From my Facebook status: what a great night. celebration of the arts and arts funding at Daniels Spectrum – Artscape’s newest creation, amazing to see so much joy and power in one room, all together, friends old and new to hug and exclaim and make plans with and then out for a bite and a drink with (A Friend) who rocks my world and home safe to finish bits and pieces and think about what good things the future will bring to the arts in Toronto. Well done, all involved. To quote Che – art is power. Fought for over a decade, celebrated tonight.
I hadn’t yet been to Daniels Spectrum it was still a deep pit in the ground when I finished working at Artscape and it is a beautiful building, with a state of the art hall for events and theatre – congrats Artscape. You’ve made another beautiful building.
Last night was truly great – the mix of folks there to celebrate this arts funding from artists to city councillors to the Mayor to children running through to their art classes – really a celebration of life. Still – a long day and I was glad to head home, which leads to
I am excellent at hailing cabs. A US friend of mine once said, “they turn around for you – you’d do well in New York” which is still one of the best compliments I’ve ever been paid. I may have to wear reading glasses but I can spot a taxi six blocks away and get it.
Now then – the basic trick to hailing a cab is – look like you want a taxi. I cannot stress this enough. This means –
Standing at the edge of the sidewalk by the street;
Actively looking, not playing with your phone or talking to your friends.
Hand in the air, and get it up there – whole arm up. No sad little waves, no timid finger snapping (and don’t do that anyway, because really? Snapping your fingers at someone?)
You are on the side of the road that corresponds to the direction you want to go in. Unless you want the meter started and have to go two blocks out-of-the-way or be a partner in a U-turn turned three-point turn turned twelve-point turn and now you’re holding up traffic and folks are honking. Up to you.
Keep your arm/hand in the air. Keep scanning. Try to be on/near a corner of an intersection, as it broadens your search area. Step away from the bus stop – because then you look like you’re waiting for the bus, not looking for a cab. Someone standing on the sidewalk by the edge of the street wants a cab.
If there are no cabs coming towards you, keep that arm up anyway. Why? Because there are cabs coming in the other direction and they can now see you want a cab. Listen behind you – if you hear a little peep-peep! horn – keep your arm in the air , but check the source as it’s probably a cab. Also, cabs going by with their lights off are taken, but sometimes drivers will communicate to other drivers that there is a “flagger” at X Street West and Y Avenue. Get all the taxis on your side!
Since he is going the opposite direction you will need to communicate to him to turn around – this be done with either the over the shoulder thumb movement in te direction you wish to head, or the circle the index finger turn around movement. Either one should be accompanied by mouthing or saying the words “that way“, or “other way“.
If there is a cab coming towards you and he is picking you up, odds are good he will flash his lights to indicate “I see you”. You can respond with a thumbs up, arm down and wait and keep watching them. In my view, these actions constitute a binding contract for services on the part of both parties, so if another cab comes peeling around the corner and tries to nab you, you must shake your head no, and point at the original taxi, thus cementing the contract. They will thank you for waiting when they pull up.
If – and this rarely happens to me, but if it does – you have flagged a cab and someone a block ahead of you steals it – sorry. It’s a pain but it’s New York rules: If someone steals your cab, it wasn’t your cab.
Bonus info: If you call a taxi and wind up hailing one in the wait time for whatever reason, you must call back and tell them to cancel it. There’s a cab on the way spending time and gas to come get you – you can’t ditch them. Besides, they now have your cell number and you are the person who calls and ditches. Poor form.
And that’s how you hail a cab.