The idea of this blog was first suggested to me about five years ago, by a couple who got into my cab on the Upper East Side. It was around the same time of year at which I am writing this current post, which is to say : during the last weeks of May, around the Memorial Day weekend. Like many people who live in New York for a while, they were curious about what the world looks like from behind the wheel of a taxi.
When I explained to them that I was enduring one of the worst traffic times of the year, they seemed particularly interested. They didn’t know why the traffic should be any worse then, than at any other time. They seemed, in fact, to find it intriguing that traffic follows any patterns at all. Like most healthy and sane people, I assume, they figured traffic was pure chaos, and looking for a pattern in it is utter futility.
On the contrary, I explained, the reason things were worse now than normal was that the public was gearing up for summer : people were staying out later at night than they did in the cold months, and traveling back and forth between bars and clubs and friends’ houses. It was as if they were flexing their weekend beach muscles without being at the beach yet, and the result was sociable beach chaos right in town — with the Upper East Side being a central chaos zone.
And with this went ugly traffic.
Her interest piqued, the young woman suggested I start a blog to explain such things.
And then there was a pause.
There are times when you know that “something is in the air,” as they say. This time was one of them. I knew something was cooking, but didn’t know what. I remained thoughtful for a moment or two, and then it occurred to me to ask if she had a name for this blog.
“honknyc,” she said, about as quickly as if she had been waiting all along for me to ask, apparently having thought of a title even before I thought of asking her for one.
It was one of those moments — you might say — when human understanding and rapport become all they could be, but so infrequently are.
And so the title of this blog was born.
I told my friends to wait “about six months” before they looked for a blog by the agreed-upon name, scarcely knowing it would take me another 4 or 5 years before I got it off the ground.
The story of why it took so long will be grist for the next installment.