Friday, August 17, 2012

Two too Many Cab Rides in NYC

My trip to NYC with Emily was fast but packed full. You can read about why we made the trip here.  We stayed at The Paramount Hotel and much to our surprise our room was the size of a postage stamp. One of us basically had to get on the bed while the other walked around the bed to get to the other side of the room.  It was really kind of funny and we couldn’t believe it when we opened the door. The picture below is of our room that was even upgraded from a full to a queen.  Mara told us later that small rooms are typical for NYC hotels. IMG_6746
Wednesday we walked all over just taking it all in and then decided to go to Soho to visit the shop Purl Soho. We went to Grand Central Station at about 5:45PM. It was super busy and we were beyond confused by the map and ticket machine. We called our cousin Kate for some advice. She lives in the West Village, but was actually back home in Ohio for a visit while we were in NYC. She recommended we just take a cab.

Ok, we can do this. It’s got to be easier than trying to use the subway…right? We stood on the sidewalk and within seconds a black cab drove right up. It had numbers on it and tags on the outside and looked legit; similar to the one we took from the airport, so we got in.  I gave him the Purl Soho address. Ok, so far so good, but then our driver promptly rolled up the windows and locked the doors. Huh? We were immediately uncomfortable.  Emily then pointed to a sign on the back of the passenger seat that indicated this particular cab could not be hailed from the side of the road, but rather only made scheduled pick ups.  Hmmm...we just hailed it from the side of the road.  Then Emily pointed to the back of the driver’s seat to bring my attention to the driver’s license which expired in May of 2012.  Hmmm, that’s odd. We looked nervously at each other. She rolled down her window because it was really hot and her window was promptly rolled back up.  She looked at me and said, “I didn’t do that!” 

Ok, now we are getting super scared.  I texted our cousin Kate the scenario and she responded, “Put your seat belts on. That is weird.”  Haha. I laughed and showed Emily the text.  Emily promptly made up a story about how our friend texted us and we didn’t need to go to Soho anymore and we’d just get out right there.  The driver pulled over and said, “Eight dollars.” Emily replied, “Eight dollars for two blocks?! How about five?” She throws down a five and motions me to get out. LOL! It made me laugh that we think we could be getting kidnapped and she’s negotiating the cab fare.
                                                                                                                 *photo from

We were in a bit of a time crunch because Purl Soho closed at 7:00, so after some serious deliberation we rolled the dice and got another cab…big mistake. I held my breath for what I think was about 12 minutes. The whole ride I was bracing myself and alternating between closing my eyes and nervously looking at Emily with a “help, we are going to die, get me out of this cab” look. During the ride to Soho, I actually thought to myself, “Is my new health insurance card in my wallet or at the hotel?” Our driver weaved in and out of traffic coming within millimeters of sideswiping other cars. For a few blocks he was racing an escalade taxi beside us. The race ended at a red light with our driver rolling down his window and throwing fbombs out while yelling and screaming about how the escalade taxi driver was not using signals.  On the upside, because of his crazy driving we managed to make it to Purl Soho ten minutes before they closed. 
The store was gorgeous, but my heart was racing and I was so overwhelmed by the ride that it was hard to focus. I did buy a couple different fabrics and I will definitely have to be sure and make something with them after all that we went through to get there.
We saw a ton of New York that night because we were too scared to get in another taxi so walked about three and a half miles back to our hotel.  I think bikes might be the way to travel the next time I’m in NYC.

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