Taxicab Confessions

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Covering the best NYC taxicab stories since the 1970s, Amy Braunschweiger discusses her new book, Taxi Confidential: Life, Death and 3 a.m. Revelations in New York City Cabs.


Amy Braunschweiger

Comments [13]

Catriona Pike from Bowery

On the way from our apartment in the West Village to St Luke's Roosevelt for the birth of our second son my labor went from 0-60 in the space of 5 minutes. First my amniotic sac began to come out unruptured, then the baby started to crown. We were on 10th and 22nd st. 9.20am. Traffic was gridlocked and stressed wouldn't come close to my state of mind! My husband called an ambulance but for the next twenty five minutes the cab driver did everything he could to get through the traffic while I did everything I could to keep the baby in. Finally on 33rd and the West Side Highway the ambulance caught up with us. The poor driver then even had to help flip me onto my back on to the gurney so as not to break my amniotic sac and for me not to give birth there and then. The baby was born 90 seconds after we reached St Vincents. We have no idea of the driver's name or cab number and despite contacting the TLC were never able to track him down to say thank you because apart from all the trauma, we never paid him!! So maybe now... he may not remember the date - March 8 2005 - but I'm sure he hasn't forgotten the journey!

Oct. 28 2009 10:53 PM
Greg from New Jersey

I was visiting New York with my girlfriend on a 20 degree winter day, when I lost my cell phone in a taxi cab. Ten minutes later, I was in a department store when I realized what happened. I got my girlfriend's cell phone and started calling my phone repeatedly. After another 10 minutes of calling, the Asian cab driver picked up and told me to meet him in the Armani Store. I ran to the Armani store and couldn't find him. I walked outside, stressed, when a Black man asked me if I lost my cell phone. Quite confusedly, I told him yes and he said he needed a finders fee. I reluctantly pulled out my wallet and gave him $10. He gave me my phone back and walked back to a purple minivan. I'm still wondering what happened...

Oct. 28 2009 01:56 PM
Ken from Soho

My taxi story involves a trip from Indiana to New York, but the taxi was in Indiana. This was a year I was away at graduate school in West Lafayette, Indiana (Purdue). I got around campus on a bicycle. When I flew to NYC for the winter vacation, I left my bicycle chained to a fence at the small West Lafayette airport.

Then there was an airline strike, requiring me to return to Indiana by train instead. I was now in at the railroad station in Lafayette, across the river from West Lafayette, where my bicycle had been left. So I hailed a taxi and said, "Take me to the airport - I have to catch a bicycle."

Oct. 28 2009 11:30 AM
mozo from nyc

I had a story similar to Danielle. I had just had my heart broken by a girl (I was 20, and it was summer, 1981). I got into a cab, numb, didn't say anything until the cabbie asked, "you ok, kid?" I mumbled what just happened to me. He just said, "ok, let's go."

He drove us from Columbia U down to Hell's Kitchen, garaged the taxi and took me to Cannon's, an old bar on 8th Avenue (not there any more, was a great place). He bought me several beers, told me to suck it up and left me there.

After he left I realised he didn't charge me for the fare and he never gave me his name. The next day I called another girl I knew, made a date with her for next week. It didn't last but we are still friends and would have never gone out in the first place if it wasn't for the cabbie.

I haven't thought about this event until today. I love this town!

Oct. 28 2009 11:13 AM
Telegram Sam from Staten Island

Rosemary: Sounds like the guy wussed out and left after the john grabbed them. What a hero.

Oct. 28 2009 11:09 AM
Rosemary from Upper West Side

Can't believe Brian, the cabbie and the author didn't make any further mention of what happened to the three prostitutes in the first anecdote. I guess the state of a car is more important than human life.

Oct. 28 2009 11:02 AM
Gavin from West Village

The day my Mom died, I had spent a long, tearful day calling family and friends. I was in a cab, that night, headed to JFK for my flight home to Denver. I made a couple more tear-less calls to some more friends to inform them. After my calls, the driver said, "I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your mother." Because I was exhausted, I maintained a bit of a wall and shrugged, "Well, you know, life happens." And he said, "Yes, but it is your mother. And we only have one mother." It was a profound moment of anonymous empathy that helped me feel anything but alone.

Oct. 28 2009 11:02 AM
Telegram Sam from Staten Island

I had a cab driver fall asleep while driving. I was headed home late at night, wasted myself, and thus didn't notice that the cab was going slower... slower... slower... until finally we drifted into a row of parked cars. That woke us both up. I was also almost run over by a sleeping cab driver who was rolling through an intersection. Once I found $80 in crumpled twenties in the back seat. Another guy corrected me when I gave him a twenty rather than the $10 I'd thought I'd given him (I let him keep the change anyway!). I had a driver take a swing at me when I kicked his cab after he almost ran me over taking a turn onto Park Ave. He had a fare in the car (an elderly couple!) but pulled over anyway to confront me.

Oct. 28 2009 11:01 AM
Jill from westchester

Had to take a cab one morning from the West Village to the upper east side for a work errand. Same night, I meet a coworker for dinner in the Lower East side. After dinner I hail a cab to get me home to Brooklyn -- same driver I'd had that morning.

Oct. 28 2009 10:58 AM
laura from jackson heights

I was in a cab in the Grammercy Park area. It had been a hard cab to get as it had been pouring so i was a happy passenger. The driver was playing something beautiful on his CD player. I asked him what it was and he said that it was Muslim prayers. I told him it sounded lovely and he promptly ejected it from his player and handed it to me. When we got to my stop he said that he would not charge me and he also handed me a copy of the Koran and wished me peace.

Oct. 28 2009 10:51 AM
Erica from The Bronx

I was leaving the library at Columbia University, and grabbed a cab to take me to my bus so I wouldn't miss it.

After finding out I was a student there, the cabbie offered to drive me to my house for a reduced fee. I told him no, but he insisted. I relented called my parents to tell them I was on my way and we were off.

I was exhausted, but the cabby insisted on talking the entire ride. When we got to my house, he got out of the car and proposed to me! I didn't accept, but I would see his car outside the library for almost a month afterwards...I made sure that I would take subway from that point on.

Oct. 28 2009 10:50 AM
Danielle from Queens

After a bad breakup, I was cabbing it to a friend's apartment. The driver must have known I was having a bad day- he offered me some marijuana! He was very persistent, but eventually I declined...

Oct. 28 2009 10:47 AM
Stephen Moses from brooklyn ny

this happened 20 years ago: I picked up a tourist couple in the west 70's that wanted to go to the Gramercy park area.
As I turned left on 42nd St at 7th ave. 5 cops came running out of that station, surrounded my cab and said "we're commandeering this cab. Take us to Grand Central" and climbed in with the tourists.
I got them there in a hurry. They jumped out and said ''thanks''.
The couple thought it was really exciting but I assured them it happens all the time.
2 days later I was at my band practice and the guitar player (who was feeding people on the food line for the coalition for the homeless) told us how someone pulled out and ice pick, killed one person and was threatening the rest of the line...
My friend called the cops, and I drove them there, but didn't find out till 2 days later.
true story!!

Oct. 28 2009 07:21 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.