Do You Support the Arts in New York? 

We once made the mistake of giving our name to a prominent New York City arts organization and they tracked us down at work and kept calling us for over a year to solicit donations and we almost lost our job. Do you hear that, Prominent New York City Arts Organization? You almost cost us our livelihood.

DANIEL
Where I hailed him: Port Authority
Where he hails from: San Francisco
Years as a cabbie: 3
Previous profession: Baggage handler
I don’t, man, sorry. [You don’t ever go to museums or theater or anything?] Nah, not really. That stuff costs money, you know. Broadway tickets are what, $70 at least? $150 if you’re taking someone? No, I can’t do that. I gotta work, brother. Last time I did something like that was years ago, I don’t even remember what the show was. Wait, does going to concerts count? I do that. I saw Aerosmith one time.

JONATHAN
Where I hailed him: Kips Bay
Where he hails from: Queens
Years as a cabbie: 1
Previous profession: Retired (“Goddamn economy.”)
Does going to the library count? It should. I do that; it’s good to have something to read when it’s slow or you go on break. But I don’t give money to anyone. Oh, wait, I do! I give money to those people who play music on the street. Just spare change, but if the music is good I’ll give something. [What kind of music do you like?] You mean who do I typically give to? I like the ones who play actual instruments — not like banging on paint cans — and sing. They at least earn the money. Not like the ones who dress up like the Statue of Liberty and just stand there.

KHALED
Where I hailed him: West Village
Where he hails from: Pakistan
Years as a cabbie: 7
Previous profession:  Limo driver
Last year I bought my wife a painting, so I supported that artist. It was for her birthday, a very nice piece. It was painted on something like a tile… not glass. [Ceramic?] Yes, ceramic. It was a painting of a flower, with a bird sitting on the flower. It was very pretty. My wife likes birds, that was why I got it for her. It was very colorful.

TOM
Where I hailed him: Times Square
Where he hails from: San Francisco
Years as a cabbie: 12
Previous profession: Retailer
My daughter sings and plays piano. She’s the only artist I know. I support her; at least I did when she lived with us. I paid for her piano lessons when she was little. [Does she sing professionally now?] She used to. Or rather, she’s trying to. She used to sing at a jazz club, but she hasn’t done that for a while... years. Now she has her own family, so I don’t think she will try again.






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