09/01/10 4:00am
09/01/2010 4:00 AM |


Hailed at: LES
Hails from: India
Nighttime, definitely nighttime. My main problem is traffic and there’s less traffic at night so that is when I like to drive. The drunk people don’t bother me too much as long as they know where there are going. It’s more calm. New York is busy enough, I would rather work when there are less people out. I like to have the days to myself, too. If I work all day and get off work, then everything I want to do is already closed. I don’t know how people live like that.


Hailed at: West Village
Hails from: India
I like the night shift. It’s a different world, there are less cops. Or the cops that there are aren’t as concerned with traffic tickets and what I am doing. It’s better money, too. When I drove during the days there was too much competition and I could barely survive. Now I have more money for my family.


Hailed at: Bushwick
Hails from: Pakistan
Day shift is better for me. If you work too long at night you begin to go crazy. You become too isolated and you have no friends. It’s true the money can be better, but money isn’t everything. I would rather see the light some time and not become crazy.

08/18/10 1:00am
08/18/2010 1:00 AM |

Hailed in: Midtown
Hailed from: Brooklyn
You know, I totally understand why people don’t want one there. That’s obvious. But I think it would be good to have one there because of what it would say. We’d have to be pretty accepting if after what happened we still built a mosque. I don’t think other countries could do that. And of course its going to upset some people, but everything about 9/11 is upsetting. It should be hard, because it’s easier to be a terrorist than it is to be good, and we’re better than them.

Hailed in: Port Authority
Hailed from: Dominican Republic
I have no idea. That’s a hard question. Listen, I was here on 9/11, and unless you were here you have no idea what it was like. People who weren’t here shouldn’t even say anything. There’s so much anger and sadness there that there shouldn’t be anything there that adds to that. So, no. Or yes, but so long as the Republicans don’t say anything.

Hailed in: Union Square
Hailed from: Pakistan
What people forget about 9/11 is that Muslims died that day, too. Those guys killed their own. So there should be a place for Muslims to go. I don’t know what they’re proposing, but I assume there’s also going to be a church and synagogue? Then you should have a mosque and whatever else.

Hailed in: Park Slope
Hailed from: Bangladesh
I don’t know why people would get upset. No one is from America who lives here. We all come from somewhere else. Muslim people aren’t really a minority here. They are a huge population. They should put a mosque in at ground zero. Yes.


Hailed in: West Village
Hailed from: New York
It seems risky to me. I don’t know why they have to build it there. I’m from New York, so I get that everyone belongs here, but it seems like kind of a slap in the face. I think they kind of just want the attention. Of course they have a right to be there. But people should be more, you know, careful. Like, I’m not gonna go to parts of Williamsburg and open a porn store. Or, I’m not gonna go fly like a confederate flag or whatever in Harlem. There are rights, and then there’s just being stupid.

08/04/10 4:00am
by |
08/04/2010 4:00 AM |


Hailed him:SoHo
Hails from:Brooklyn
It can be overwhelming sometimes, with so much going on. It can make you nervous. There’s also crime, or at least those neighborhoods where you can’t walk by yourself at night without assholes saying stuff to you. Nothing has ever happened to me, and I’ve never had a problem driving my cab, but it’s still stressful when you’re trying to go home late. Of course, those are the only areas that affordable these days, and of course they’re the first places Bloomberg looks when he goes to cut social services.


Hailed him:Midtown
Hails from:California
There’s no space and everything is expensive. You can’t deny it unless you’re so rich that you can afford big apartments and don’t care about things being expensive. Even far away from Manhattan, the east sides of Brooklyn and Queens, it’s getting harder to find decently sized places for cheap. I had to sell a lot of stuff that I didn’t want to sell when I first moved here. Anywhere else I could’ve kept it, but here all I could afford was a studio, so pfft, out the window it went.


Hailed him:Hell’s Kitchen
Hails from:Long Island
Finding an apartment. It’s insane, everything is either overpriced or way out in the boonies. It’s retarded the things you have to give up just to live here: no closets or storage, no laundry, a shitty view probably, and if you want decent space you probably have a commute like a motherfucker. Public transportation isn’t bad here, but it sucks to be that far away. (Is it worth it?) Of course! It’s fucking New York!


Hailed him: Tribeca
Hails from: Hong Kong
The worst thing about this city is you’re always broke! I am never having enough money. When did you come here? (Six years ago.) Yea, that’s about ten years too late. You should have come sixteen years ago. I feel I made more money back then! Before, everyone was working, and they couldn’t wait to spend money. And they couldn’t pay with credit cards, and it was cash cash cash. I don’t even use the bank. I never have. I hide my money in my pillows. But it’s never enough. Credit cards are not good for you, because of the interest. New York used to be a money place, but no more.


Hailed him:LES
Hails from: Bangladesh
From my point of view the worst thing is the traffic. Though, I love driving in New York. I’m good at it! And I love the people, meeting all of them. Road rage doesn’t happen here as much, people are pretty patient. If I had to say a bad thing about living here, I think it is the loneliness. I see people cry all the time in my cab over people they are missing.


Hailed him: Bushwick
Hails from: South Africa
The worst thing about the city is that you get very desensitized. At first you want to talk to people, help them out if they are having a bad time. But the longer you live here, and the more people you meet, the less you want to help people who are not in a good position like you. You start ignoring everyone. That to me is very sad. And I don’t think you can avoid it. Maybe somebody can, but most people cannot.

07/07/10 1:30am
07/07/2010 1:30 AM |

Hailed in: Hell’s Kitchen
Hails from: Bosnia
I can’t tell you how mad it makes me. Every day you hear more and more about all the violations BP has had in the past. You know what I think should be done? If a person were to act like BP, causing all that death, they would be killed. BP should be put to death. We should execute the company. Sell everything and use the money to repair the damage done to the environment and the people who live near the spill.

Hailed in: Midtown
Hails from: Turkey
The spill really scares me. I have nightmares about it. It”s like we stabbed the Earth and now it’s bleeding to death. I really fear that this is going to kill the oceans, that there won’t be any fish anymore. The spill keeps getting bigger and we can’t stop it.

Hailed in: Chelsea
Hails from: Boston
I’d like to boycott BP because of this, but I read that these oil companies are all so buddy-buddy it’s essentially impossible to stick it to them in any way. It really shows how we need electric cars so we don’t need oil anymore.

Hailed in: West Village
Hails from: Russia
It is a terrible shame. I do not buy my gas from the BP gas stations. Everyone involved should face serious consequences. I know they are trying to fix it now, but there’s no fixing it. I saw the pictures of the animals on the internet and it was very sad.


Hailed in: LES
Hails from: Ghana
I can’t believe they can figure out how to drill for oil, but not to stop up a hole. They need to find a way to stop it. Of course there’s no profit to stopping it, so there you go.


Hailed in: Soho
Hails from:Romania
Oh, I don’t want to sound bad, but it doesn’t really matter to me so much, this oil spill. I have not seen any direct consequences. It is a big mess, but it happens. Everyone wants to be mad at someone so they pick these BP guys. But these guys are just doing their job like everybody else.

06/23/10 3:00am
by |
06/23/2010 3:00 AM |


Hailed at:
Hell’s Kitchen

Hails from: Romania

Years as a cabbie: 10

Previous profession: Med school
I hate sharing the road with bikers. They go in the middle of the lane, holding up traffic and cutting in front of you, and then scream at you when you need to slam on the breaks. There need to be more streets that are just for bikers. Bloomberg wants to make more bus lanes; he should make more bike lanes, too. But Manhattan is a terrible place to bike. Other boroughs are ok, but people shouldn’t do it here. Just take cabs or walk or take the bus.


Hailed at:
Grand Central

Hails from: Key West

Years as a cabbie: 6

Previous profession: Bartender
I wouldn’t object to having more bike lanes, so long as it doesn’t mean fewer car lanes. [What do you think about sharing the road with bikers?] I don’t mind it, so long as the bikers follow the rules, which they don’t as much as they should. They go wherever they want, and cops don’t pay the same attention to them that they do cars, especially cabs. I don’t bike to get around, but sometimes I go around for exercise. Not lately. Too hot.


Hailed at:

Hails from: Brooklyn

Years as a cabbie: 1

Previous profession: Writer
I don’t know exactly what the policies are, so I guess the rules need to be a lot clearer. I’m always nervous around bikers, though. They should be a lot more careful since they go a lot faster than walkers and have less control about stopping quickly. I think they should close one avenue in Manhattan and make that the only avenue where bikers can go north or south. I don’t know if that would work, but they should be kept away from drivers as much as possible, for their sake and ours.


Hailed at:
West Village

Hails from: Ivory Coast

Years as a cabbie: 7

Previous profession: Tailor
Oh, no. Bike lanes. They’re ok if people would use them, but bikers, they don’t care. I never got a ticket for being in a bike lane, but my friends have. It’s annoying because it’s a big ticket, but sometimes people want to be dropped off there. I see bikers ignore the lanes all the time. They go through red lights too. They don’t stick to their lanes, but if we go in their lanes we get in big trouble. But they run a red light, and it’s fine. I feel like I can’t win.


Hailed at:
Midtown East

Hails from: New York

Years as a cabbie: 22

Previous profession: Always a driver
You know something? I think they do it kind of half-assed here, and that’s why people don’t use the lanes as much. They’re putting in some new lanes I heard, which is good. Like in Denver they have bike-sharing things with showers and stuff. Might be good to have that here, it would probably lessen the traffic, which would make me happier.


Hailed at:

Hails from: Ethiopia

Years as a cabbie: 6

Previous profession: Student
Bike lanes are dangerous for us! It just makes the bicycle riders feel more safe, but it’s not true. We don’t see them half the time. If there were more lanes and they were wider, and people obeyed them more, it would be better. Everyone in their place. A lot of cab drivers hate bicycles, but not me, because I ride one sometimes too.

06/09/10 1:00am
06/09/2010 1:00 AM |

Our favorite song is “Don’t Stop Believing,” 
by Journey. Thanks for asking.

Where I hailed him: Hell’s Kitchen
Where he hails from: Nashville
Years as a cabbie: 6
Previous profession: Construction
I couldn’t pick a band, let alone a song. The Beatles, the Stones, Elvis, Zeppelin, Hendrix… a thousand people. Maybe “Stairway to Heaven,” but the first thing that comes to mind is “Search and Destroy.” Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Possibly the greatest pure rock song of all time.

Where I hailed him: Midtown
Where he hails from: Brooklyn
Years as a cabbie: 15
Previous profession: No previous profession
“Thriller,” man! Fucking “Thriller”! Greatest song and album. Thirty years old and it’s still amazing. Wait, 30 years? Christ. I remember when it came out. There wasn’t anything like it before. Jackson was everyone’s hero. I like a lot of his other stuff, too, but just the early records, before he got fucked up.

Where I hailed him: Port Authority
Where he hails from: Queens
Years as a cabbie: 3
Previous profession: Worked in a stockroom
I like Kanye West and that one Beyoncé song, I guess. I don’t know. I don’t listen to a lot of music, but those are both on the radio a lot. I don’t know if that makes them my favorite, but I like them and they’re all I can think of.

Where I hailed him: East Village
Where he hails from: Brooklyn
Years as a cabbie: 2
Previous profession: Storeowner
Oh, I have to say my favorite song is “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin. I know a lot of people hate it, and it’s a cliché, but I actually did lose my virginity to that song. Wait. Are you writing this down? That’s hilarious.

05/26/10 1:00am
05/26/2010 1:00 AM |

From actual bomb attempts to gas cans in the back seat to garbage wrapped in tinfoil, it’s going to be a long summer.

Where I hailed him:
Hell’s Kitchen
Where he hails from: New Jersey
Years as a cabbie: 7
Previous profession: Salesman
Obviously it’s upsetting, but from what I read, it seemed like a pretty half-assed attempt. I don’t really worry about it. You can drive yourself crazy worrying about that kind of thing and it won’t change anything. I’m more worried about credit card debt and paying for my kids to go to school. I mean, fuck those guys, but I have better things to focus on.

Where I hailed him:
Where he hails from: India
Years as a cabbie: 3
Previous profession: Always a driver
I do not stay in Times Square long if I can avoid it. I’m not saying I’m scared. I drive anywhere. I picked you up here, didn’t I? But I don’t really want to stick around Times Square. Probably it’s safer at the airport. Why do you ask? Because of my hat? I am not trying to blow anything up, believe me.

Where I hailed him:
Where he hails from: Bangladesh
Years as a cabbie: 5
Previous profession: Gas station attendant
Even though it’s just tourists who go to Times Square, you could still kill a lot of Americans, and that’s what they want to do, I suppose. I would rather drive anywhere right now. Even here. Now there are even more police there, in that area, and they do not like us so much. They are always giving us tickets. So, bombs and police and tourists? I don’t really want to go to Times Square, no.

Where I hailed him:
Times Square
Where he hails from: Queens
Years as a cabbie: 23
Previous profession: Always a driver
I think I’ve had about enough. Whether it’s a real threat or not, it’s too fucking stressful. I was born and raised here, but I think if it happens much more I’m going to move upstate.

Where I hailed him:
Where he hails from: Ireland
Years as a cabbie: 4
Previous profession: Student
[Note: this interview took place on the same day that an abandoned package prompted a brief evacuation of Times Square.] The whole thing is bullshit, and it’s terrifying. First that van and now this shit happening today. It’s too much. Everyone is saying that it’s been a decade since 9/11 so we’re due for something and it’ll probably be in Times Square. I think the government is doing a good job tracking down these people and stopping them, but it’s still really scary. I don’t expect anything to happen, but stuff could happen, and that’s the problem. There’s no way to ever completely get rid of the threat. I just thank God that all the attempts have failed.

05/12/10 2:45am
05/12/2010 2:45 AM |

The most stressful thing about working at a magazine is writing little filler intros for regular features. You’re never really sure what to say.

Where I hailed him:Hell’s Kitchen
Where he hails from:Staten Island
Years as a cabbie:4
Previous profession:Worked with computers
This job is incredibly stressful. You know how much it sucks to be in traffic? My whole day is in traffic. Customers want you to find a way around it, but you can’t and they get pissed, which sucks because you need tips to pay the rent. Then you have to worry about something happening to your car, or running out of gas, or finding a fare quickly after dropping one off. The night shift is less stressful with the traffic, but it’s harder to find people. Always something.

Where I hailed him:Midtown
Where he hails from:Kenya
Years as a cabbie:8
Previous profession:Always a driver
Most days it isn’t bad, but it is a lot of the time. Pedestrians make it stressful by not crossing at the crosswalks or crossing when they’re not supposed to. I’m very afraid of running someone over. Also, it isn’t always safe. I’ve been robbed twice, and once by a guy with a gun. People know that drivers carry cash and we don’t have security guards like banks do. Sometimes people jump out without paying, which is the same as robbing you.

Where I hailed him:Chelsea
Where he hails from:Oregon
Years as a cabbie:2
Previous profession:Sold insurance
Not really. I like driving. I get to talk to interesting customers and the scenery changes. When I was a trucker, I only ever saw interstates. It can suck to find parking and sometimes the customers are assholes, but it’s not bad. I’d rather be doing this than waiting tables or working in a McDonald’s. The money isn’t great though, especially for how expensive New York is. But look at me: I’m sitting. I practically have a desk job, only my desk can move.

Where I hailed him: Park Slope
Where he hails from:Jamaica
Years as a cabbie: 26
Previous profession: Always a driver
It’s a very difficult thing to change your stress level. This is a stressful job and a stressful city. What do you think I do? I’m not going to tell you because you’re writing things down. I’ll just say I try to move away from stress by listening to reggae and jazz.

Where I hailed him:LES
Where he hails from:Bangladesh
Years as a cabbie:12
Previous profession:Bread factory worker
Part of what makes this job stressful is you never know how people are going to treat you. I give it a solid 7 out of 10, with 10 being the most stressful. I think even a brain surgeon has it easier. No one is going to yell at him while he is working. People love the brain surgeon. Not everyone loves their cab driver, even though we are doing the best we can, too. I am a singer. I sing for two hours a day and it makes me feel better. A lot of people don’t know my songs but still I can do it. When I sing, I forget I am a cab driver.

Where I hailed him: Williamsburg
Where he hails from: Staten Island
Years as a cabbie: 15
Previous profession: Always a cab driver
My girlfriend suggested yoga [to relieve stress], and I thought it was stupid at first but it’s actually pretty great. It’s really hard. Harder than you think. It’s good for me to try all those positions so I don’t go all weak sitting down all day. There are also lots of cute hippie chicks in the class. Not that it matters. It just makes it a little more fun to go.

04/28/10 4:00am
04/28/2010 4:00 AM |

We’ve never actually been fired on the spot. We were laid off once, and the guy had a hard time looking us in the eye. It was cool, though, because we just went to a diner and ate pancakes all day.

Where I hailed him:
Hell’s Kitchen

Where he hails from:California

Years as a cabbie:10

Previous profession:Pizza delivery
I used to get stoned in high school. Like, a lot. I used to wait tables, and one time I got so baked that I stayed up all night and fell asleep right before I was supposed to go to work. So they call me up to yell at me and I’m like …fuck you! I quit!’ Then I went back to sleep until my parents found out. They made me go in the next day, and everyone was like, …Didn’t you quit and tell them to go fuck themselves?’ I’m like, uhhh. No, I didn’t get the job back.


Where I hailed him:
Times Square

Where he hails from:Egypt

Years as a cabbie:3

Previous profession:Accountant
I’ve never been fired. I did fire someone once, though. It was really hard. He got very upset, understandably, and since I liked him it was hard for me too. [Why did you fire him?] No reason. The company was a sinking ship, we just had to make cutbacks. Eventually I left too, but I had another job lined up. I left that one, too. It’s sad, all the people losing their jobs these days.


Where I hailed him:

Where he hails from:Brighton Beach

Years as a cabbie:7

Previous profession:Waiter
I’ve never actually quit a job, except for the two-weeks notice kind of quitting. That’s because of my dad, who always told me to not burn bridges even for crappy jobs. So I never did. Even with jobs I disliked, I did the two weeks thing. So far I’ve never had to cross back over the bridge, though. [Have you ever wanted to do a big quitting thing?] Everyone does. Not here, I like my supervisor, but people in the… I definitely wanted to kick their trashcan through the window and throw them out after it.


Where I hailed him:

Where he hails from:Hong Kong

Years as a cabbie: 20

Previous profession: Always a driver
I’ve been fired many times. Not as a cabbie, as a mechanic, which is my other job. If someone yells at you, fires you, chances are good they have problems you don’t know about. Half the time it has nothing to do with your performance and they’re calling you the next week and begging you to come back.


Where I hailed him:

Where he hails from: Romania

Years as a cabbie:12

Previous profession: Always a driver
I have never been fired. I like to stay self-employed, so no one can even have the opportunity. We have a saying in Romania you might find interesting, though. It applies to being fired, or losing your job. In English it translates into “A kick in the ass is a few steps ahead.” Does that make sense? [Absolutely.] Think about this if you get fired, and it will make you feel better.


Where I hailed him:
West Village

Where he hails from:Haiti

Years as a cabbie: 10

Previous profession: Parking attendant
I used to work in a hospital parking garage. I went to get coffee one time. The big boss came and he asked my partner, Where is the other guy? My partner says, He went to get coffee. So he took my punch card and said tell this guy to see me Monday. So I go see the big boss Monday. He says where were you, I say I went to get coffee, he calls me a liar, I say I am not, he fires me. I take him to court. I get 26,000 dollars. It’s bad. Right now it is very bad. You get a guy with a family, he’s barely making it, you fire him? He could shoot you. It’s not always like that but right now there are no jobs. If you fire someone right now it is like throwing gasoline on a fire. At least Obama got elected. I hear things in the back of this cab that would make your hair stand end on end.

04/14/10 1:15am
04/14/2010 1:15 AM |

We’ve stopped eating, breathing, moving and thinking, thereby saving lots of the planet’s resources. Goodbye.

Where I hailed him:
Hell’s Kitchen
Where he hails from: India
Years as cabbie: 8
Previous profession: Computer programmer
Unplug things when you don’t use them, and if you can control the temperature in your apartment don’t make it too hot in the winter or too cold in the summer. Wear a jacket instead. You should also recycle, though I admit I’m not too good on that.

Where I hailed him:
Upper West Side
Where he hails from: Manhattan
Years as cabbie: 22
Previous profession: High school teacher
You know, there’s lots you can do. You see I drive a hybrid? I try to be responsible. I don’t go too fast, and I try to go on the better roads. You get more mileage out of your car if you don’t go too fast. You have to be easy on the car. Makes sense, right? Unfortunately, it’s not always my decision which roads to take, and some of them are terrible. I also try to unplug things when I leave the house, not keep my phone plugged in overnight, you know? I won’t be around for much longer, but I try to be more responsible.

Where I hailed him:
Where he hails from: Peru
Years as cabbie: 5
Previous profession: Always a driver
I keep a little bag for trash up here… there’d always be so much more trash when I used to buy food: bags, plastic utensils, Styrofoam containers. Now I bring my lunch from home, and while that’s mostly to save money, it also means less trash, which is good.

Where I hailed him:
Lower East Side
Where he hails from: Sudan
Years as cabbie: 3
Previous profession: Always a driver
You’re funny! You should take the subway if you care about the environment and want to save energy, but of course I should not be telling you this. I myself take the subway. Try to fix things instead of just buying too many new things. It’s better to fix something old than throw it away.