Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Watts Street

I recently had a young Frenchman in my cab who wanted to go to a street in Tribeca that always asks a question: Watts Street. His English was okay, but not great, which allowed me to get away with a conversation that went something like this:

Me: Hello, where would you like to go?

Young Frenchman: Hello, I am going to zee Watts Street in Tribeca.

Me: What street?

YF: Yes.

Me: Yes, what?

YF: Watts Street.

Me: I don't know, you tell me.

YF: Watts eez zee name of zee street in Tribeca.

Me: There are many streets in Tribeca. They all have different names. Just tell me the one you want to go to.

YF: Watts Street!

Me: Monsieur, je ne sais pas! How should I know the name of the street? You're supposed to tell me that!

YF: (slowly, and with a hint of exasperation) Sir, there eez a street and zee name of zee street eez Watts! Double you ay tee tee ess!

Me: Ohh, do you mean "Watts Street"?

YF: Yes! Do you know eet?

Me: Sure, it intersects with Where Avenue. I believe there's a Y on that block.

YF: Please take me there.

Me: Take Where to the Y on Watts?

YF: I don't know zee Y.

Me: Ah, mon ami, neither do I, neither do I. We may know Where and we may know Watts, but we never really know Y, do we?

YF: No, I have never known zee Y.

Me: Why even think about it? Let's go.

YF: Okay.

I believe I was sent here to take rides like this. I believe it's my calling. Along with clicking here for Pictures From A Taxi, of course.


Real cab driver said...

I've been back to driving for about 6 weeks now. For some reason, I didn't have any will to post during the time I was off. I'm pretty sure I know what happened.

The apartment I was living in had a lot of this black mold on the ceiling. It got there as a result of the sheet rock being wet. The sheet rock got wet because of something called an ice dam, which lifts the roof up a little and lets the snow melt seep inside.

At first I was terrified, I had visions of being charged thousands of dollars. As in, they'd say it was my fault. Then a friend informed me that it couldn't possibly be my fault, and not to worry about it. So, I said to myself, I'll paint over it one of these days, and let it go for a couple of years. All this time, for over 4 1/2 years in fact, the management of the complex never came in, a situation called lack of due diligence.

It turns out that that stuff is really poisonous, and created a medical problem which pretty much went away when I moved out of that place during the summer. They moved me across the hall and told me that at the end of my lease I'd have to move. I now live in the country.

The city didn't condemn the place because I moved across the hall, but the other people in the building are going for rent abatement.

A neurologist cleared me to return to driving in August.

jayjay said...

Who's on second? This is just total cruelty to tourists - but hey, he was French!

Sam said...

Reminds me of one of my regular stock of quips. When a passenger asks, "Do you know what?" my usual reply is, "No, but his name is on all the light bulbs."

G.S. said...

Thanks, Sam, I think I'll add that one to my repertoire!