Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Champagne and Survival, the Mionetto Case
We were celebrating an anniversary or birthday of some significance and were having such a great time at Maialino in the Gramercy Park area that we decided to walk down to Union Square to have a look around. While we were there the idea seized us that we should buy a case of prosecco and catch a cab back to the car.
Trader Joe's has a wine store there and there are great deals so it seemed like the perfect plan.
The prosecco was indeed cheap and the girl said she would take it our to the curb so the plan was coming together nicely. Once we got to the curb we waited for a cab, and waited , and waited... We were in a cab dead zone. Sometimes if you are downstream or upstream from an area where lots of cabs are picking up fares you can be in a situation where all the cabs have fares and are not picking up passengers. The dreaded dead zone. Surveying the situation we decided to go over to 3rd avenue as there seemed to be lots of traffic headed north and a better chance of getting a cab. Once we hauled the case, they are really heavy, closer to the corner we could see that this was busier but not much better. There was a Korean house wife and her son with a microwave in a box, two hispanic girls, and a 6' ft 6" military looking guy in a suit and expensive running shoes. As we approached the two girls got a cap and sped off. We sat the case on the concrete traffic barrier and began our wait. The man in the suit seemed to have taken control of the situation and informed us, not that we asked, that the Koreans were next and then him. He had been there for 20 min. when we arrived. It was a classic NYC "Whatever" moment in the making. A couple, very much into themselves, up streamed the Koreans and those two guys sped off in a cab. The next cab took the Koreans and we were moving forward, not fast, as half an hour had passed by this time it was getting close to 6 pm. As we were waiting for the man in the suit to get his cab, it slowed and approached another couple stepped off of the curb and attempted to upstream him as well. He jumped in front of the cab and started a very animated conversation with the driver. As the two cab-jackers exited the situation, the cab with the suit and sneakers pulled over towards us. The self appointed cab wrangler asked us how far up 3rd we were going and told us to jump in. We did and explained that we were just going to 21st street but would love to split the cost of the cab. He said he was going to 113th and third as we sped away. We didn't have much time to discuss the reason for the cab dead zone or anything else as we arrived at 21st quickly. I had a five ready and thanked the guy and offered the five for what was a $2.50 fare on the meter at that time, he said " No don't worry about it and have a great party!" We had a lively conversation about the whole strange affair as we got back to our car, which was parked on the street for free, loaded up and headed home.