I got in a cab on my way to my weekend bartending gig last week– running late.
Cool-I think. A chance for quiet meditation to clear my head before serving the masses. Wrong. Murphy’s law was at work– I got a “talker” for a driver. Lucky me.
The Guy starts in immediately–
“This construction on Houston ‘as been goin’ on for nine yeeahz, can ya believe it?”
“Yeeeeup.” This. . . . is annoying. I try to shut him down with coolness and one word responses. No luck.
“You like French cuisine?” he says. Cuisine?!? This is more than annoying.
“Uh, ‘s ok.” Even if he picked up my disinterest- he didn’t care. I actually love French food, but I don’t love small talk first thing in the morning. He’s now telling me how he used to cook on a cruise ship.
“Really.” I sigh back. I kiss my quiet meditative cab ride goodbye. Then he starts getting into the preparation of his signature dessert. He’s talking about the tartness of lemon zest offsetting a creamy texture complete with a round finish on the palate. I’m still annoyed- slightly amused. He’s now talking reduction and simmering. Wow, he is really passionate about French desserts. My cab driver was a food artist.
I gave up fighting the conversation- It was going to happen whether I liked it or not.
“Sounds like your passion is cooking.” I chirp from the back seat.
“I love it, he says, but I’m actually a computer science engineer.” Woah. Weird.
Then he starts in about working for Microsoft (or some big company in that vein) for X amount of years and how he retired early because he made a fortune– he hated the nine to five. He says he drives a cab for fun because he enjoys talking to people—clearly. On some level—I do get it though. People in New York are interesting. This guy is so New York. He was interesting.
Then he starts telling me about his wife’s obsession with the times crossword. She needs absolute quiet in the house to complete it. Ha- not surprising. So she sends him off to drive his cab to give her the space she needs for her Saturday word ritual. Smart Lady.
“I love entertaining people and being on stage!!” He says. Ha—clearly. He starts telling me he’s been in a pile of movies and advertisements. He has an agent- he did a stint in advertising. I’m not surprised. This guy is the most entertaining cab driver I’ve ever had. Only in New York. The enthusiasm for life in this guy is infectious. I am inspired.
Then he tells me to look for the the NYC “beefcake” cabdriver calendar— because you guessed it: he’s in it.
“That exists??” I ask. Get. Out. My mind does a quick memory scan for past hot cabdrivers that I’ve had. . . . . . . and. . . nope—-I got nothin’. I look at him a little closer — hmmmm . . . He doesn’t give off the creep vibe– He’s too interesting and nerdy in a scrawny- middle aged- New York City – eccentric -Woody Allen kinda way.
But “beefcake”- he is not.
“Check it out” He hands me his iphone with a picture on the screen. Yup—it’s a real thing. And ahh yes—should’ve known- It’s a joke calendar— Only in New York. But it’s really good- It’s well done- photography is quality. I am cracking up—I am reminded again how much I love this city. I am inspired daily by the art, the music, the scenery, the madness, but more than anything- it’s always the people. I am smiling all day.
***This calendar made me laugh so hard, It’s a thing! Please click: http://www.nyctaxicalendar.com/gallery/2016/