Greenpoint, October, 2015

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Get Shorty

Checking out some tail
"First one's a shorty," the taxi dispatcher outside Terminal 4 shouted as she directed me to my cab. "Shorty," is, well, shorthand, for a "short haul fare," in other words, an address in Queens or nearby Nassau County localities. The driver of a "shorty" draws a ticket that allows him to skip the line-up of cabs waiting to pick up fares at the airport, which can take two hours or more. The drivers wait; the fares wait; the dispatchers try to make the matches as quickly as possible. Needless to say, getting a shorty does not make your driver all that happy.

The photo above paints a different picture of coming or leaving NYC by air. Early sixties: A cab waits on the tarmac at the International Arrivals Building at Idlewild Airport (later, JFK). Way, way pre-9/11. I found it on an excellent Bowery Boys post on Idlewild.

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