August 7, 2011

Life List #39 - Hail a taxi in under 5 seconds

This item on my life list probably seems kind of... pointless. And in some ways it is. It doesn't make my life any better or worse, and doesn't make the world any merrier. It's just something I've always wanted to do.

Taxis don't exist where I grew up. You may see one every now and then, mostly from out of town, and they aren't the kind of taxis your hail from the side of the street. I took a few cabs in college, but again, they're the kind you have to call to come pick you up, and they may or may not arrive an hour or so later.

So, the first time I visited NYC I told my best friend, "I have to hail a taxi before we leave!" And I did. Well, I tried. I don't know if it was our location or position on the sidewalk or what, but we could not get a cab. Fifteen minutes later we finally succeeded, running into the street and throwing ourselves into one as soon as someone got out, which in my opinion doesn't really count. I wasn't able to put my arm up in the air, my right heel planted firmly on the pavement, and yell, "TAXI", causing five passing yellow cars to slam on brakes immediately (because that's what I picture when you hail a cab properly). To make matters worse the driver had no idea where he was going, and our friend/guide had to navigate him through the streets. NO TIP!

So, I put it on my life list. And yesterday, I did it! I had just gotten out of a stellar job interview at a tiny bakery in TriBeCa. There was construction on the uptown A train, and I had no interest in sitting for an hour down in the sticky, hot subway. So on a whim, I walked over the the curb, stepped in the side of the street, turned around swiftly to face traffic, my hair blowing lightly in my face, and I put up my hand. I had no idea if I was doing this correctly. Is there a form? Is my arm at the right angle to my body? What do I do with my fingers? Do I make a fist? Point? Let them hang casually? I didn't really have time to try any of these hand figurations because a bright yellow cab pulled up beside me, and the middle-aged driver said, smiling, "Hop in beautiful!"

And so I did.



  1. Hi! Mary Kohlmann here-- just wanted to note how much I am enjoying this blog. I'm glad you're rocking New York, and I love seeing it through your eyes. Have a great rest of the summer and eat lots of cupcakes on my behalf.

  2. AH! Mary! I was just recalling the other day our grand little meeting in Washington Square Park last year. I know China must be amazing! Every time I eat a cupcake I'll be thinking of you. :)


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