Tag Archives: liberty street

South End Avenue Cab Line

Battery Park City’s Taxi Culture

South End Avenue Cab Line
South End Avenue Cab Line: We are so civilized!

5PM is like the flute that charms our neighborhood cab line that snakes along South End Avenue at Liberty Street.

This cab line never ceases to amaze me. It’s an interesting and distinct example of how Battery Park City is a special community. Is there another area in NYC that would relent to such self policed organization when participating in hailing a taxi — where in New York can be a full contact sport?

Only at airports does such a cab line exist — but even those lines are policed by airport dispatchers.

As a Battery Park resident, I will be the first to admit — I sort of appreciate the line.

But —

Nothing makes me crazier when I’ve been waiting on that line and  someone “steals my cab.” Two parts fury and  one part guilt overcomes me when I feel that way because I often find myself asking, “Why am I even waiting on this line?”

Some of my favorite methods of “BPC Cab Theft” include:
“The Liberty Street Stealth Attack” – When your happy to see a free taxi gliding onto Liberty Street when it pulls up to the stop sign – with a shadowy figure closing the cab door.

“The I’m Overtly Stealing Your Cab Run” – When a person knows there is a line but runs to steal it anyways.

“The Gateway Plaza Abyss” – When a cab enters Gateway Plaza and someone runs into the apartment complex to steal it.

These are just a few examples.

The history of the cab line is relatively unknown, but yet we as a neighborhood abide by this unspoken law. Sure, one could reasonably walk south where no such law and taxi order exists or revert to traditional hailing standards on West Street — yet I look for the line and stand on it whenever I need to leave the neighborhood.

Granted that there is no written Constitution for this line —  I’ve added some personal bylaws to it throughout the years. For example, if there are people waiting on the line — or if its raining/snowing, I ask the driver to drop me off at the line. If not in a terrible rush, I let a pregnant woman or a mother with several youngsters take the cab first. If I see neighbors with lots of luggage and I’m about to take a SUV taxi — I offer it up to them.

While I have waited  in line last week I noticed a trend of office mates who presumably work at the World Financial Center asked to share cabs and make drop offs. For executives waiting/sharing a cab becomes an extension of politics and the continuation of wheeling (pun intended) and dealing. In my mind goes to further explain how is this line is policed by employees who want to see other friends on the line. This has changed the way I see this line — as if waiting on the line itself becomes the activity.

New York City is a highly competitive town. We compete for everything – jobs, dates, homes and yes, taxis. I guess what I’m seeking are some thoughts, personal stories or theories why this section of Battery Park City proliferates the taxi stand line … would love to hear them!

18th Century Ship Found At World Trade Center Site

A Ship Has Come In At The World Trade Center Site

18th Century Ship Found At World Trade Center Site
18th Century Ship Found At World Trade Center Site (Courtesy: NYTimes/Fred R. Conrad)

If you dig up the past — you’re bound to find something. That’s exactly what archaeologists hired at World Trade Center site were hoping for by working alongside construction crews.

Lower Manhattan since the 18th century has been expanded through the use of landfill. In fact, Battery Park City, our lovely neighborhood, is built upon the land excavation of landfill from the original World Trade Center site in the 1960s. So when an approximately 32 foot hull of an 18th century boat was found — it wasn’t to anyones complete surprise, but the fact that the structure had been largely undisturbed for 200 years at the Liberty Street and Cedar was.

The New York Times has an amazing photographic accounting of the site is astounding and definitely check it out!

One great quote from their article is regarding how lucky they were to have rain yesterday, “Doug Mackey, the chief regional archaeologist for the New York State Historical Preservation Office, was greatful for the rainfall. “If the sun had been out,” he said, “the wood would already have started to fall apart.”

Also according to the article, “A 1797 map shows that the excavation site is close to where Lindsey’s Wharf and Lake’s Wharf once projected into the Hudson. So, no matter how many mysteries now surround the vessel, it may turn out that the ghost even has a name.”

Pretty cool. Who knows  what treasures lie under Battery Park City. Can you imagine? In the future someone is going to dig up a Volkswagon Beetle or a Pinto as they take the metal on their spaceships.