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NYC Taxi Photo
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Thursday, 13 November 2008

Time Capsule Cars

In the East Village by Tompkins Square Park I saw all these cool 60's era cars. It became clear pretty soon that they were rented for use with either a movie or maybe a new HBO TV show. They were all so shiny and such, the people who cared for the cars weren't too far away, sitting outside in the sun on plastic chairs smoking their cigars.

I especially like the authentic license plates. The Mercedez even had a grille pin. Honestly though, back in the 60's and 70's nobody would be parking cars this nice in the neighborhood unless they had some power and influence in the area. Now a days it's not uncommon to see a brand new Benz followed by an 80's Toyota Tercel.

What a gorgeous color aqua!

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And the Iconic Checker, no period piece is complete without one.

Shots from 8/11/08

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Shift Shots

I'd like to apologize for two things. Firstly I shouldn't have used such harsh language in my post(s) referring to the untrusting passenger I had taken to the airport on Saturday. Secondly I have been lagging behind with my photo posts. I am still posting pictures from the summer, because it just takes too long to edit the pictures. I'm thinking my next post will have pictures from this last weekend.

 Shots from 8/11/08

At an intersection by 5th Avenue amongst million dollar residences this homeless man sleeps in a cardboard hut until the winter cold comes in. I hadn't been paying much attention to the homeless situation prior to the picture, but soon after as news of the stock market dropping from bull to bear and every politician admitting disaster, the homeless situation appeared to increase two and three-fold. 

Greenwich Village
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I noticed the food and blanket lines were longer, and there appeared to be more lines too. Only a few weeks ago while I was waiting for the 7 train to take me to work, a photographer honed in on a bench of sleeping people with rolling luggage. The key that really made this photo-op strong was one man who had a thick chain wrapped around both his leg and his luggage so his things didn't get stolen while he slept. All the Transit workers let the guy take his pictures, it's something that needs to be shown. The subway system for its entire life has been a sanctuary for the homeless, providing heat and shelter for a two dollar entry fee. As long as the homeless don't cause a commotion or expel fluids, they're usually allowed to stay. If the two dollar fee is too steep, some homeless ride the Staten Island ferry, which is free, and then sleep at the ferry terminal on the island.

Middle Village, Queens

It was a Monday and so after a fare out to JFK Airport, I drove back to Manhattan through the streets. Above is a well maintained cemetery and funeral home. I have no facts to back this up, but I believe Queens has the most cemeteries in both number and size, in all of New York City.

Ridgewood, Queens

Right near where Queens meets Brooklyn, a small creek spreads through a neighborhood of auto-parts and garbage treatment facilities. 


The sky turned from blue to gray in less than 5 minutes and dropped a few buckets of rain. As I headed to the Williamsburg Bridge the traffic grew rude and clustered.


Below: an homage to the East Village of the 80's still remains.

East Village

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

The Accident is in the news now! b--ch

The accident that my customer didn't believe existed was so big it made the news: 

I happened to be driving someone to Greenpoint an hour before the bitch from hell (see post below) got in and called me a liar for telling her the valuable information. Anyway the customer who I took to Brooklyn was a typical well natured guy. I heard not one complaint from him while we sat in a small line of cars passing by the smashed BMW X5. I was the last car they let pass before they closed off the whole entrance ramp to the expressway. The police were a little annoyed with me when I drove by real slow. But I was nervous, the car looked so bad I was afraid it might explode. I guess I saw too many Schwarzenegger movies. 

Another side note, was that some kids in a Toyota 4Runner with PA plates were throwing pennies at me before we made it to the bridge. I took this in stride believe it or not, first because none of the pennies hit me in the head, second because despite throwing some pennies back in their direction without hitting their car, they didn't escalate the situation further. Hopefully when they saw the accident they sobered up.

Saturday, 8 November 2008


I had the worst customer ever today. She wanted to go to Laguardia airport from SoHo over the Williamsburg Bridge. I told her there was an accident on that bridge, and we might want to take another way. She said whatever route I thought was the fastest was good. Then all of the sudden she wanted to hear 1010Wins. She told me she was listening to it before she left and they didn't mention the accident. So I turned all the radio station traffic reports up so she could hear, and none spoke about the bridge. 1010Wins in particular even said that all the bridges were clear. She called me a liar and refused to pay the toll. 

I blew up at her yelling about how I saw the accident with my own eyes, how it is insulting to be called a liar, and how the extra money shes paying for the toll isn't going in my pocket, so I wasn't scamming her. What a fuckin' bitch, cunt, motherfucker! (No I didn't use any of that language.) She expressed that she was disapointed with our route, but she wasn't giving it a fair chance. I turned up the radio once again to all the stations, and there it was, Brooklyn bound side of the Williamsburg Bridge, she didn't care. 

She said, "I still can't believe we got into a shouting match"
I said, "It is very insulting that you called me a liar! I just saved you from a big mess!" 

Fucking bitch, I hope she drowns in her own stupidity. She did pay the toll, she had to, because she used a credit card, no tip, fuck if I care. So if anyone sees a dumb blonde bitch in SoHo who is a nurse, and pretends to know New York City, kill her for me.

The fare came to $29.15 including the toll, and took exactly 20 minutes. Seriously if I get one more idiot customer I'm quitting, seriously, I can't take this bullshit.

Shift Shots

Long Island City, Queens

Before the Dominican Day Parade, Midtown

Shots from 8/10/08 (set A)

Friday, 7 November 2008

An analyzation of a Bottleneck

A bottleneck is a traffic term for when lots of traffic gets forced through a small space. Take a small bottle of soda, twist the cap open, turn it upside down, and then watch as the liquid struggles to escape. The liquid would escape much faster and smoother if the hole was wider.

I am grateful that I don't usually drive when and where there is traffic, but the pictures below show a situation that could escalate to bottlenecking madness very quickly if it was later in the day.

Double parking taxis in the left lane, and double parking tour buses in the right lane, shrink the width of 7th Avenue, causing this bus to block the whole street. Sometimes there are triple parked buses and cars on both sides. Note the green light, above.

And now, the red light.

This is a symptom of a lack of planning, in my opinion, by the street planners. There isn't enough accommodations for all the buses, taxis, trucks, and vans.

If we had the bus stops and bus layover parking zones to match all the bus companies we have, than buses would no longer pose a problem. Measures also need to be taken to enforce ticketing for buses and trucks that block the intersection when they proceed through yellow and red traffic lights only to find no space on the other side of the intersection.

We need more taxi stands, real full fledged taxi stands, not just small spaces for one and two cabs. Imagine how serene New York City life would be if every 10 blocks there were taxi stands accommodating 10 to 15 cabs. Eliminate street parking, increase the amount of taxi stands, and for hire vehicle standing zones. With less taxis cruising, there will be far less density in our traffic and less reckless driving. For hire vehicles A.K.A. limousines are constantly looking for spaces to wait until they are called, and adequate waiting zones for them is also necessary or else they slow down traffic causing bottlenecks. 

Trucks and commercial vans-
Ugh, these are a few of my least favorite things. Other cities have certain hours where deliveries are allowed, but in New York City, there are always deliveries all the time. Again I think we should reduce civilian parking while increasing commercial vehicle parking. The existing commercial loading sites, and there are plenty, need to change from part-time regulation hours to full-time. All non commercial vehicles should be towed and ticketed. To regulate the time a particular delivery  can last, these commercial zones should have muni-meter regulations with an hour limit. If a vehicle stays on the block for more than an hour, they should be ticketed the first hour after, and towed the next hour after. Double parking shouldn't be legal for anyone, anywhere.

Garbage collection-
Here's an idea: have designated streets for both deliveries and garbage pick-up leaving the rest of us to clear streets elsewhere.

But most importantly, all rules are nothing without constant enforcement. But I digress, if the streets were properly laid out for all the action, more standing zones for all and less parking for regular cars, then streets would flow smoothly and perhaps there would be less rules broken, less tickets issued, and thus less income for the City of New York.


You gotta see these in reference to Barack Obama being elected late on Tuesday Night:

Videos from the you tube all here- EV Grieve: When People Broke Into Song

However shocking this all is, while we all voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Obama, most of us stayed at home like good citizens. As usual it was quiet as a mouse in good ol' Staten Island, just as it was quiet when the Giants won the Super Bowl. Some may think we don't care, no we care, but the whole borough always wakes up really early to get to work in the morning. My downstairs neighbor, a teacher, unleashed a scream when the electoral college climbed above 270. Me and my room-mate just sat there in silence, we couldn't believe it. 

Even now that 2 days have past, I look around on the subways and I still can't imagine that the entire north-east of America had voted, let alone our city, for the African-American, anti-war, pro-choice, young senator. I am ecstatic, but in all of this excitement I am not sure who to be mad at anymore. My government has been surprising me more and more in this past year: I've had the IRS give me an extra 300 dollars because I forgot to file a section on the form correctly, the Post Office handled my change of address request instantaneously, and the court that called me in for jury duty accepted my excuse that I was no longer a resident of Manhattan County and did so with relative efficiency, Oh, and did I forget to mention, Obama won??!!!!!!! 

Now let's hope that he can flip the economy (that should take a while), take less taxes from the poor, give health care to all citizens, and maybe just maybe give us a higher mile per gallon taxi regulation.