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Thursday, October 13, 2011

A King's Report from Occupy Wall Street.

Hot New York Pretzel...sooo goood. I knew that would get your your attention. : )

OK...I took a some heat from my last post because I wrote about Occupy Wall Street, got a few unhappy emails asking me to stick to my pictures and regular stories about NYC...The thing is, once behind the wheel as a taxi driver, my ass is occupying a front row seat to New York City, and like the description of my blog says, "watching the city and bringing it to you, I am the King of New York"... well, if I brought you anything less like the mainstream media has in the past few weeks, I'd be the Joker...So I did just that and went down there to talk with people, and here are my thoughts. : )

A few weeks ago when Occupy Wall Street began, the media didn't cover it at all...the only information I would get on it was online, youtube, or people I would drive that went to the protest,were planning on attending it, or were just regurgitating what they read or saw on the internet.

The newspapers and media showed the mace incidents, the Brooklyn Bridge arrests, some unsavory characters who were living in the park and stating that this was the only type of people associated with this protest...and a lot of it was horseshit. The media focused in on people who were dressed different, didn't know their history, or were there for the free food...almost sounds like a meeting of congress. Anyway, when I went there, I was shocked to find they established a medical unit, a kitchen, a legal team,  a comfort unit (clothes, blankets etc.), a media unit, an art department, 2 greeting tables, a library, and sanitation cleanup crew...they are not as unorganized as the media portrays...not to mention they have professionals working with them...I met Doctors, Lawyers, Medics, Librarians, Journalists,Professors,  Ex-Bankers, Iraq-Afghan Veterans, and many more that are part of this protest...

Why are they being discredited ? What happened to journalism in this country ?? How can we not take veterans who served 6 years over in Iraq and Afghanistan seriously or at the very least hear them out ? 
I may not agree with any of them, or I may agree with all, but I thought we are entitled to make up our own minds from fair and unbiased reporting...maybe not...this young man spoke about the fed and had a video go viral, but I don't see Geraldo Rivera interviewing this 20 year old frustrated student from Long Island who doesn't want a lifetime of debt.

I know some people say "Why are they protesting Wall St ? Why aren't they at the White House ? Who are these people ? 

Well, from what I gathered, they are us. Americans. Unhappy em or not, its a fact....and they chose Wall Street to begin their campaign...and were moved to Zuccotti Park peacefully...I spoke to bankers who told me about the firms they worked for and the way they pass off losses onto their retail clients charging them extra detail they explained why they are frustrated with the system that rewards the people who subscribe to hurting the little guy... the little American. One writer told me that Mayor Bloomberg's girlfriend who was the Superintendent of New York Banks is on the board of Brookfield Properties  who own Zuccotti Park...I looked it up and he was right, she is on the board ...Well that's a "Public-Private relationship" that I haven't seen in the press at all...the writer told me he wasn't allowed to print it.

Is this the journalism we want for this country ??

Yes, there is a drum circle there which consists of some hippie types, and many other individuals...I'm not a drum circle kind of guy, but I do own one musical instrument...a cowbell... and I just had to park the ole Taxi and use the opportunity to practice my musical skills since the Yankees were knocked out of the playoffs...heh know you want more cowbell. : )

I met Nurses who are only given a 36 hour work week so they have to foot their own health plan, Veterans who came back from the war and can't find employment, Parents with their children working two jobs and worried that they'll lose their apartment soon due to rising costs and no pay raises, Construction workers who work in dangerous conditions...Real issues , real people...A lot of benefits that were fought for many years ago have been slowly taken away, and people are scared.

OK, enough of my ranting...lets go back in time...

The NYU Brown Building is a tragic piece of history...I took a walk by it the other day. 

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city of New York and resulted in the fourth highest loss of life from an industrial accident in U.S. history. It was also the second deadliest disaster in New York City – after the burning of the General Slocum on June 15, 1904 – until the destruction of the World Trade Center 90 years later.

NYU Brown Building Today.

Thoughts about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire on its centennial.

 Where organized labor had its tumultuous beginning.

It is now a National Historic Landmark.

The cornerstones explain the fire...

...and the history.

A reflection of a time not to be forgotten.

It's remarkable how history tends to write itself through tragedy in that we tend to need catastrophic events to initiate change...

The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers, who died from the fire, smoke inhalation, or jumped to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent Jewish and Italian immigrant women aged sixteen to twenty-three; the oldest victim was 48, the youngest were two fourteen-year-old girls. Many of the workers could not escape the burning building because the managers had locked the doors to the stairwells and exits to keep workers in, and union organizerss out. People jumped from the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors. The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, which fought for better working conditions for sweatshop workers.

 What will history make of us ? ...we can do much better.

This spirited young girl is building a mountain of student loans...

The movement even have their own paper...The Occupied Wall Street Journal.

I haven't seen anyone interview Queen Mother Sylvia Jordan who is 92 years old, an Army Chaplain, Blind and in a Wheelchair...but the King did...She told me stories about the civil rights movement, a former WWII Buffalo soldier, and one of the few surviving HR23 (served in the United States merchant marine including the Army Transport Service and or the Naval Transport Service) during World War II. She is still fighting for the Merchant Mariners of World War II Bill for benefits that were killed by Congress. She is an inspiring woman and if you are in NYC, stop by and talk with her, she is an amazing human being.

Queen Mother Sylvia Jordan with Winnie Mandela

...and is blessing the youth of today...this young kid is a medical student with a boatload of debt.

The volunteers for the legal team are made up from all races, creeds and colors...paralegals, lawyers and clerks...these are tomorrows leaders peeps.

...and a lighted hula hoop keeps people smiling down there.

They put the King on a leash because of my cowbell playing...but they couldn't stop my howling at the economy. Owooooooo ! !

..and this I agree with no doubt...Wall St, certainly needs an enema...maybe two.

Even 3 years olds are pissed off at the lies.... that's not good...a juicy box won't fix that.

I've seen some wrong on both sides...I've seen some people rude to the police, and I've seen some police rude to regular people and trying to agitate them...even the King almost got caught up in one of those orange nets they have when I was just coming out of a building while they were protesting outside Wall St...I also saw a Police Officer juggling with one of the kids and discussing pensions, and how bowling pins are easier to juggle with two people rather than balls...the pins have a handle to focus on, who knew ? Can't save the economy but hey, at least we all go down juggling. Overall, they are all decent people down there with some opportunists mixed in like any event of this nature has...but they are educating each other with purpose and want a better America, I just cant argue with that...nobody should, and the media is dropping the ball...maybe they should use bowling pins too. I don't get to be on a side as a Taxicrat, in the course of a night I drive them all, Liberals, Republicans, Tea-party, Democrats, Rich, Poor, Happy, Sad, young. old...they're all American.  Hopefully through the peaceful process, I hope the important issues will be addressed so our country can start functioning on the higher levels we are capable of and eventually we can end these wars and bring our brothers and sisters home...10 years is enough..

I may only be a Taxicrat, but I listen to the issues of all who flow through the ebb and tide of a New York City Taxi, and if I figure out what the answer is, you'll be the first to know as I honk my horn at the challenging times ahead and keep bringing New York City to you as I remain...

The King of New York Hacks.

Peace out peeps.


  1. I really appreciate these post, thank you for helping us understand it really are the king :)

  2. Don't let people convince you that you shouldn't write a bout what's going on! I appreciate your posts.

  3. Dude, its your page!. Don't acqiesce to others because then they know they can do it to others... if they don't like what u post- they can go to another blog.

  4. Yours was the first realistic, truthful piece I've read about Occupy Wall Street and I thank you.

  5. I have really appreciated your photos and comments because it does give me a front row seat. I think it has been very real - not like what I see on the telly. There's a nice interview with Jeffrey Sachs at Salon you might be interested in.

  6. You are the shit !
    Your blog rocks!
    Marry me!

  7. hell's yeah king! you do a new yorker proud!

    I think I'll check it all out tmrw, i don't want to miss the movement! Like you I'm not sure specifically if it's all the right stuff, and I certainly don't agree with all of the opinions, but as you truthfully say out there it's a conversation more than one solid opinion, well you said that more or less. we're frustrated and weather wall street is the right place for it, weather the right people are being addressed, and the right needs are being shouted about, it's not so much as important as it is that we're talking about it, because it doesn't seem like the politicians are really getting it done, on all parties.


  8. (1) Yes, the pretzels got my attention. I always make a point to eat some when I'm in NYC. They are the best.

    (2) Absolutely you should report on the Wall Street thing. You see things in real time, and you're a heckuva better news source than most (probably all of 'em).

    You are the King!!!!

  9. Another great post! Keep up with the excellent blogging! You're really good at it! -

  10. This is an interesting point of view on the whole thing. Who better to talk about this, than someone who was NYC running through his veins.
    Also what you said about journalism is true, but keep in mind, what you did right there, is journalism too. It might not be massive, but certainly adds credibility to the thing (at least for me, that i'm from Argentina)

  11. First of all:
    For me, way out here in Utah, I appreciate seeing a good pretzel once in a while. I also truly appreciate and need to hear and see what you are showing us about the Occupy Wall Street movement.
    Until your first post on it I was completely unaware it even existed, and even now, if I go by Salt Lake's "mainstream" media, it sounds like half a dozen really bored people hanging out on Wall Street.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.
    -The Boston Boy in Utah.

  12. I'm glad I continued reading - loved the history of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Both my grandmothers worked in the garment industry in NYC, one making coats and the other making hats. They would have been there a decade after the fire, but it's still was fascinating to read your story.

  13. Hooray for you for your writing on the Occupy Wall Street movement! Some media figures were wondering (a couple honestly, most in sniggering gotcha fashion) why the protestors - and country in general - seemed to admire Steve Jobs and to be carrying his products. I thought about this, and it occurred to me that what people are sickened by is undeserved wealth and privilege. In my experience people tend to admire people who deserve what they have, but when people are flaunting wealth that they do not deserve and using it to meddle in government, etc. - CEOs who required bailouts, consultants who get a fortune for suggesting outsourcing offshore, people who inherit what they have and then go on to chastise those who receive some sort of aid and do not help themselves, people who figure ways to make money selling nothing and so forth. These are the real parasites and the real criminals in our society. Many of them try - successfully- to tie themselves to the 'job-creating' members of the business world - the small business men who actually care about what they produce - and this sleight-of-hand has served to attract support from many who, if they had time to spare from their battles to survive, would see that there is a far distance between someone like Jamie Dimon or Bernie Madoff or Ken Lay and the guy running a local business. Keep us informed!

    The reminder of unregulated commerce that caused such enormities as the Triangle fire is quite timely now that regulation is under fire. There is certainly such a thing as over-regulation - the Sarbanes-Oxley laws are a case in point - but there is definitely also a worse situation, which is no regulation at all. We also have a special hell currently where there are all kinds of regulations on the books, which ethical businesses try to follow but which are paper tigers in fact, because the enforcing agencies have been gutted or staffed with representatives of the larger corporations which they are supposed to oversee. You think your food, medicine, highways, airplanes, miners and drillers, entertainment venues are regulated and that therefore these things are safe. They're not.

  14. thank you, sugar! when OWS started, i kept looking for network coverage to no avail. it was, as you said, only via the net and voices like yours, any of us knew what was happening. keep on truckin, brother, we NEED you. xoxoxox

  15. Very interesting -- love having a New Yorker's bird's eye view of the Occupy Wall Street scene.

  16. Thank god, thank heart to all these people on Wall Street, doing the Work that I am not able to do right now. The Activity.

    The Occupation.

    And THANK YOU King for writing about it.

    This is the sort of thing we should have done back when Ronald Ray-Gun's guys were just getting the ball rolling...but I'm glad someone finally said 'enough is enough' and made a damn poster. *hahaha! I guess there weren't enough wars yet, for long enough, back then.

    Beth, this isn't a "bird's eye view", it's a rat's eye view, get it? You. Are. There.

    Thank you again Edward, KONYH, for being an independent lens, an individual EYE that can show us face to face the reality of what's happening right here in our own country, even though we may just be a few states away, and we can't travel to participate or see for ourselves your film-subject up top said, it is harder and harder to rely on corporate-owned media for "the real scoop".

  17. You ARE my favorite NYC journalist. Always straight scoop. Always thorough. Thank you for what you do. Something has GOT to be done!

  18. I KNEW I could count on you for the REAL story. Thanks Edward for the terrific coverage on OWS. I feel like I'm really getting the true story from you, not a "spun" bunch of hype from news outlets.

    These are tough times and you can definitely see and hear the frustration by those occupying Wall Street and other parts of the country. I only hope Washington is listening.

    Keep those post coming, King. You Rock!

    Safe travels, jj

  19. Brother King. Your work just gets better and better. Keep on keeping on brah. Be safe out there.

  20. I believe Walmart still locks its overnight workers (stock people, etc.) in.

  21. Good for you for speaking up. Something needs to be done to stop the death of this nation.

  22. you bring NYC to me. thank you. the goods the bads the crap. never in my life have I been afraid for our country, besides the feeling I had 9/11. I think we are in Big trouble, big. we are no longer the strongest, the brightest, the most honorable, the richest, the everythingst. the people in power have done their level best to ruin us. we should never have bailed out anyone. who is going to bail us out?
    Thanks King, you're my guy.


  23. Great work! Keep on doing it no matter what some people might think or say against it. I've done the same on my blog for a few days regarding the Global Protest Day in Lisbon last October.