Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Entrance to The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, The cathedral, designed in 1888 and begun in 1892, has, in its history, undergone radical stylistic changes and the interruption of the two World Wars. It remains unfinished, and is under construction with restoration a continuing process.
Pretty amazing place , any relative of mine who visits NYC regardless of religious beliefs , I take them here as part of the New York tour. Under construction for over 100 years, and the stained glass they have with all the other architecture make this place a must.
Me in the future, I hope, still walking the streets of New York City when I'm his age and beyond.
If I do make it to his age I think I'll call myself the Luckiest Hack of New York, but for now I'm just the King of New York Hacks.
Remember click the picture to enlarge it and appreciate it more.
Adam Clayton Powell Statue also on 125 st. He was the first black Congressman from New York, and the first from any Northern state other than Illinois in the Post-Reconstruction Era. He was succeeded by Charles Rangel who has served this district ever since. It is an impressive statue and especially at night when it is lit up.
THE APOLLO....no better place to break down , at least you know you can catch a show later.
Harlem has great spirit , great food , and......Bill Clinton.....Well , 2 out of 3 ain't bad, even for The King of New York Hacks.
Maybe he is the King of Newstands , but I remain The King of New York Hacks.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
I appreciate things for kids, and especially embrace anything that has to do with putting a smile on a kid's face , but I draw the line at stuff that makes me feel like I'm in a bad movie about some kind of cult taking over the world ...which is what I thought when I took these photos at 53'rd and Park Avenue... I didn't even know what Hello Kitty characters were, much less found out driving a customer later in the week that it was the THE Hello Kitty characters that he pointed out to his children and they were thrilled to see it, not traumatized as I was, when I initially drove by it and thought an 18,000 pound 21-foot-tall Cat water fountain and it's friends were in combat mode ...or Pokemon mode..or Naruto mode....or whatever the fuck the new Godzilla is that wants to destroy all of us. I get classified information from my nieces and nephews on these matters so trust me on this. I also have a PHD in Bullshit. Why else would I be The King of New Yrk Hacks?....
1. Hi I'm here to destroy you
2. Me Too !!!!! and collect money while your children chant my name.
3. I'm Just pissing out my eyes , no worries about me mate....but a quarter would be nice!
According to the creator of these Tom Sachs . "Hello Kitty is universal. The purity makes her a great vehicle for understanding the truth in our lives. They'll be up all summer so the children of New York City can enjoy the fountain [where water pours from kitty's eyes!]." He continues to say Hello Kitty has "an almost Buddhist sense of nothingness." I have a different opinion and I'll bet you do too , since NYC tax is probably paying part of the bill although I haven't confirmed this information. Annnyyyhoww....Just like I told you about the Channel 11 Executive and his slogan line in my earlier blogs....whats your opinion , I'd like to know. That's why..... I am , King of New York Hacks.
Monday, July 21, 2008
One of a customer's favorite queries into the life of a hack or cabbie ( I use the term hack and cabbie because someone from Australia asked me if I was insulted when referred to as a cabbie...I was not and assured him most shouldn't be , so no worries mate I said.) so anyhow, the question is " Did anyone ever puke in your cab? " ....and the simple answer is YES. We pick up from 12 to 40 fares a night and up to 4 people per fare, so the mere fact that we may have 12 to 160 drinkers in our cab on a given night, pukers and vomit people will sooner or later appear especially if you work the night shift AND, are bound to appear if you work Friday or Saturday night as I do.
Some hacks just go to a car wash and will pay whatever the price to clean it up, or they carry the supplies to do it themselves should it happen. Some just go back to the garage , remove the back seat and garden hose it out and throw some air freshener in there. My preference is a regular plastic shopping bag (doubled up to prevent leaking ) from any supermarket or convenience store and should I feel they are suspect to do The Technicolor Yawn, Call Earl, Toss Your Cookies or just plan on Praying to the Porcelain God when they get home , I give them my complimentary feeder bag that has two handles should you be lucky enough with a friend to help you strap a handle onto each ear , just like a horse feeder and let everyone enjoy the peaceful cab ride without the irate cab driver. Happy times for all.
I'll share two stories for you that were amusing, not so much for me but I'm sure you'll like it.
Both of these stories were my LAST fare of the night , which has for me been bad luck with the puking. Here goes.
Story 1. It's about 4am Saturday morning and I see two girls waving at me in Astoria , 34 ave and 21st st. They give me their destination before getting in my chariot and ask me " am I cool with taking them to 31st St and 23rd Ave ? " It wasn't far, but a lot of gypsy cabs do it cheaper or whatever , so I told them to get in , it shouldn't cost much. They both seemed quite sober speaking in full sentences and coherently. I'm thinking, luck is on my side again, until I hear her friend say " you don't feel good? " I immediately go into Batmobile mode and pull over between the elevated pillars under the "L" where the "N" train runs and am rolling the windows down as if reaching for my Bat-arang in the same moment. Holy chunks King Hackman !!!! She actually got her head out the window and NONE of it wound up in the car!!!!! My butler Alfred will be pleased. I handed her partner in crime my horse-feeder, AKA plastic bag doubled up and persuaded her to hold it for her sick friend, and if she did I'd be her BFF ( Best Friend Forever ). She agreed as I pulled away and briskly moved closer to their destination, hoping that the one holding the bag wasn't as bad as her friend. I kept a close eye on my rear view mirror to make sure she was doing her job holding the bag, and then the inevitable "Technicolor Yawn " , yet this time into my trusty double bag. No mess once again, I am truly feeling the King Hackman feeling of preparation is the key to success. We arrive at their destination with the girl who was expecting to "pray to the porcelain god" telling me "I feel so much better sir" Sir??? Sir who?? I was never Knighted???!! I'm part Irish !! The Queen will never make me a SIR!!!.....It was the first time a girl had called me SIR, I'm only 39, but a Sir, hardly you little pukemonster from hell. I felt old...but got my BatHackesque attitude back quickly and told her "no problem miss, just make sure your daughters don't see you on the way in, and don't wake up the grandkids, they'll never go back to sleep on a weekend" as she looked at me crosseyed...I then told her friend the cost of the fare that was on the meter and she paid me with a TWO dollar tip , not generous at all after that nonsense, but I'm sure they tipped the bartender $5 a round....but here is the kicker , after handing me the money , she handed me the plastic bag tied in a knot filled with VOMIT !!!! What the fuck !!! Two dollar tip and a bag of Vomit ?!?!?! What fucking planet are you from ?? I took the money but said "are you KIDDING ME ?!?! " as I handed her back the vomitbag and she exited the taxi while mumbling an apology. I waited to make sure she they got into there house, because I am a gentleman, just not a SIR, as she threw the bag of vomit towards a garbage pail on the sidewalk and missed. She waved to me as she closed the door to her house , I waved back and gave a light toot of the taxi horn and made my way back to the garage to go home to the Hack Cave and make sure I got a good mornings sleep....another vomit story on my hack belt.....another reason I am The King of New York Hacks.
Story 2. Saturday night , looking for a last fare of the night driving west on 45th st hoping to get a fare from a stripper at the Penthouse club going home to Brooklyn or the Bronx...a nice fare to end the evening and round it out...UNTIL...insert Horror music.... I pick up this 20something kid...male mind you... who runs out of a building hailing me and preventing me from reaching MY destination taking HIM on as a client. He enters the cab and says " Broadway and Fulton " assertive, and in a very sober tone.. He requested to taking the West Side Highway to get there quick, to my delight, and I sped, under the speed limit of course to the Joe DiMaggio Highway onward to his destination. During the ride he asked me to switch the radio to the dance station and I turn it up a little.." no problem I complied " . However all of a sudden he requested to pull over immediately for which I did. The West Side Highway is very busy at this time and immediately I was in Batmobile-hack mode again.....I pulled over to a median and he ran to the bushes and began his ritual of purging to the gods..he assured me he'd be back and I was confident he would , considering its VERY difficult to get a cab on the West Side Highway at 4am to go anywhere , much less any real destination . So as a hero at large, I waited as I watched him puke in the floral. He got back in the cab and thanked me for waiting and noted that most drivers would have left him there in the breeze, he also assured me he was fine now and there would be no worries of him being sick in the cab...I thought about leaving him there but also felt bad for him at the same time. I then, because I didn't believe him and I wanted to end this quickly proceeded in an excessive driving manor blowing yellow lights which in the cab industry is RED, and 99% of the time when you break this law you will be getting a photo in the mail for $50 and a thank you from NYC in the form of a ticket. It 'aint worth it , but instinctively we do it anyway as I had done this present night. "Part of the business" from what other hacks have told me and just what one friend of mine relates these fees to taxes, "just maintenance fees my friend , just maintenance fees , hahhahahaha" .....maybe he is right...anyway I saw the flash of the robot photographer go off as I sped through one of the yellows hoping that he would not puke in the cab..We finally got to his destination and he tells me " I'm so horny " to which I reply, "there are still lots of girls walking around , so you still have time to take care of that...Twelve dollars ". The meter was $12.40 but I didn't want any fuss with change...He then proceeded to tell me " he's REALLY HORNY, and that he wants to suck dick" , so I reply "there are lots guys walking around too" ....then he sticks his head up to the partition and tells me " will you let me suck your dick? " ....Awkward Silence....then , I say " one of these guys on the street will let you suck their dick, it's still early, but I have to get my car back to the garage ...TWELVE BUCKS bro" ...now I was impatient... vomit, a ticket from a robot and now this bullshit.....why me? He checked his pockets and scraped up $12 , no tip , and he looked miffed that I turned down his offer...and then before he gets out he sticks his head up to the partition again and says "you sure?" Unfuckingbelievable......"you have to get out of the car bro, I'm straight, but thanks anyway" I reply, he gets out , leaves the door open and walks away as I hit the gas hard enough to escape this idiot and close the door by itself at the same time. I shake my head in disbelief of this experience and mumble to myself "maintenance fees"...as I drive back to the garage and wonder if the fee's are worth it to be the King of New York Hacks.
I'm surprised that these don't have water shooting out the nose and ears for effect....but there is something weird like that coming up in my next post as my art tour continues for those of you who can't see such life changing structures, no worries for you , just check on my blog , save the trip to the city, and see why I am The King of New York Hacks.
Friday, July 18, 2008
( Or giant lawn sprinkler as I refer to it )
Brooklyn Bridge Waterfall
( This one I can live with because it looks good at night )
My information gathering is complete as I asked most of my customers what they thought of the Waterfalls made out of metal scaffolding placed around the city, and I would say 90% of the people say its not art , yet just another waste of city money, although I did hear Bloomberg ponied up 13 million himself for this display of ...ahem.... Art. I have to admit that I like the Brooklyn Bridge one, and as it is lit up at night it looks pretty cool , but the other towers of steel cascading water look like something from Toys R Us that we're supposed to put outside in a backyard and run through for fun. Certainly not art , and being that Bloomberg gave 13 million and the rest was financed by an unknown state agency, I think we could have used that money to build an oil drill for New York, or create Hyrdroenergy to prevent Con Edison from hiking up the rates. Maybe I'm just not the artistic type or can't see the true meaning of these water distractions, or maybe I'm pissed that these can be put up overnight practically, while two stadiums have been built , and we can't get the Freedom Tower started. I think our city's policies and priorities have become a bit misleading to the public and are not on the proper course to do what is necessary and right for this city....
My opinion, is these are bullshit, not art.
There used to be a guy on WPIX channel 11 who was Vice President and General Manager, Richard N. Hughes, and he would do editorials on whats wrong with the city and he'd close with the line I'm going to steal from him right now. " What's your opinion New York City , I'd like to know ".
I'm not Richard N. Hughes, but I am The King of New York Hacks....and I'd like to know.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
This is an unrelated taxi post although it was sparked by a customer of mine that I picked up at La Guardia airport on last Friday whom I was driving to a midtown hotel when I heard the news that Bobby Murcer died. I was extremely fond of Bobby Murcer and very sad to hear he passed on. ..but I was working so I had to keep driving and I mentioned the news to my passenger from Minnesota ..He responded "that's too bad" "he was a good baseball guy" ...I agreed...He then told me Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew was on the same plane as him and that he looked pretty good for an old timer. I told him I was a Yankee fan but that I did have a Harmon Killebrew baseball card from when I was a kid ..I told him it was one of the few cards I had at the time that had a 20 year career on the back of the card. My customer then asked me if I knew a lot about baseball and I told him "sure". He then said he had a trivia question that was about Bobby Murcer, so I told him "go for it" in my best Sly Stallone tone. His question was "What do Bobby Murcer, Mickey Rivers, and Claudell Washington have in common? " I pondered this query for a moment ..and said they all played the outfield for the Yankees, to which he replied "its a little deeper than that".....OK ..OK..I give up Mr. Minnesota , what is it ? "They were all traded at one time for Bobby Bonds", Barry Bonds father he replied. Good one , I'll use that tidbit in the future I told him. That's the taxi part of the story , now because I really respected Bobby Murcer I took a few of the best quotes written about him and am posting them here for anyone to read if you are a fan of the game or not. I was at Great Adventure amusement park for the first time when I heard the news that Thurman Munson died. Really put a damper on my Rolling Thunder, Lightning Loops and Log Flume experience that day. However a couple of days later Bobby helped myself and the city heal.
Lou Piniella recalled "I remember when we went to Thurman's funeral, and that night Bobby hit that home run into the upper deck to win a baseball game," Piniella said. "I was so happy. "It's a sad day," Piniella said. "Just a wonderful person, a great teammate and a heck of a baseball player. [Wife] Kay and Bobby were good friends. I was informed about this about five minutes ago, and I knew that he was struggling. But, boy, you just don't think these sort of things happen, but they do. They happen frequently."
Murcer was the only Yankee to play with both Mickey Mantle and Don Mattingly, and was arguably the franchise's most popular player of the era immediately following Mantle's retirement after the 1968 season.
"HEY, Carm," Yogi yelled over his shoulder to his beloved Carmen. "It's Mel ( Stottlemeyer) on the phone. He wants to know if we've heard anything about Bobby's autopsy down in Houston."
"Biopsy, Yogi!" Carmen shrieked in the background. "Biopsy! Bobby went to Houston to have a biopsy, not an autopsy!"
Yogi wasn't being premature. He was trying to protect me.
So when Mel called, Yogi wanted to be sure not to talk about anything that I had told him in confidence. And in the process, he committed a classic Yogism.
But let me state for the record about my trip to Houston: they did a bunch of things to me, but they did not perform an autopsy.
Great excerpt and another Yogism to boot.
He was a very good and gracious player on some bad and mediocre Yankee teams.
He was a warm and friendly voice in the Yankees broadcast booth.
And he was a cancer victim who said cancer enriched his life.
He had become part of a network of cancer survivors, in person, online and on the telephone. He said he loved to pray with people he regarded as his new teammates and they seemed to touch each other acutely.
Well said by Mr.Sandomir....and in closing I'd like to say this:
I lost my mother when she was 57 to cancer, and she always felt that cancer victims are all on the same team, and that they should support and help each other prosper and beat that damned disease which has many forms but with faith and being tough you can fight it and fight it well. Bobby had the same fervor for helping people without showing any weakness til the very end.
62 is too young to go, for anyone. Damn.
Rest in peace Bobby. You deserve it. And, thanks for everything...
You were truly a King of New York.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
CANAL ST SWAMP THING
SWAMP THING FINDS LOVE ON CANAL ST
Always click on photos to enlarge...Enjoy.
IN FRONT OF MILLENIUM HOTEL ACROSS FROM GROUND ZERO
ROBERT THE GOOD HUMOR MAN
When I was a kid living in Astoria, Queens and then in Staten Island, there were two distinct sounds which would make you freeze in your tracks no matter what you were doing almost as fast as a case of explosive diarhea hitting you. No , no ...not my mother screaming for me to come home or my father ready to beat my ass for something wrong I did, (which made me run , not freeze). It was the unique musical sound of Mr.Softee or the Good Humor Man bells ringing just like they ring during a catholic mass, and both sounds were religious back then. I used to get my Ice cream bars from Good Humor and my Milk Shakes or a Parfait from Mr.Softee. Ahhhhh, good times. But as the years went by Mr.Softee stayed and Good Humor dissappeared. So when I was walking around downtown Manhattan and saw this beautiful oasis on a hot day , I just had to know where he's been hiding for so long. He told me not to worry , and that he's back on the run around NYC. I bought the old staple Eskimo Pie , chocolate covered vanilla ice cream on a stick and my girlfriend ordered a traditional vanilla chocolate cup. Delicious on a hot day with great memories haunting me with every bite. I did warn Robert though that as kids , we used to wait for the Good Humor Man to pull away , and he always drove slow, one of the faster kids would run to the back door of the truck , open it up and grab all the ice cream he could and spread the wealth..again this is something I can't confirm nor deny. Robert knew about this trick and told me he keeps everything up front with the door locked in th back. I thanked him for his info and the ice cream as he told me Al Roker was to drive the truck on the Today show the day of the All Star game. I hope it went well and you get to enjoy an experience as I did, stay cool everyone...and remember I am the King of New York Hacks.
gave a lot of kids free ice cream at one time. From what I hear of course. ;-)
Also , notice the competition truck of Mr. Softee in the upper right hand corner.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
BOWLING GREEN SQUARE
See how shiny the nuts are from people rubbing them all the time, you can help make them even shinier. Good luck, lets get this economy turned around !!!
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Flag made out of Yankees and Mets Hats at Modells 34th St