We were barely minutes in New York when we had one of those “only in New York” incidences.
We took an airport shuttle from the airport (Newark), our hotel was in Lower Manhattan in the Financial District.
Our shuttle driver was a short serious looking woman, she had on khaki pants and shirt, and hiking boots. She looked liked she was going on a safari.
The van had two other drops before us, a family on holiday from the UK and a guy from San Francisco visiting his girlfriend for the weekend.
The British family were dropped off first at the hotel near Times Square.
The San Francisco guy was next someplace in the Flatiron District.
While we talked amongst ourselves our van driver talked away on her phone the whole way through.
Still on the phone (it was one of those two-way walk talkies phones – keep that in mind because it’s vital to the story), the driver took the FDR Drive and before long we were taking in the sights in Soho.
Our shuttle driver at this rate was out of control, she’s weaving in and out of traffic, someone is singing to her in Spanish on the phone she’s giggling.
I wasn’t so much concerned about my safety (which I should have been!) as I was shocked by the bizarre incident.
We got pulled over by the cops around Bowery and Houston!
And it was quite dramatic too! There were lights, sirens and loudspeakers.
Two cops come over to the van after she has pulled over, she demands to know immediately why she’s being pulled. The cops just insist on license and registration and they go back to their cruiser.
They come back after what seems like hours, they hand her a ticket and tell her it’s for talking on the phone.
The van driver takes one look at the ticket and shoves it back into the cops hands and demands that he adds a note that she wasn’t on the ‘phone’ but on a ‘two-way radio’.
A sort of argument ensues, no one’s winning, I’m confused as to why this woman is arguing with the cops… Maybe it’s a New York thing.
I’m also slightly amused and entertained, it was the most exciting thing that’s happened to me since I got on the plane.
The cops throw the the ticket into the driver’s seat and walks away, the woman gets out of the car chasing them, she seriously wants that two-way radio note on the ticket.
I’m thinking to myself now… “This is going to end badly.”
Somehow cooler heads prevail, she returns to the van and drives us unceremoniously to our hotel.
She complains about the cops, clearly I’m not on her side but I pretend I am.
As she drives off, I see her reach for her phone and I think to myself… “Only in New York.”
That driving skill is definitely a NY thing – you have to have nerves of steel to sit through a cab ride.15 April, 2010 at 7:15 am
That driving skill is definitely a NY thing – you have to have nerves of steel to sit through a cab ride.15 April, 2010 at 11:15 am