I received a call this morning from a woman who was literally beside herself with stress after traveling from the Upper East Side in the 70’s to Midtown in the 40’s – and back – as part of doing an outcall. Now this seems like a nothing commute. So why all the drama? Well first off, the woman is a drama queen. But that’s not the whole story.
Wishing to arrive on time (which this girl never does), she hailed a yellow outside her door and within just a few blocks found herself in a traffic gridlock. Forty five minutes and twenty bucks later she arrived to the call frazzled beyond description no doubt from being very late…and twenty bucks poorer. The date went alright (I assume) because the guy (after hearing her story) called Uber (which she called “Hoover.” Too funny! You’re the Hoover…not the for-hire vehicle or the driver) so she could go back home free-of-charge and in style. Guess again!
Apparently, it was the “Hoover” guy’s first day on the job. And he didn’t know where the fuck he was going. The dude plugged the address into his GPS and headed toward 70-something Street – but in Brooklyn. In the meantime, Ms. Einstein closed her eyes and didn’t open them until she discovered hello…she was on 14th Street. An argument ensued during which a crazy woman did battle with a crazy Uber driver! And though she didn’t have to pay for the ride, it did take 2 hours and fifteen minutes for her to get back home from Midtown in the 40’s to the Upper East 70’s!
I wasn’t there for either ride…and I know that this woman is a little nuts to begin with. But I have to believe it wasn’t all her fault. Still, I had a few pieces of sage advice. First…be on time for a change so you can take public transportation to your appointment. You’ll probably get there faster during the rush anyway. Grabbing a taxi is pointless. Number 2: Never…and I mean never close your eyes when you’re in a for-hire vehicle unless you know the driver! It’s an invitation for disaster. And finally…if you’re having issues with the driver and the ride is already paid for? Just get the fuck out and hop on the train. I mean…you were on 14th Street at the time.
Whatever! My final final piece of advice: “Honey, get a bike! Let me give you a hint. Almost daily, I ride from 10th Street and 1st Avenue to 51st and Lex. Traffic notwithstanding, the voyage takes 20 – 25 minutes at a leisurely pace. Am I getting through?” Well really…there is no getting through. But you get the idea.
Here’s a cyclist reality of which very few people are aware: Back when I made frequent trips to Queens to pick up Voice or Taxi Talk money in Long Island City or Sunnyside, I timed the trip by subway…and then by bicycle. And guess what! Walking to Astor Place…waiting for the 6 train…riding the 6 train…switching to the 7 at 42nd…waiting for the 7 train…riding the 7 train…and finally, walking from the stop in Queens to the door of my advertiser…took more time than simply riding my bike over the 59th Street Bridge. And ya see…that’s why I ride a bicycle!