Thursday, March 17, 2011
Small World Taxi
Today was one of those days where I missed the bus by 30 seconds. I have learned that running after it on the east side is often successful, but a fruitless and exhausting frustration on the west side, which is where I was. As I stood on Hudson Street, I noticed this refurbished Checker Cab with a sign saying it would take HSBC customers anywhere they want to go, free. FREE! What do I love more than free? Not too much. Plus, I have a problem with my toe right now and had just this morning been to the podiatrist where he tortured me with a shot in the foot, so walking east was not a good option.
I saw this cab, parked and empty, and thought, "Well just like a bank to offer something free but not be able to take advantage of it." I remembered what a heartache it was when my local HSBC branch moved away to take over the bald chocolate guy's store, and I had to start all over with another bank that is more blue, but has convenient ATMs in every Duane Reade.
Still though, I've maintained one account at HSBC and had my card in my wallet, and I wanted a free ride. Just then, a tall, curly haired man with a hipster hat opened the door and got in. I knocked on the window and asked him to take me to the east side. "Sure, hop in," he said.
What absolute luck. In fact, as soon as I finish writing this I will rush to play lotto because today is my lucky day.
Here's the reason I'm writing this way too long story: I was chatting with the cab driver about the East Village, recent changes blah blah the same conversation you have with every New Yorker, when he says I look familiar. This is not unusual - everyone thinks they've seen me before, I have that kind of face.
But then he thinks for a moment and says "I used to live on your block, back around 1994 or so, subletted for about a year." Really? Where? And then he named a minor movie star who used to live downstairs, who he sublet from after said minor movie star moved to LA to become a a more famous movie star. He couldn't remember anybody else who lived here though so I guess he didn't socialize much. When I told him we had babies on the top floor around then, with one directly above him, it seemed to spark a memory. In six months, those babies will be in college.
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