Friday, January 25, 2008
Heaven and Hell
As NYC taxi riders for more than fifty years, we've had a lot of taxi ethos in our lives. Some memorable and most not. Once I got the same driver three different times. The odds are really against that and even odder, he remembered me and told me where I went on my last trip a year earlier. On one trip I met fellow artist and veteran driver, David Bradford. He has two photography books out of images he's taken. One is "The New York Taxi Back Seat Book" and the other is "The New York Taxi Driver: Drive by Shooting." Another book of historical images I just found is The American Taxi."
However this week taxi riding hit a new high and a new low. The low was a driver who shouted at us, refused to make two stops insisting that we were going in two different directions, never mind that they were both downtown, refused to follow directions and so on. We finally got him to stop by calling 311 on cell and starting to file a complaint. The high was a driver who picked up my daughter and myself. He created a togetherness ceremony where he gave me a bangle to put on my daughters wrist and then had her do the same to me. He then gave us each a scarf to put on each other for the duration of the trip and finally he sang us a long and flowery song about feminine beauty. Hell and Heaven. Heaven and Hell. Here are some of our own taxi photos including one next door where a taxi drove right up on the sidewalk ignored by blase New Yorkers.