loyal readers,
I need to find the "Happy Cabbie." Anyway have any ideas where he's hiding? I've heard he's Indian (unconfirmed), that he decorates his cab with lights, loves music, and gives people warm advice on living and happiness.

If you have any idea where I can find him, post a comment or email me at: Thanks!

Vegas taxi drivers = pimps

I learned some interesting facts about Las Vegas taxi drivers when I did a fun radio interview with Nevada's NPR. (Click here to listen.)

The cabbie who shared air space with me revealed the following facts:

1) If cabbies take a guy to a Vegas brothel (legal there), there get a serious kick-back -- as a percent of what the guy spends.

2) Same with strip clubs.

3) They will get you just about anything you ask for -- anything -- if the price is right.

This was all confirmed by loyal reader, Jae. Thanks Jae!

My only disappointment in the interview -- I really wanted the cabbie to talk about the Sin City mobsters - Bugsy Siegel, etc.