the "World’s Local Bank", has four vintage taxi cabs driving around New
York City offering free rides to HSBC customers. The cars consist of two
classic Checker cabs, an old London cab, and a 1968 VW Microbus, which is what
used to be the cabs in Brazil. Renegade had a chance to catch up with each of the cab’s
full time drivers to find out what it is like to drive a taxi in the Big
Apple. Here’s what we learned:
Renegade: What is the most valuable item that has been
left in your cab?
phone. The new Treo kind with the personal organizer in it.
The guy called me on it and
I brought it all the way back up town
to him and his dad picked it up from me. He was so thankful
he offered me 20 bucks, but I turned down the money.
R: Who was the most unusual
passenger you picked up? Why?
J: Some guy named Donnie who invited me to his art showing at his
apartment. So I went after work that Friday to find him and his crazy
friends hanging out. It was like being at an Andy Warhol art show.
Its a long story, but just so you have an idea as to how odd it was, his friend
kept asking if he could be my concubine and offered to do something to me that
I can’t repeat. Needless to say I did not stay long.
R: What’s your favorite street in
the big apple?
J: I’d have to say the Astor place cube. It’s a great place to sit
and talk to the people in NYC
R: So we all know the show on HBO "Taxicab Confessional." Did
you have any blabbermouths? Maybe anything you want to confess?
J: Not really. People don’t really talk about too much crazy
stuff. They mostly keep it clean. People love to talk about one of
three things. The car, the bank, and how cool my job is.
R: I know when I’m in the back of a
cab, I think the cab driver can’t hear conversations that I’m having or see
things I’m doing. What unexpected things did you overhear/see?
J: Just this last week I heard two real estate brokers talking to each
other about how they are totally going to screw some partner out of this big
deal they are putting together. It was a regular conversation for a while
but then I heard them say. "F— Greg. He is an asshole and we
should cut him out of the deal." I see a lot of people pick their
noses. Let’s keep it at that.
is New York City like through the windshield of a taxi cab?
Truly beautiful, really. I see things on the street that people walking
tend to miss cause they are trying to get places fast. Time stands still
when you’re in my car.
What do you love about New York? What do you hate about New York?
J: The people I love. The traffic I hate.
R: What is your best celebrity sighting?
J: Sting, Woody Allen, Morley Saffer from 60/60, and Rachel Witzs said
hi to me once. Drove Dizzy Galespie’s drummer around one day.
R: What stereotype
about New Yorkers is actually true?
J: They don’t pay attention to where they are walking. Its like they
rule the streets. Nobody looks where they are going, and don’t even get
me started with the cell phone walker.
R: Did you learn how to
say anything cool in another language/pick up any new slang?
J: Not so much another language as a different way of talking to
homeless guys. Anything that they say negative you turn it around to make them
feel better. When I’m at a light and a homeless guy comes up to my car
and begs for cash, saying how bad his life is, I tell him that he looks like a
million bucks, and then I ask him for money.
R: How do you
spend your time when you’re not driving the Bankcab?
J: I’m a comic actor and one half of New York City’s only puppet comedy
duo, The Josh and Tamra Show. Please visit my web site at www.joshandtamra.com.
I perform all over the city and nationally in comedy festivals. I’m also a
Muppeteer for the Jim Henson Company and a character actor on the Conan O’Brien
Copy from an Apple print ad in 1977. It’s also the opening quote to a recent NY times article on R/GA and Bob Greenberg. It’s very relevant especially to the Ad industry and what we do, or ought to be doing.
"Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The
troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes – the ones who see
things differently. They’re not fond of rules and they have no respect
for the status quo. You can praise them, disagree with them, quote
them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing
that you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things."
Read the article here
Kevin Roberts: "If you want to understand how a lion hunts, don’t go to the zoo.
Go to the jungle."