A South Bronx Mugging

City Diaries,
Friday, November 9, 2012 02:00 EST

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11/10/2012 8:10:46 AM
User Rank Village Voice
highway robbery
Taxi robbery is reportedly less common than it once was. Gone, we are assured, are those $200 rides from JFK that foreign tourists used to enjoy.

Back in those dark days of the 80s I had occasion to meet a friend who was staying at a midtown hotel, from where we hailed a cab. We gave the driver a downtown destination, and he promptly winged it uptown, figuring, I suppose, that he'd give these out-of-town rubes a brief tour of Columbus Circle and, perhaps, the Upper West Side on their way to the Village. I gently alerted him to his geographical misapprehension, and he proceeded to adopt a more direct route.

Drivers, of course, didn't have GPS back then, just those dancing hula girls.

11/10/2012 7:18:49 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
NY Stories
How about when, as a backpacking teen in 1982 I tried to hitch from the Sloan Sq YMCA to La Guardia airport and ended up in that huge project by the river in Astoria. I just walked right on through it. A cop at the other end looked at me and told me I must be crazy...I didn't know the difference..or the danger...and so came through it ok. Later in '84 I went to work, the South Bronx...but that's another stoy.

Kim Davis
Kim Davis  
11/9/2012 4:11:25 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: That terrified feeling
You could cut the air with a knife.  Never have I felt more out of place...unless...but that's another story.  It's quite different today.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
11/9/2012 12:59:36 PM
User Rank Staff
That terrified feeling
First, I experienced my own "highway robbery" by taxi not in NYC but in Paris in the 1990s, when a cabbie spotted me at the airport and offered to drive me to the hotel for what I learned was more than I made in a week.

Second, the neighborhood scariness of the Bronx was palpable in the 1980s, as was the scariness around certain areas of Harlem in the 1970s, when I went to school there. Unless you were from the district, you did not appear on the street after dark. Bus or train was the only way out, and if you didn't have the change, you were out of luck. Happily, nothing befell me there, I can't say the same for many friends and acquaintances.

11/9/2012 12:38:41 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: A preferred mugging
Your comment subject was pretty appropriate. I think I'd prefer this kind of mugging rather than the one I'd be faced with if I were out in the streets instead, lol.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
11/9/2012 11:04:53 AM
User Rank Staff
A preferred mugging
I've heard it said that everyone in New York has to experience a mugging once. Having had my iPhone stolen from my loose paws, I think I'm officially good to go, unless there's more in store for me. I hope this "mugging" was sufficient enough to allow you access into the NYer club?

11/9/2012 3:41:06 AM
User Rank Village Voice
Cab Fare
Sounds like an $8 cab ride if i do the math right... Of course who don't know you'd want to tip at least $$10 and really for a ride just give 'em a $20 and leave it at that.

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