Weird cab confrontations on the way in.
In the left-turn lane, I notice a cab doing the noncommital two-lane straddle. I just know he's going to slide into my lane on top of me, and he does. We're going slow enough that I can avoid injury, but I yell for him to use his turn signal. When I pass him (which infuriates him), he hollers something I can't understand. (He's like a caricature of a Chinese cabdriver, straight out of a Tintin comic. His head looks like a shrunken apple.) I tell him to use his signal. "I never make signal!" he bellows. "Never!"
Cab in the bike lane at Sixth Ave. and 37th Street. I wait behind him for the light, but he doesn't move when the light is green. He's just parked there. I squeeze by and tell him to get out of the bike lane. (This guy is a caricature of a subcontinental Muslim cabdriver: spotless white gown and knit cap, big full beard. It's like Central Casting arranged my morning commute.) This guy barks at me so I tell him to get the f*ck out of the bike lane. That did it. He roars behind me, then pulls alongside, gunning his engine. I slow down, he slows down. I speed up...you get the picture. He's inches away from me. I'm in acutal danger here. A bike messenger blows by on the other side of the cab and yells at the taxi, "Come, on, man! I'll smoke your ass!" (That was a real help.) The driver leans out and yells at me: "Why you have to swear at me! Why you have to swear at me?" When he put it like that, I could see how running down a bicyclist would be the natural response.
Good luck, though: a police cruiser is parked in the next block. I pull up and tell the cops that this cab is trying to run me off the road. Faced with losing his medallion, the driver stops dead (in the middle of the lane!), gets out and pleads his case to the cops. "He was swearing!"
Ah, the melting pot. I'm sure there's a lesson in there somewhere. But the truth is, yellow taxis are much more predictable than the black Lincoln car services....