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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Travis Bickle ....and The King Of New York Hacks.

I remember the first time I watched the movie Taxi Driver about the troubled Travis Bickle as he roamed the dirty New York City streets. The year was 1976,the Bicentennial celebration was happening which was quite memorable if you were in NYC. Those were the days where fireworks were so popular you couldn't see across the street at the end of the night waiting for the smoke to settle.

I remember fishing in the harbor off Staten Island watching the ships sail in from 200 years ago with the anticipation as if I were there the first time they arrived. I remember someone shooting their gun off under the Verrazano Bridge celebrating the stroke of midnight and the scary feeling of a ricochet that accompanied it.

Now, today as I reflect on those moments I think of Travis Bickle...Why? Because I AM a Taxi Driver. When I saw the movie, I never thought in a million years that one day I would be behind the wheel of this unique and adventurous employment.

Yet I am.

Although I do have a day job,and the acquaintances and colleagues that I encounter on a daily basis has led me to a comparison of sorts that are almost the dissection of a time capsule that I have dug up, and am relaying my find to you. As the election nears and the world is changing, I am curious to your thoughts...Please leave them in the comment section. These are troubled times, and having them in my rear view mirror is a very up close seat to view it all.

The following is a quote from Travis with an updated version of the quote by The King Of New York Hacks which he has been heard reciting in these current times.

Travis Bickle: All the animals come out at night - whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick, venal. Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets. I go all over. I take people to the Bronx, Brooklyn, I take 'em to Harlem. I don't care. Don't make no difference to me. It does to some. Some won't even take spooks. Don't make no difference to me.

King Of New York Hacks: All the bankers come out at night - scumbags, analyst pussies, mortgage buggers, foreclosure queens, IPO fairies, CEO dopers, Bonus junkies, bankruptcy sick, Family venal. Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets. I go all over. I take people to the Bronx, Brooklyn, I take 'em to Harlem. I don't care. Don't make no difference to me. It does to some. Some won't even take people who work at Goldman Sachs. Don't make no difference to me.

We will get through this economic bullshit, but I hope my thoughts remain unscathed as I march on...and hope yours do as well. I am not not Travis Bickle, however I remain faithfully The King Of New York Hacks.


  1. I am SO glad I found you. or you found me. or whatever. That was a great post.

  2. Hmmm, I bet each night when you return the cab, you have to clean the greed off the backseat. Some nights you clean off the sweaty discharge from the shiny brass balls of a bull. But to the K of NYH, it doesn't matter. ;) Nice post. :)

  3. I should ask you if you're a night driver. I drove for 3 years before I ever had a cab out later than 3 pm.

    How long will the economic turmoil last? At least until the next president is in office for a few months. I see a true correction in the price of buildings, that is real estate (as opposed to land). You never could buy unimproved land with a mortgage. Unemployment won't even peak until next spring. It's going to be really bad.

  4. Have you ever heard of Joe Seligman, Jacob Schiff, and Ned Harriman? These guys were princes of Wall st. in the 1800's. Seligman held off buying a home for years, inspite of a growing family and unlimited money. Why? Because homes weren't liquid and he didn't want to be stuck with a home in Manhatten if he decided to move to Boston or Philly.

    What happened to America from 1970 to 2008 is, homes became more and more liquid. If you didn't sell it, you could simply withdraw the value of it. And when you withdrew the value of it, you didn't need good credit, it would go up in value, no matter what. Homes went up in value because of this liquidity, not because they were worth more. What is happening that will not change is the liquidity is gone all of a sudden. Now, if you buy a home, you're going to be buying it because you want to live in it.

    So, no more flipping homes. The consequences of this are no more frivilous remodeling projects, no more buying more home than you need, no more buying a home because it's a good investment. It's not an investment, it's a place to live.

    As far as the economy goes, there have been crash's that were more severe than 1829. The aforementioned Shiff and Harriman bid up shares of railroad stock back in the 1800's. The shares were actually worth something like twenty bucks, and the sharpies got out at around 200, the crash came after they went up to more than twice that.

    Who were the Lehman brothers? Cotton brokers, in the 1850's. One had an office in NYC, one an office in Birmingham, Ala. At that time, the coin of the relmn that most people trusted was cotton notes. These guys actually petitioned both sides of a little skirmish called the Civil War, and tried to get permission to trade Confederate cotton out of the port of New York. They were of course denied.

  5. King,
    You are good. Really good. Guess I am going to have to add you to my list of must reads every day. I would think you could knock out 100 strangers in one night!

  6. Wow, a real live cab driver! hehehe foreclosure queens!! Good One
    - Jennifer

  7. In today's times, foreclosure queens come out day and night....

    I don't know about this economy, I can see it getting far worse before it gets better.

    The bailout has yet to even "hit" us.

  8. The economic downturn may be a passing thing, but it's quite possible the U.S. is on the decline. I have no problem with that, however (it was never promised that we'd be on top til the end of time), and feel that either way, we should be the change we want to see (obvious who I'm voting for, innit?).

  9. My day job is in Corporate America, catering to the wealthy, ignoring the peon. It's digusting. I'm so grateful to be a cab driver so I can spend time with real people, having real conversations.

  10. Thanks for the visit, your comment was awesome.

    Nice post- I've actually been in a NY Taxi, back when I lived in Spanish Harlem with my college roommates family for the summer. I loved NY.

  11. "Analyst pussies" - hey, I resemble that remark! And even I think they - sigh, we - don't deserve to be bailed out.

    Thanks for visiting. I haven't been in a big yellow taxi since 1976. I wonder if Travis was my driver?

    Hi, Vodka Mom! Small world, innit?

  12. I enjoyed the part about fishing in Staten Island. I'm from Bayonne.

  13. Dude, I love your blog! Thanks for visiting mine and I'm definitely coming back here for more. Keep the good stuff coming!

  14. I'm so glad you found me too! It looks like you found a bunch of new people recently! Um, I sorta love the name of your blog. I sort of love this post even more.

  15. Awesome post.

    Its the greed that kills. Those bankers stuck themselves in an insatiable need. They dug a huge hole in our ecomomy and make the innocence suffer.

    I believe there is sunshine at the other end of the sky. We just have to be patience to let the dark clouds pass to bring our economy back on track


  16. Hack,
    Here you go. This will give you the general idea .

    D.C. Conf. and I don't do the FLickr thing, we just do our own thing and send them to each other every so often. You are welcome to join us. I would imagine you could top Herman in heartbeat.

  17. PS It's REALLY hard to write a coherant comment with that bull staring me in the face!!!! :)

  18. I don't even like to think of the economy. It just sucketh.

    I would imagine being a New York cabby would be thrilling and interesting and full of tons of stuff to draw upon to write a novel. :)

  19. Travis Bickle singlehandedly inspired me to become a cab driver.

  20. Hi King, neat post and tie-up with Taxi Driver movie. Driver mate of mine, whenever an irate passenger demands to know his name provides the movie character. You can imagine the stifled chuckles the passenger receives when he/she phones network to report a 'Travis Bickle'.

    Adrian the Cabbie

  21. Yo, King Ed - you're getting around, aren't you? And not just in that sleek & shiny cab of yours. So many of your comments are thanking you for the visit. You are a true country-wide traveller!
    Oh, and guess what...I have never seen the movie "Taxi Driver" (!) - please don't say you think less of me now. :-)

  22. That was a great post and I love your blog. This is a great idea.

  23. I just read this and your previous bull balls blog, kinda new, but tryin to get my name out, anyway...great writing, great perspective, i'll be back, hopefully have a chance to read some other previous posts.

  24. This is Great. Can I steal your line???

    Please tell me..."It don't make no difference to me!"

  25. @ vodka mom-well, we found each other thankfully !!

    @ MTL- I don't clean the back seats, I just leave it for the next guy and he does the same.

    @ RCD-great points, I 've read about those fellows and there is quite a history you so simplly laid out. Thanks.

    @ virginia- thanks for the pic link, I can knock out a hunred strangers and maybe get a pic of them too. ;-0 sorry about that bulls ass in your face,but next up is

    @ jennifer and sandi-yes a REAL cab driver who will try to get a pic of a foreclosure queen.

    @ slick- Slick, thankfully you didn't disappear for good, your funny website will get us through this bailout crap.

    @ thomas-obvious who you're voing for?? NAHHH! LOL

    @ STG-we do have real conversations with actors,politicians,cracheads....oh wait their liars

    @ legal diva-college, spanish harlem , you definitely have seen NYC !!

    @ mr farty- well since you're honest about the bailout I exonerate you from that category,maybe Travis was your driver, I hear he became an analyst too.

    @ queen bee- I used to deliver meat to deli's in Bayonne and at the end of the day work out in Golds Gym on Kennedy Blvd. Small world indeed.

    @ evil genius-thanks for loving my blog hope I can keep it up!!

    @ steenky bee-I sorta love the fact that you said those nice things.

    @ JR-well said, if you looked at some of my proir post, the greed kills people are shouting it all day long.

    @ Hungry mother-" I don't see anybody else around" lol

    @ lisachaos-absolutely, novel or a movie, but if I do a movie I will most certainly need your camera eye!

    @ lugosi-I somehow believe that lugosi, or were you the inspiration for Travis?

    @ Adrian/aka Man of Lettuce(link on my sidebar)-Thanks mate, funny how a lot of people still remember this classic.

    @ farmgirl_dk-yeah us taxi hacks can get around but I wish I could drive that tractor like you did and maybe cover more ground...and You HAVE to see Taxi Driver with DeNiro.It shows New York at its darkest moments...aside from me driving.

    @ Captain Dumbass-glad to have you aboard captain.Thanks.

    @ tonisu-fantastic, hope to see you again, check out my 9/11 post that was my most popular one so far.

    @ jannie-thanks janny,and will the king take care of the financials....haven't got a mohawk yet but I'll keep you posted.

    @ moe wanchuk- moe, I've even driven some traders from Michigan to Jersey steal away brother because" it don't make no difference to me"

    Thanks all for stopping by!!

    --The King

  26. I'm late to the comment party here but I'm so glad you stopped by my place so I could find your blog! This proves my point that you always get the best scoop from taxi drivers...
    The comment about Goldman Sachs? HILARIOUS!!!

    I'll definitely be back, I love your blog!

  27. Cool blog! It's nice to see the "inside" of NYC. I'll be back, thanks for coming by mine.

  28. Loved the post. Loved it.

  29. Glad I stopped by, Those Checker cabs were built about 50 miles south of where I live.. Sold a fair amount of tool steel that went into the producing of the stamping dies for those beasts! The Market has more to do with corporations than politics. Money tells the politicans what to do..

  30. Heading your way Friday... another week in the big apple.....

    J/ (

  31. I stopped by via Buffalodick...glad I found you...great read.
    I was born across the riva from the Big Apple and left in 1976, so this blog brings back memories.
    Of course my sister still lives in the Big A...up in Harlem now! I haven't visited in awhile...perhaps I won't have to if I keep checkin in to your blogs. :D Next time up I will have to definately go kiss the balls!!

  32. You are a modern day poet and have such a way with words.

    I'm holding my head up and WE WILL come through this.

  33. I'll admit I haven't see Taxi Driver yet. It's on the list that I want to watch but never seem to get them actually watched. You just made me vow to go rent it this weekend. Great post.

  34. hiya

    great forum lots of lovely people just what i need

    hopefully this is just what im looking for looks like i have a lot to read.

  35. Good post, thanks. I really love it!

  36. This blog wouldn't be complete without a comment for 2012. This was great - I bow to the King -------