Happy Cabbie NYC!
Every year we travel to some pretty amazing destinations to find the world's leading eyewear of distinction to bring back to Halifax. In April we headed to New York to see what we could find. With all our appointments taken care of, evening events attended, art appreciated and tunes grooved to, we finally had some personal time.
We headed out with some personal goals to tick off, and swiftly after enjoying some fine New York Pizza (Alicia) and beautifully designed Japanese merchandise (Euan) we started to explore the best that Manhattan had to offer ... and we kind of got tied up in traffic!
A few hours later we had explored, travelled and enjoyed, all meaning that were now a bit further away from where we'd hoped to be with a deadline to get back to the exhibition centre, collect our luggage and catch a bus to the airport.
Nothing for it, let's hail a cab and get us back to base ASAP.
A few minutes of searching and strategic positioning amongst the streetscape resulted in a yellow car pulling over, Mike had his hand raised, he was the winner, he'd hailed the cab. Our motley crew - Mike & Alicia (opticians to the generally fabulous), Euan & John (optometrists par excellence) piled in. Mike was in the front, and the three remainers were in the back.
Perhaps we should have suspected something when our cabbie exclaimed, before we piled in, "I AM SO HAPPY THAT YOU ARE GOING TO BE MY RIDE!".
Directions given, "Javits Center", we sat back and thought, well this is going to take as long as it's going to take. We all sat quietly downhearted at the thought of a trek to the airport taking somewhat longer than necessary. Little did we know that this was going to be no ordinary cab ride!
A couple of streets past, we were starting to make good time, I sat back a little. The window was wound down, fresh air was flowing. The driver had quite the thumping soundtrack going and was making swift progress down Murray Street. We made to cut across West Broadway, but several lanes of stationery traffic blocked our progress. This was nothing more than a challenge to our cabbie, who started to wave his hands as though trying to part the Red Sea. As soon as the slightest inch was given, he moved in to the space. None of this was done in an aggressive or forceful manner, but with a humble, pleading gestures and a smiling expression on his face.
The expression on Mike's face was quite the picture as well. Riding shotgun, Mike was getting the full experience of the cab ride, only to be heightened when our driver turned to Mike, while the car was straddling several lanes of traffic, and started to advise, "My friend, in life, you need to focus on the rose."
"Focus on the ROAD" was Mike's prompt reply, "No, no," our driver reassured, "not the road, but the rose." all the time with his hand cupped in the air like a stem flower, slowly opening in the sun.
"You see everything in nature, everything natural, is beautiful".
Was that the Avenues of the Americas we'd just torn down? Pausing at lights beside a Maserati dealership, maybe there was beauty all around. The whole car rocking back in forth in time to the beat, as our happy cabby pumped the brakes and flashed the internal light on and off. Disco cab!
What were we doing on Bedford Street? In the back we felt like we needed to suck in breath to try to help the cab squeeze past the parked cars lining both sides of the narrow. It felt like we were driving through a movie set, with brownstone buildings and zig-zag fire escapes all around us.
"You have a gap, just like Madonna" the driver said, staring in to the rear view mirror. Fine time to be noticing small gaps! "It's very lucky, my daughter has the same!". Never mind the gap between Alicia's teeth, let's make sure the cab can go through that gap ahead!!
We burst out from traffic on to West Street, the sun sparkling on the Hudson as people were on bikes, roller blades and long boards enjoying the afternoon sun on the Greenway.
"You must look after your queen". Now this was a confusing instruction, lots of ambiguity, but after more suggestions we worked out that the advice was to take good care of your loved one, your significant other (we think).
A few more twists and turns, ducking under the Highline a couple of times and all of a sudden we emerge with five minutes to spare at the Javits Center. As we are paying, our cabbie advises, "Search YouTube - Happy Cabby NYC - that's me!" Four of us in the cab and not one of us had thought to grab our cellphones.
We all left the cab with big grins on our face, it had been a wild ride with life lessons along the way. As we stepped away, someone in the crowd coming towards us yelled, "Hold that cab" ... with pleasure - enjoy the ride!
If you're in New York and you're lucky enough, we too hope that you get to have a ride with Happy Cabbie NYC!
Here's some videos from people who didn't forget they had cameras in their phones!
Peace & Love!