I got into a taxi early this morning and I knew right away I was in a bit of trouble. In New York, hack licenses are issued numerically. So, the lower the number on the license, the longer the tenure of the driver. New drivers have license numbers of around 550,000. Brand new drivers are higher than that. That's where my guy's number was.
He started off saying, "I need help, I don't know uptown."
I directed him to Lex for heading downtown, as opposed to Second, which is a battlezone thanks to the never-ending construction of the Second Avenue Subway.
We dropped my wife off at 42nd and Lex, just a block or two from the "crossroads of the world." Then I told him to head downtown to Greenwich and Barclay.
"I need help," he repeated, "I don't know downtown."
We headed west to Seventh Avenue and sped downtown.
When we reached West Broadway and Warren I said, "I'll get off here." I was twenty minutes early and two blocks from my destination. I figured I'd hop in to Victor's Shoe Repair and get a shine. $3.
I made it to my client meeting.
Not once did I ask for directions.