It’s early Sunday morning, you’ve had a lot to drink and you’re ready to go home. The train might not show up for another hour or so and you’re slowly dozing off on the subway platform. You tell yourself, “screw this, I’m going to catch a cab.” Well…good luck there, buddy. You’re going to need it.
This past Saturday, I attempted to flag down a cab after spending the night in the Lower East Side. To my utter amazement it didn’t take me any more than 10 minutes to do so. But just as luck would have it, the following conversation took place.
Cabbie: Where to?
Me: Washington Heights.
Cabbie: That’s uptown, right?
Cabbie: How much do you usually pay to get there?
Me: About $25
Cabbie: Get out.
Cabbie: Please, get out now.
So there I was, freshly kicked out of a yellow cab. The guy pretty much left me in the middle of an intersection so I had to scramble around traffic before I could get to the sidewalk to make a second attempt. Fortunately it took me under 20 minutes to catch a cab home this time. Negotiations went a little better with the second cabbie and I ended up paying $30 to get home.
If you’ve been paying attention, I consider this experience to be a good one. I haven’t been so lucky in the past. I’ve actually gotten so desperate that I’ve waved a $20 bill as I tried to flag down a cab just to let them know I had money. What looked to be an early night, turned into a one hour adventure to get home for my buddy and me.
Other times, yellow cabs just happen to stop for other people. For example, me and a friend were once stranded in area with no transportation because the 1 Train decided to implode. With everyone sandwiching themselves into a shuttle bus, we decided to catch a cab. After 15 minutes of waiting for anything (even a squirrel) to pass by, we thought we caught ourselves a cab. Oh, how wrong we were. Turns out the cab stopped for the two women behind us. What a bummer. I wish I could give you tips on how to get a taxi in the city late at night, but that’s like a guy trying to understand women; it cannot be done. You just kind of have to hope the taxi gods are on your side. Good luck!
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