Taxi Driver – A Portrait in Sound, produced for WAMC Northeast Public Radio in 1995, is a look behind the scenes at the daily operation of a busy taxi company in Albany, New York. The murder of a cab driver, one house up from where I was living at the time, compelled me to find out more about the business.
Walking into Capitaland Taxi in 1995, every stereotype about cabbies from film and TV came to life in living color – and smell in some cases. Taxi companies are indeed the last port of call for many who have been customers in the Hard Luck Café. However, at the same time you’ll find educated and articulate rugged individualists, such as Phil, interviewed for this piece, who are a match for any philosophical raconteur. Phil bummed around Europe in the 1970s before landing in Albany, getting married, and raising children – all the while driving a cab in the heart of the bustling capital of New York State. Phil personifies the very ideal of the philosopher-cabbie and shares a street-level view of our common humanity as fellow travelers in life.
Wherever you are today Phil, this one’s for you: