Tag Archive | manhattan

Taxi Drivers in NYC

Call the cab.. right here! – near central park

… wave the hand on the road in Manhattan and taxi driver understands you need a ride. I hopped on and told him where I need to go, he would navigate on the road as if he knows every nook and corner of the city and suggest you get off at certain place instead of any deviations with so many one-ways and avoid charging you higher.

Too many taxis around.. near Wall St

As always, my curious minds strikes a conversation to find out how they operate so well in NYC, considering the fact that is as difficult as it (may be not so much if you compared with a Mumbai traffic and taxis over there) can get to drive comfortably. He ended up sharing some facts about being a taxi driver in NYC.

He lives in Brooklyn, a Law Student (4 more years to go, So I assume he just started), took this semester off and started driving from past 3 months. I must admit, he is good at it.
He says, there is some kind of understanding between fellow taxi drivers and with the number of taxis in NYC, the accidents happen in the city are usually by Private Vehicles. The reason being, private vehicles owners do not understand the driving-language-in-nyc, when the way is given to them,  when one should make a move, when to take a turn around or cut through the traffic as much as Taxi Drivers understand.

He says, even though he doesn’t like letting some one go past him, but he would give in to avoid the accidents, as there is a whole lot of process one needs to go through for a driving violation. The cops would then give a traffic violation ticket, losing the time, energy and business, speaking with auto-insurances, informing the cab agency etc etc, and he thinks it is just easy to control the impulse than end up being in this situation.  Manhattan is a very well planned city, it is easy to get around and experience teaches us everything, he adds.

Although, the distance traveled was only 1.5 miles, with the traffic during peak time, it took ever but he was very entertaining and  knowledgeable (oh yeah, he is a Law student after all), and then he ended up speaking about “Life in NYC” vs “Living in other places” (this topic to be covered in  future post), his idea of getting a degree in law, specializations, life as a student and aspirations he have. And he also works for some firm and cab driving is his part time job. It is true that one need to do multiple jobs to pay for living here. It is quite expensive and every one has different perspective. According to him, living in Manhattan is way too expensive, congested and you will not save enough money for yourself. I could not agree more.

As the conversations drifted from one topic to another but all around New York City. It is amazing to know the perspectives from other angles. And then you think you would relate but then like everyone else you have an opinion of your own.

Taxis in Time Square

The most interesting fact that I appreciate about people over here is, irrespective of their education, wealth and good paying full time job, they do not hesitate to take up another job and perform with a great diligence. There are many taxi drivers in NYC who fall under this category. I hope the same attitude ignites in the minds of people who are from the same place where I originally hail from. Unfortunately, ego is associated with the kind of job you do, societal branding, and you care of what other think about you and forget the fact that others will not feed you when you are hungry. I call it – ignorance.  I would have been the same if not for this exposure, and I still have that streak of attitude that shows up unconsciously.

Wouldn’t be nice if every job is considered as “work” irrespective of it’s kind and show same amount of respect towards everyone ?

(Ok, I am not speaking about people doing any “in-humane activities” as their job here..)

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Trails of Sandy – only getting worse!

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update (10/31) : For all the New Yorkers who are out of power, good news is that NYSC (New York Sports Club) is now open for public to use the amenities/services for free. For more information – Click Here

Please pass it on to people whom you know want to charge their phones/ take shower/ relieve stress etc.

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As much as I wished this has not happened. But Sandy did left a trail with a total of 65 (Caribbean), 33(United States) that includes 18 deaths alone in NYC.

It is worth appreciating the efforts of United States in acting on it and taking this storm seriously and tried their best to ensure the safety of the people. It turned out to be much worse than expected, NYC Manhattan is totally flooded with water, no electricity to 750,000 households, subways filled with water causing transit turmoil, trouble to patients in hospital that needed to be evacuated. Yes, you sure can get these facts on any news channels across the world. And the estimated costs with so many businesses shutting down, air flights cancelling, power outages, damages to homes, parks, cars and many more is as of now 26+ billion dollars, yes you heard it right.

The place where I work is damaged, flooded with water and estimated time to fix is not known yet, water started cascading back into the rivers/oceans.  It means I’ll need to work remotely for rest of the week (a blessing in disguise) may be more depending on how soon they restore the transit services and buildings ready to operate with power. Besides, my whole team have no power or internet connectivity in their respective areas, and it might take few days to restore.

They need a lot of volunteers of any capacity in NYC  – register here

I am not able to reach any of my friends here in NYC, NJ area, the calls are directly going to voice mail, possibly out of power. I hope they are doing well. On that note, I could not thank enough of what “Red Cross” is doing in providing shelter to people is just amazing.

This morning was quite calm, bright and beautiful.

Bright and Beautiful after Sandy’s gone from NYC

Fall is done! Sandy made all leaves fall off the trees.

Leaves piled up!

St Paul’s Chapel – Across WTC

Today was the most beautiful day here in NYC, slightly cloudy and mostly sunny. Thanks to a friend of mine who dragged me to Manhattan downtown to show him around.

Ever since I landed in NYC, I have had numerous guests coming over, be it a family or friends or friends of friends or family friends. I have been a tour guide with no knowledge about “what about’s of the places.. err..I meant history”, but know what those top 10 tourist destinations to cover all in a single day! I have visited every single place more than 10 times each in a span of 2 years.

Anyways, coming back to our topic.. after my friend left, I rambled into St.Paul’s Chapel Church. Amazed at the importance of the church and the hope & shelter it gave to people during WTC (world trade center) attack who were contributing to clean the mess out. If you are further interested in reading about it.. Click here.

As I walk through, it is more of an exhibits where it showcases, how people were being helped by volunteers, the messages they got from people around the world, letters and paintings from the kids, volunteers work and the life during those crucial 3 months right after the attack. In spite of the fall of WTC towers, there has been no physical damage occurred to this Church although it’s just across the street.  People were working round-about-the-clock, in 12 hours shifts and staying back to finish the work instead of going home.  Truly amazing..and it brought me tears in my eyes as I read and remember the people who lost their lives and happy for them who survived this episode.

Few clicks for you to get  a feel of it: All in the order from the entrance to a round about inside the chapel back to outside. Good news is that, if you ever want to visit this, you can get a free tour, they are offered Monday to Friday at 12 pm. No reservations required.. isn’t awesome?