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Previous | Next :: Van Taxi Acceptance and Defiance : 23rd and 8th : NYC | December 21, 2008, 11:38 pm

Van Taxi Acceptance and Defiance : 23rd and 8th : NYC
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Here is a picture of a Van Taxi in NYC....... I took a ride in one to the airport the other day....... I have previously mostly avoided them..... inside they are often set up like a London black cab so you can have your gear with you..... which is good. I am growing used to seeing them...... before I was like Prince Charles to see one amongst the sea of true NYC cabs was "like a monstrous carbunkle on the face of an old friend"....... still in the end you have to face reality.... All these new vehicles are out there now messing up the unique uniform fleet of old ...... one thing of course was that there was a complete shotage of the approved vehicles and they were of course no where near as robust...... and so now recently issued court orders brought by the garage owners ended the mayors plans to phase out the classic NYC cab declaring his intervention illegal....... and I dont know what role the fact that NYC cab garages were banned from buying the Classic Crown Vic from Ford had in helping to push the Detroit company into its present financial difficulties........ but now the cab fleet is no longer a single vehicle fleet....... I am used to it now........ but not exactly happy with it....... here below is an argument I was having on the NY Obsevers online discussion pages this time last year before it began to happen......... :

Cheers Jez XXX

Reader comment on: Hybrid Taxis To Replace Crown Victorias Submitted by Jez Coulson .......... Jezblog, Dec 12, 2007 12:54

To destroy the iconographic homogeneous look NYC yellow cab fleet and replace it with a messy mixture of all different japanese prius and other foreign looking vehicles is an act of wanton visual vandalism..... is it only me that thinks this is like replacing the Statue of Liberty with a new better cheaper more efficient 15 foot plastic Manga cartoon replica .... (which is more fuel efficient to light and clean)...? The taxi fleet is the life blood of the city and is, as it is now, absolutely the most recognizable human scale representation of NYC....... Here are some pictures I have made in homage to the way it is now........ soon you will not be able to tell if you are looking at pictures from Berlin or Beijing when looking at images of NYC taxis.......

Cheers Jez Coulson ( reportage artist and photojournalist )

Reader comment on: Hybrid Taxis To Replace Crown Victorias in response to reader comment: Why no consideration of the the esthetics? Submitted by Jamin Sun, Dec 12, 2007 18:14

The purpose of a taxi is to get you from point A to point B. The point is not to look pretty while you sit in them; taxi aesthetic comes second to functionality. Additionally, the act of buying a car to make into a taxi is not an act of patriotism; this fear of everything foreign on Mr. Coulson's part, hopefully, will not be echoed by those with a real voice in the matter.

Mr. Coulson's xenophobia should not get in the way of real progress on reducing environmental emissions. His implication that, by not being able to distinguish a NY taxi from any other, a city will not be recognized, is absurd. Furthermore, his implications that Berlin and Beijing are somehow "inferior" because they're not reputed for their distinct taxis is repulsive, morally unsound and stinks of prejudice and bigotry.

And on a lighter note, the last time I checked, Lady Liberty wasn't emitting a lot of greenhouse gases. I believe the analogy to the Statue was rather flawed.

Reader comment on: Hybrid Taxis To Replace Crown Victorias in response to reader comment: Because the epitome of liberty in America is not a taxicab Submitted by Jez Coulson............. jezblog, Dec 13, 2007 01:10

I am not American. Its not Xenophobic to point out unique aspects of, and take delight in, the culture of others......... I am certainly not implying that Berlin or Beijing are inferior. I think people who are obviously keen to be polite and respectful to other peoples culture and heritage should also have a thought to the same for their own identity. Identity and culture has some roots in esthetics. Things that are unmistakably New York and are at a human scale actually are important......... There is nothing wrong or pejorative about New York being distinctly New York. "Don't you know? You seem to know?...... well you don't know what you got till its gone..... a big Yellow Taxi took away my old man"............... Only its the other way round....... the old Man (the mayor) and the TLC will have totally done in a recognizable symbol of New York without even a moments thought to the esthetics of their decision. The Statue of liberty is Iconographic of New York..... but was designed and made in France. It is iconographic of New York as it is .......... so is the homogeneous taxi fleet, as it is now. Where it is made is not the issue...... Im suggesting not messing too much with the esthetics of the taxi fleet or indeed the Statue of Liberty.

Cheers Jez XX

Reader comment on: Hybrid Taxis To Replace Crown Victorias in response to reader comment: Human scale ...... unmistakably New York........ not just urban anywhere Submitted by Ryan Jones, Dec 13, 2007 19:18

While I understand your objection Mr. Coulson, I do not share it. I commend the Taxi & Limousine Commission for their decision. In these times, with global warming and an American dependence on oil threatening our world, we need to be doing all possible to mitigate these problems. The fact that the current cabs get 10mpg is absurd. Especially with gas prices over $3 a gallon. This measure will save money, protect the air quality of NY, and protect the planet. Every act involves tradeoffs but with this kind of upside the only remaining question is: Why did they wait so long?

Reader comment on: Hybrid Taxis To Replace Crown Victorias in response to reader comment: Esthetics are Second to progress Submitted by Jez Coulson............. jezblog, Dec 14, 2007 11:41

Clearly I'm in the role of artist as luddite....... i don't deny it....... progress/improvement in planetary protection is hard to criticize in and of it's self.... nor do I....... but in the 60's people in Europe the UK in particular tore down old houses to replace them with better new ones..... progress gave us inner city 'estates' and what an American would call 'projects' ringing Paris etc...... this progress ran rough shod over other considerations.... like that people preferred living in their old communities...... the London East End communities were famed for being just that...... and then in many places they were replaced by what are now the nightmare inner city 'estates' suffering contemporary classic violence, alienation and fear thanks to the 'progress' of what was then modern architecture and urban planning. No thought was given to real identity, culture and human scale esthetics. I am sad to see the demise of push bike riding in Beijing ....... this has been a defining iconic method of transport for that city (also green) and part of their culture...... but at least this change is part of a wave of change in millions of peoples lives not the movement of an administrators pen. The taxis could easily be greener, without them having to be a hotchpotch of vehicles or of totally alien designs which come from a different tradition and carry no hint of the history thats gone before. A move to 'greener' taxis does not have to destroy the instantly recognizable iconic New York Cab fleet.. but done like this it will. Cheers Jez XX


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