From her beacon-hand, Glows world-wide welcome; her
mild eyes command, The air-bridged harbor that twin cities
Out of the invisible fog of chaos, there approached a Crown Victoria, it's right blinker serving as a beacon of light, or eye wink of sorts, as if to communicate to me "I got choo bro". Sighs of mental relief echoed in my frontal lobe as this hero of the street came to whisk me from my waried weariness. And so it was, as 5J42 rolled up next to me in a gentle roll, as if readying itself to be tied to a dock. I opened the door, and allowed my parties in tow entry into it's innermost sanctity. But alas, things seemed different. Now, I've ridden in a lot of cabs before, all blending into the next as is customary for some utilitarian experience, but in this instance, some mysteries were about to unfold. First off, I noted the driver spoke perfect English, devoid of any hint of birthright elsewhere, secondly, the driver said HELLO, and thirdly, a distinct audible sensation in the driver's voice, that hinted of motherly instincts. ALAS.....as I looked through the partition glass, to what was revealed to be one of New York City's rarest specimens; a female driver. I hate to say that, as if people keep count of such things, but one must admit, it is a noteworthy discovery. I would have named this discovery; however, I learned her parents beat me to it, and thus she was already named: Erin Samuelsen, AKA The Girly Cabbie. A part of her must get so sick of people always commenting about it.
As I gave my destination, 9th Avenue and 36th Street, we rolled up to gentle speed, and in doing so, I asked, as I always do, about the mileage of the car and my usual segue into my ownership of similar automotive grace; it's damn near a script. 100% of the time, a driver either doesn't give a shit at all, or, feigns some sort of interest. Actually, let me make that about 80%, because there has been a few who were captivated by...wait, not captivated, but rather mildly interested/amused in my tales. Which is fine I might add, I have to remember at times, that this is their WORK, it would be like someone saying to me they bought an office chair from my office and really love it and write stories about it lol. Anyhow, on this occasion, once I revealed to the driver my idiocy, she actually proclaimed, to my utter surprise, to having read my blogs, with what I am hoping was an approval rating of at least two thumbs up. I was like 'no way!', she was like 'yes way!'. I mean, not like she had pin ups and posters hanging in her room of my car, but seriously now, one must admit, that hearing that, is like opening a package of Chuckles to share with a friend and they inform you they like the green one. Yes!
As we were gabbing away, she was the maestro conductor of her cab, making the car dance from lane to lane with smooth grace which served as the strings section for her orchestra; the blinkers serving as a light drum tap. At times, her hands would summon the horns section when things got dramatic on the road - and executed with precision. You could feel the raw emotion of her genuine frustration each time a shithead would pull in front of her. Effortlessly, 5J42 would lead the pack and bear down on slower moving cars, the tick tock of the tires against potholes and cracks serving as the tympani. Instead of a medallion number on her roof, there should be a Treble Clef.
Seriously, what a great trip. She was very friendly, and an excellent driver. You see, Erin gets it. Yeah, in a city of 9 million people, there are going to be many occasions you're going to pick up a self absorbed dickhead. But, what so many taxi drivers fail to understand, is that a NYC Taxi ride, really is so much more to so many people who climb in them. They are not *just* transportation to people. If you decide to think that you are nothing more than a rude ride, then that is exactly how you will be treated - and so will others. I know it comes as a GREAT SHOCK to some, but most of the people riding around in cabs, are um....this funny thing called visitors and tourists. (And quite frankly, most of NYC's residents, are big shots from Kentucky and Lake Wallapalooza who just moved there anyways). Riding in a taxi for a tourist, is often the one chance where it feels safe enough to talk to someone who knows something, about some stuff....in NEW YORK. I've written about this before, with my first taxi ride in New York back when I was a kid. I still remember him and I still remember the car. I've had so many dickhead taxi drivers in my life, and it's a shame, because I'm a big tipper dammit! LOL. Alright, enough about that. My point is, Erin did everything right. She was safe, alert, friendly, and got me to where I wanted to go without feeling like an inconvenience. So many more taxi drivers could learn a great deal from her, especially if they rely on tips. Hey, I'm a cop, and I've had a lot of shitheads in the back of my cars through the years that I didn't particularly like, but I still was friendly to them if they did decide to talk. I mean, it's fine if you don't, but really now, how often does a friendly taxi goofball like me climb in your car? Not often.
Once we were dropped off, we snapped a pic, and I skeedaddled back to Vermont. When I got home, I naturally checked out her blog and to be perfectly honest, I was pissed off and embarrassed that I didn't have any knowledge of her write ups, because I thought I had seen them all. Typical google - put the bullshit and long closed ebay auctions on page one, and the good stuff on page 10,000. Anyhow, it's a wonderful blog of her adventures - nice little stories; I highly recommend them. There is no bravado or exaggerations of nuttiness, just simple pure stories of her travels. Check them out! www.girlycabbie.blogspot.com