taxi, please!


So the theme of Ian’s nursery has turned out to be Nature and City: this wasn’t intentional but this is how it evolved. And I suppose it’s not that surprising…

For those of you who don’t know, Rob and I met when I was living in Manhattan and he was located in the South Bronx. We lived together in the South Bronx for a while before moving to the Nyack area, which is about 45 min from NYC. We are now excited to share both urban and suburban experiences with our son. In other words, we hope to keep enjoying all the great green space out here AND we intend to take him in to experience the art, food, music and general vibe of New York often.

Before I met Rob, I lived on the Upper East Side, on 75th Street between 1st Avenue and York. This means that I lived relatively far from any subway stations. It took me 12 minutes to walk to the 77th and Lexington Avenue stop. This isn’t that big of a deal UNLESS you are: 1. trudging through slush and snow 2. attempting to wear high heels 3. trying to not break a sweat 4. running very very late 5. nursing a bum knee/ankle/shoulder/pinky finger 6. carrying way too many bags filled with bricks.

Suffice it to say that I was usually dealing with at least five of the above conditions on any given day. This is why I often ended up hailing a cab. This is, in turn, why I often found myself bemoaning the price of cab fares to my mother while we were blabbing on the phone. And finally, this is why she took it upon herself (I swear I wasn’t angling for this) to occasionally drop cab money in the mail for me.Β  It was usually a 20 spot (or in her words, a “Jackson”) and was indeed spent rather quickly as I made my way around town.

Mind you, I was in my early/mid 30’s and could afford cabs (that is, as long as I skipped a few dinners). But his was cute of my mother. What made it cuter is that she drew these little taxi cabs with colored pencil on the outside of the envelopes. I saved these drawings and decided to get six them framed for Ian’s nursery.

taxi art

I had a custom matte made at Michael’s Craft Store and I couldn’t be happier with the end result. It hangs on one end of the full length mirror we installed horizontally:


Ian just took his first trip into the city this week. Considering how tucked and snug he was in his car seat, I don’t think he got to see any cabs this time, but he certainly got to hear a lot of them HONK! That’s not a sound we hear too much in our neck of the woods.

ian in the city

The crazy thing is that Rob was a cab driver back when he lived in San Francisco. Therefore, he’s one of the few city dwellers I’d met who didn’t think it was a big deal to drive all over the city and who also managed to GET PARKING SPACES (and usually right in front of his destinations). I found this to be very intrepid. Let’s just say that once we met, I didn’t have to take too many subway rides or hail many cabs. I’ve pretty much had door-to-door service ever since.

Of course, the taxi envelopes eventually stopped arriving in the mail, but I am so glad I saved them. I knew I’d want to use them some day; I just didn’t know how.

This is all to say: thanks Granny. Ian and I look at them every day an will for years to come.

30 replies

  1. So special!!! Those little taxi cabs are down right precious. I can say precious because we’re talking about babies here. Your mom is the sweetest and I can only imagine how utterly pleased she is to know that not only did you save them but they are now a part of her grandsons beautiful nursery. This just made my little heart grow two sizes!

    Yes, definitely make that kid a city boy who can handle anything. I think that’s the greatest gift you can give your kid…. to not be afraid, to experience the world and know what’s out there. Cities are fun, exciting, ever-changing and full of opportunity. Never too young for that… just more naps in between!

    • Thanks Stacey – yup, we’re headed into the city again this weekend – for VOLTA, his first art fair πŸ™‚ We are psyched to get him started early – I grew up in a teeny farm town, so my first trips to New York at about age 18 induced terror (and awe…)

      My mom is indeed thrilled that the cabs are on his wall – she hasn’t been able to see his nursery but she has seen lots of pictures. πŸ™‚

    • Ha ha! You’re right – I both loved and hated living in the city – the logistics of about everything – grocery shopping, post office, getting around – was challenging indeed. But I indeed had some unforgettable times during those years….

      My mom doesn’t have access to a computer right now, but I’m going to print this out and try to get it to her… πŸ™‚

  2. Wonderful story Jocelyn! I send a hug to “Blythe” for being such and thoughtful, sweet, and creative Mommy. So glad Ian can enjoy this bit of her!

  3. Very nice! I know this is one of the many reasons your mom is special to you. And you are and will be the same for Ian. xo

    • Thanks Dara – if I can be half the mom to Ian that mine was to me, I will be pretty darn fabulous πŸ™‚ Though she’s not an artist, she is quite creative and passed a lot of that to me…

  4. Ever since I first saw those cabbies in Ian’s room I thought…how very, very sweet:-) Does this mean he may be destined to live in NYC someday. (?) O’ the power of suggestion at a young age.


    • Thanks so much – not only am I glad I saved those but I am glad I was able to FIND them when I wanted them – that was, quite frankly, a small miracle πŸ™‚

  5. I am so impressed with your Mom and you. Cleverness must be in the genes. I love those yellow cabs. Ahh, the beginning of another book.

    • Thanks Sandy πŸ™‚ Like you, my mom did a lot of crafts with us as kids, and lots of drawing, painting etc. She would qualify herself as a “doodler” but her doodles are pretty great πŸ™‚

  6. that was SO adorable of your mom! and what a lovely, lovely idea! this is such a great addition to ian’s room, and a sentimental one to boot. i was gonna ask if “mom” still sent you those letters and suggest you just forward them my way, but hailing a taxing in LA is like hoping for no traffic any time of day, so thanks just the same πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks so much! Yes, I am officially a sap…

      Yup, that is one of the great things about NYC – just fling your arm in the air, look for an empty cab…and be prepared to FIGHT for it with the person down the block who will claim that she was there first, ha! Depends on the time of day, but yeah, you can often find yourself merely inching along clogged streets while the meter skyrockets…ah, the good ol’ days.

  7. Isn’t it funny that the simplest of gifts take center stage at some point in our lives. My mom did needlepoint and a butterfly hangs over our bed and a tapestry of birds are nesting in my guest room. These are the two things I first notice always when I walk into these rooms. Ian will grow to treasure these things as well because his parents first cherished them.

    • Thank you Elaine – that is so wonderful that you have those needlepoints. There is nothing better than decorating our lives with meaning and history. And yes, I hope that Ian will feel similarly… πŸ™‚

  8. What a great story and I love that your mom’s art is now hanging in your sweet son’s room! I’m sure that means a lot and will be a fun treasure for Ian.

  9. What a wonderful idea! I’m sure your son will treasure that piece of art as being something from you and his grandmother.

    I, too, am a city *and* nature person. It sounds like you and your husband will be giving your son a well-balanced life πŸ™‚

  10. How sweet! That sounds like a story that should be featured in “Metropolitan Diaries,” that column in the New York Times on Mondays that chronicles people’s stories of life in the city, past and present. (I lived off that column for NY sustinence when I moved away.) And that’s such an awesome photo of the loud, harsh bustle of the city juxtaposed against Ian’s cozy serenity… Obviously, he’s got some city kid in him too. πŸ™‚ Hope you’re all doing well! xo

    • Hey, yes! Love that column πŸ™‚ It really cracks me up what babies can sleep through – you KNOW how loud it is on the streets of NYC and Ian was just snoozing away…ha!

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