Blaine can't get a cab!

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby MaxNY » 06/14/02 06:14 AM

The New York Post (Tuesday June 11,2002) reports that... Modelizing magician David Blaine says cabbies won't pick him up because he looks black. "What Danny Glover says about cabs in New York not picking up black people is definitely true." Blaine told Webster Hall art curator Baird Jones. "I am often mistaken for being black because I have a dark complexion. I'm actually the unusual mixture of one-half Russian Jew through my mother, and one-quarter Sicilian and one quarter Puerto Rican through my father. Sometimes I wait 10 minutes for a cab, and they pass me by and pick up everyone else waiting who is white, even if I come first. I've even seen black drivers prefer white passengers."......10 minutes? But, yet he can get a cab spray painted with some chick's name on it to pass him by, on cue!... You should see what happens when he walks by Jewelry stores!
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/14/02 08:55 AM

With the money Blaine is making why does he need to hail a cab? He should have his own limo w/driver. :( :rolleyes:
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Postby MaxNY » 06/14/02 12:24 PM

So now today's New York Post (Friday, June 14,2002) says that David Copperfield can't get a cab either! Even magician David Copperfield can't just wave his wand and get a cab on a steamy night in Midtown. Copperfield and his stunning blond date were trying to get home the other evening and found themselves competing for taxis with the crowd from a party developer Charles S. Cohen had to dedicate a vest-pocket park in his family's name. Cohen and Copperfield got talking, discovered they lived next door to each other and presto!- David and his date had a ride home in Charles's limo...... I suspect the stunning blonde was a stooge (rumor is she was seen sporting a smaller beard). Hey Blaine, Copperhead hang out with me, I'll show you how to get a cab! I suspect this whole cab thing was started years ago when Silly Billy (in the New Yorker magazine) said that he had trouble getting a cab... dressed in his zany outfit. Only in New York can you get press not getting a cab. Peter, I must tell you that having to call a car service is usually a big pain, because they take forever to respond, and to have a limo just sitting a waiting can get expensive, even for millionaires. It is just as simple to hail a cab, in order to get anywhere in New York.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 06/14/02 12:31 PM

They should follow Gonzo's example and just throw themselves on the street in front of one. As Gonzo put it, "Yeah, it's great when it works!"

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Postby Guest » 06/14/02 03:12 PM

"I'm actually the unusual mixture of one-half Russian Jew through my mother, and one-quarter Sicilian and one quarter Puerto Rican through my father."


I am half Norwegian through a friend of my father!! :p
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Postby Guest » 06/14/02 09:22 PM

being a Magicain from India, I enjoy your talk....
But why can't we discuss about Magic?
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Postby MaxNY » 06/15/02 06:59 AM

Mr. Skreeth some of us enjoy the gossip surrounding those who have made millions using this art form. There are also members who may rip his card works, I however dis-qualify myself commenting on anothers man's slights. But, all New Yorkers have trouble hailing cabs. Back in the 1980's I was working in the MTV studios, and at 4:00 we would all crawl to our window (across from CBS) and count the cabs that would drive by Andy Rooney. Andy is the colorful commentator on a very popular news show, who (I believe) once did a piece on why he doesn't tip certain people. Word gets around, especially if tips stop coming around one Monday morning.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/15/02 07:42 AM

I lived in New York for most of my life and generally never had any trouble getting a taxi except during rush hour and whenever it was raining.
I understand that in the past decade it has become more difficult in general to hail a taxi.
I have, on MANY occasions, seen taxi cabs pass black men trying to hail them. Happens hundreds of times every day in New York. The cab will pass a black guy on the near corner of the block and pick up a white guy on the far corner.
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/15/02 08:37 AM

someone did a TV documentary on tipping and they found that blacks were the worst... it is possible that is why that cabbies act the way they do...

My second favorite cartoon from the New Yorker shows a cab driver standing on a subway platform with a train going by with "OFF DUTY" on the sign in the front of the train.
:D
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Postby Guest » 06/15/02 08:39 AM

Everyone in NYC has trouble hailing a cab. People of color (and people who look like people of color) have lots more trouble. It doesn't hurt to be reminded of this, so when a celebrity pass-by makes the news, good.
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Postby Brian Morton » 06/15/02 08:18 PM

Pete Biro said:
someone did a TV documentary on tipping and they found that blacks were the worst... it is possible that is why that cabbies act the way they do...
Pete, to quote Eddie Murphy, "I come from a predominantly black family."

This is kind of a chicken-and-egg situation. Black folk are extra-sensitive to sleights (the non-magical kind) in service and delivery. This is due to the fact that for many, one could never tell whether your food came slow or you got the crappy room in the hotel or whatever, because of bad luck, general crappy service ... or discrimination. But there's enough historical evidence to show many times it was (c). Thus, if it even seems like there has been a sleight -- the tip reflects it.

On the other side of the coin, I've had fairly militant black female friends who worked in restaurants and said black people tip her poorly. For this, I have no explanation.

I personally have had better luck catching cabs in New York than any other city in America. I can't catch one in my own city of Baltimore. When I worked at the White House I could only catch one there if I was in a suit. When my father came out of the Old Executive Office Building after briefing the vice-president in 1989, he couldn't catch one. And this in DC, where many cabbies are immigrant black Africans. Draw your own conclusions.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled magic discussion.

brian :cool: <---I'm actually just a little darker than this....
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/15/02 11:01 PM

It is still a tough deal. We know advances are made all the time, but it ain't easy.

Did you know Emile Clifton? He died some time ago, but when I was beginning he was my "Main Mentor" in magic. He was a talented performer, not only in magic, but theater.

He taught me much.

It wasn't until he died that a fellow brother brought me a packet that Emile wanted me to have. He always called me a Soul Brother... and in that packet was his military record... something he had TOTALLY KEPT SECRET even to his closest friends... he was a highly decorated member of the Tuskeegee (sp?) Airmen.

Anway, thanks for the great response. :cool:
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Postby Guest » 06/18/02 08:18 PM

Michael Moore did an experiment on his show TV NATION a few years back. He had Yaphet Kotto (famous for his role as MR. Big in the James Bond flick To Live Or Let Die) stand on a street corner in New York and get a cab.

At Least 20 cabs passed him by. I think it took him an hour to finally get one.

If I lived in New York I would go to each cab service and introduce myself. 'Cause you know this crap comes from the top right on down.
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Postby Guest » 06/19/02 04:18 AM

Originally posted by Steve Spicer:
If I lived in New York I would go to each cab service and introduce myself. 'Cause you know this crap comes from the top right on down.
Nah. The discrimination happens where the rubber meets the road. A real solution would be to increase the fixed number of licensed taxis, making taxi transportation less of a sellers' market. That recommendation, raised many times before for multiple reasons, faces strong political/economic/environmental opposition.
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Postby mrgoat » 07/11/02 10:17 AM

Originally posted by Steve Spicer:
Michael Moore did an experiment on his show TV NATION a few years back. He had Yaphet Kotto (famous for his role as MR. Big in the James Bond flick To Live Or Let Die) stand on a street corner in New York and get a cab.

At Least 20 cabs passed him by. I think it took him an hour to finally get one.
.
This is very OT now, but you forgot the important part of the M Moore experiment. He did indeed have Yaphet Kotto there, but also had a white murderer whose name I forget. The cabs refused our friendly black Bond star and rather favoured the white murderer.

Racism is scary.
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Postby Earle Oakes » 07/11/02 04:06 PM

Pete,
It must have been great to have had Emile Clifton as a mentor. Back when I used to do more magic than illustration his handling for switching in the gimmicked aces in McDonald's Aces was as brillant as his ring steal from cord described in Earl Nelson's VARIATIONS.
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