New Yorkers Convince Cabbie to Drive to L.A. for $5,000


What’s your longest cab ride? 35 minutes? That seemingly endless span of time in which you try to cross town during rush hour? So long that you fall asleep on the way back to Brooklyn and the cabbie has to poke you in the shoulder and shout “Lady!”? As long as it takes to drive from La Guardia to Los Angeles? John Belitsky, who happens to be the son of a former New York cab driver, was told by his dad that no cab driver would ever be convinced to drive that far. He found a cab driver who was.

Belitsky and a friend, Dan Wuebben, found their driver for the 2,800-mile trip, Mohammad Kalam, at La Guardia Airport. We imagine the guys were pretty convincing, or at least promised Kalam 15 minutes of fame, and, of course, $5,000. They left on Saturday. So far so good, it seems. (This must mean they managed to turn off Taxi TV.)

“It was a great idea,” Belitsky told KCNC-TV. “We’ve met a lot of fun people, seen a lot of interesting things. I proved my father wrong.”

There’s no crosstown traffic, thank God, and no “going to Brooklyn.” This actually might be a cab driver’s dream!

“This is a long road, wide road,” Kalam told KCNC-TV. “There are no people. New York is too crowded, a lot of people, a lot of cars. There are no cars here, I think.”

Belitsky is tweeting the trip. We smell a book deal, which, oddly enough, smells kind of like the inside of a cab.

New Yorkers hail taxi for cross-country trip [CBS via Gothamist]

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 21, 2011

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