new york city

Showing 4 posts tagged new york city

Responding to 200+ Reddit comments on my reporting a taxi to 311 post

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A Condescending Wonka caption a Redditor made about my story.

There were 213 comments at last count on Reddit about the post I published yesterday about the taxi driver who plead guilty and paid a fine after I reported him to 311 for refusing to drive me to Brooklyn. At first I was going to let the post speak for itself but I felt that would be a missed opportunity.

So here’s the comment I left in the thread over there in response to some of the recurring questions:

Why are you such a douche? I got fed up that day with drivers refusing to go to Brooklyn. It’s illegal and it’s annoying. I thought that if taxi drivers didn’t think they could get away with it as much, they would do it less. Maybe this guy would also warn other drivers about what happened. I was also curious to see how well the 311 system worked. I don’t actually think of myself as an avenger or anything. (The stuff about “justice” was tongue-in-cheek). I just wanted to follow the process along and show people the results so that if they got into a problem with a taxi they’d be more informed about what they can do about it.

Where did you get your taxi driver pay numbers? Interviewing at the taxi fleet garage. If you average out the numbers I got, revenue minuses expenses comes to $41 for a day shift, $216 for a night shift. That averages out to $128.50, right? That would be on par with Taxi and Limousine Commission estimates that drivers make an average of $130 in takehome pay.

Why won’t you publish my comment on your blog? I moderate the comments and don’t feel the discussion lacks because I don’t publish drive-by name-calling.

Do you know what it’s like to live on hundreds a week? My first job in New York City was a bike messenger. I’ve done data entry, over the phone theater ticket sales, temping, sold shoes, and waited tables. Somewhere along the way I somehow managed to trick enough people into enjoying what happens when I press letters on a keyboard and got them to pay me money for it. Now I can afford taxi rides and an iPhone to take a picture of them when they break the law.

Why did you give out your demographic? So you have a picture of who wrote the story.

Hey, in your Reddit headline, it’s “my wife and me” not “my wife and I.” Eep, thanks. (But now that you’ve pointed out my mistake, I can change my behavior in the future…)

Join the fray: Taxi refused to drive my wife and I to Brooklyn. Got the letter of him pleading guilty after I reported him to 311. [Reddit]

If This Taxi Doesn’t Go To Brooklyn, Watch Out

As soon as I pulled the taxi door handle, I knew.


Yep, it didn’t open. I reached for my iPhone. Just as I predicted, the driver heard my wife and I were going to Brooklyn and drove off. A 30-year old married consumer journalist, I stepped off the curb by City Hall in Manhattan and took a picture of his license plate. It wasn’t the first time I’d been illegally refused a fare to Brooklyn from Manhattan, and I was sick of it. Once home, I took a few minutes online and filed a report with 311. The former Managing Editor of Consumerist.com, I’ve counseled millions of readers on how to fix their consumer issues by speaking up. Now it was my turn. I was ticked off, but I was also curious to see how well 311 actually worked. I wanted to poke the system and see how it responded.

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New biz model for a dance show: The Menu

What are some new ways dance could make money? After the incredible and inventively designed Merce Cunningham show last night at the Park Ave Armory, I was having drinks at Match 65 with my wife, Mark Jarecke, and their friend Paige, kicking this very idea around. One I came up with is The Menu:

Tickets are $0, but the audience is seated cabaret style and given menus which list various dance pieces on them with various prices. Waiters go around taking orders. The audience is hesitant at first, they’re not sure if they’re being put on, but it’s explained and it becomes apparent that no dancing will happen until an order is placed. Then people start to get into the groove and order up dances and the ones that are requested get performed.

Another idea is an auction where people outbid each other to have the dance piece of their choice performed, and one my wife came up with is The Bet, where an artist breaks out their idea pad full of their crazy and impossible dances and the audience, in advance of the show, bets other audience members as to whether the dances can be performed. These two work better for an established artist with a known repertoire and a fan base.

(Photo: Claire L. Evans)