Where in world...?

An old friend phoned the other day. He never phones. But this time he just had to know: "What are you doing living in Florence?"
He thought I was in Florence, Italy. I told him it was Florence, Massachusetts.
Here are some answers -- my occasional wanderings through Florence, MA and the surrounding Pioneer Valley.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hail that Black Cab!

When I was a little girl living in New York City, taxis were all big yellow checker cabs. The trim was a black and white checkerboard, and the yellow belonged only to cabbies. To this day, whenever I still see a car sporting a bright yellow paint job, I always ask myself, "who would ever want to have their car painted taxicab yellow?" Even Joni Mitchell thinks cabs are all yellow, as she sings about the big yellow taxi that comes to take away her man, to convince him to turn paradise into a parking lot. This toy version captures what I remember about how those cabs looked. Note the roundedness of the body -- this version is a little slimmer than the even rounder versions in my memory.
From Wikipedia.
There is an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest cab ride from New York City to the West Coast, but there are three guys from England -- Johno, Leigh, and Paul -- who aim to set a new record in a black cab by driving from London to Sydney. At least they hope to raise £20,000 for the British Red Cross through their project, It's On the Meter. They are currently in China, having traveled through India and Tibet, and have raised close to 40% of their goal.

The cab named Hannah formerly ferried passengers through London streets for sixteen years, and has been retrofitted for this trip of a lifetime. I wonder if Hannah turns into a hydrofoil because the map of their route has the party traveling through the Indonesian Archipelago to get to Australia. I suppose if Hannah survived the rough and tumble of London, it can make it anywhere. Anyone who's taken a black cab will know that awfully secure feeling in the back seat, a feeling reinforced by the hugeness of that back seat. New York cabs today can only dream about being this muscular.
From It's On the Meter.com.

Take a look at their website for their incredible photos and stories, and to support Johno, Leigh, and Paul:  http://www.itsonthemeter.com/. Next time you take a cab and feel as though it's taking forever, remember these three guys and Hannah.

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