RRush Hour Report: Swimming in the Poisoned Well

NYC Pedicabs

Here’s a quick amalgam of experiences from this past week of riding (29Nov-1Dec):

– Two NYPD tickets Thursday evening: One at Penn Station, the other by Rockefeller Center. Both for purportedly blocking traffic. Penn Station a “criminal” ticket for “disorderly conduct”; Rockefeller Center ticket a “moving violation” (or not moving violation) for obstructing traffic lane. Early Christmas presents from the NYPD?

Early Christmas presents for RR and one of its practitioners at Penn Station

– While RR awaited its second Christmas present from the NYPD by Rockefeller Center, a Bozostanian pulled up with a sucker – er, woman – in the back of his Main Street clunker. He asks RR whether he accepts credit cards (“yes”); then, he asks RR to process his customer’s card – and for RR then to give him cash. RR demurs. RR asks the woman how much she’s being charged. She has no idea. After being prompted, she requests a price from Mr Bozostan. He, of course, points to the “rate card” and says $50. She doth protest! “You told me it was the same price as a (toxic) taxi!” He doesn’t answer… But RR does: “He lied. He’s a liar.” She tells him she’ll pay $25 or nothing. In the meantime, Mr Bozostan finds another Bozostanian to process the woman’s card. Clever way for Mr Bozostan to “pass the buck” of responsibility for the sales receipt to another practitioner while he charges an exorbitant price – and gets cash in the process!

RR awaits another NYPD Christmas present as a potential victim disembarks from Bozostan.

– Friday evening, RR pitches the toxic taxi line at Penn Station and a woman expresses interest… then begins to hem and haw about being scared. She finally says, “I’m chicken” – to which RR retorts, “I’m the rooster!” The crowd roars as RR departs empty – yet triumphant.

– RR scored a ride to the Marriott Marquis for the first time in months – since a Fourth of July debacle which led to a shouting match with management and security regarding the dropping off of passengers against their wishes. Lo and behold, the security guard allowed RR to pass unhindered with passengers this time. Why? Turns out management has changed its position – likely triggered by the incident with RR over the summer. One small step for human decency – one giant leap for rickshaw respect?

– Saturday evening, RR pitches across from Macy’s on 6th Ave near the bus kiosk… And someone sitting at the kiosk rises from his seat and requests a price to 47th St & 7th Ave. RR tells him it’s a $15 minimum – and he settles into the seat! Turns out he’s a bit of a hustler himself, and as RR arrives at the destination, Robert tells him that a current hustle of his is panhandling – and that he’s pulling down over $100/day. That’s better than a lot of “paying jobs” out there…

– Another ride, another save: First ride Saturday, from Penn Station to Novotel. Couple initially not keen to jump on; RR discovers, subsequently, their family members had been ripped off recently – 10 min ride charged at $75 for grandma and two children while they took a toxic taxi the same distance for $10. RR tells them he would have charged $25 for the same ride, quotes $22 for this one… and they’re off, settling for a typical ride of joy, laughter, happiness—and timeliness.

– RR gave Gandhi a ride on Friday! No, not that Ghandi… but a dude named Gandhi – from St Louis, no less…