A cab driver’s heartwarming words about the magic of New York City have gone viral after her commented on Jerry Seinfeld’s op-ed defending the city against claims that it’s ‘dead.’
Earlier this month, NYC comedy club owner James Altucher wrote a viral LinkedIn newsletter complaining that the city that never sleeps is ‘completely dead’ due to the pandemic — prompting a furious reply from Seinfeld, who wrote in the New York Times that NYC ‘will sure as hell be back’ because of ‘real, tough New Yorkers’ who will stay and rebuild it.
The op-ed received thousands of impassioned replies, including one from Eugene Salomon, a New York City taxi driver of 43 years, who shared his own uplifting reason for believing that the city will endure.
We’ll be back! A cab driver’s heartwarming words about the magic of New York City have gone viral (stock image)
Magic: Eugene Salomon, an NYC taxi driver of 43 years, said one of his favorite rides to give is to a ‘young person with a dream’ who is experiencing the ‘energy’ for the first time
Seinfeld’s op-ed called Altucher a ‘putz’ for claiming NYC is dead, insisting that real New Yorkers who love and understand it will stick around, and the city will bounce back.
‘The true greatness that is New York City is beyond rare,’ he wrote. ‘It’s unknown. Unknown anyplace outside of New York City.’
Salomon clearly agrees. A taxi driver since 1977, Salomon has seen a lot in his decades of interacting with tourists and local from behind the wheel.
‘I’ve been a taxi driver for many, many years,’ he wrote under the pen name Old Yeller.
‘My favorite type of ride is the rare one of picking up a man who has just emerged from a hospital following the birth of his first child. It is the best day in his life and I usually find it difficult to hide my own tears of joy as he tells me all about it.
‘My second favorite ride is similar. It is a young person with a dream who is coming to New York City for the first time,’ he went on.
‘I am the taxi driver taking him or her to Manhattan from the airport. I insist on the Upper Level of the 59th Street Bridge as our route.
Exciting! Salomon said he loves driving them from the airport into Manhattan over the 59th Street Bridge, watching the skyline approach
Loves it: A taxi driver since 1977, Salomon has seen a lot in his decades of interacting with tourists and local from behind the wheel
Viral: His comment earned applause on the New York Times comment section, and was later shared on Twitter by Morgan Von Steen
I know him! Suzy Salomon identified the commenter as her father
‘Excitement grows as the city grows larger and larger as we approach Manhattan. Finally, almost at ground level, the ramp takes us so close to the surrounding buildings that we can actually see the people inside.
‘Touching down on E. 62nd Street, my newly minted New Yorker is experiencing for the first time the “energy” that is so often spoken of.
More where that came from: Saloman wrote the book Confessions of a New York Taxi Driver and also keeps a blog called Cabs are for Kissing
‘It’s like watching a child approaching a roomful of birthday presents. All things are possible.
‘It will take more than a crumby pandemic to change that,’ he concluded.
Salomon’s comment quickly garnered attention from thousands of other commenters, and was soon shared on Twitter, where over 70,000 people liked it.
‘This comment on @JerrySeinfeld ‘s piece in @nytimes made me tear up,’ Morgan Von Steen wrote.
It eventually caught the eye of Suzy Salomon, who identified the commenter as her father.
‘I’m pretty proud of him for this, as well as all of his awesome accomplishments,’ she wrote.
Saloman takes great pride in his decades as a taxi driver, and even compiled a book of stories called Confessions of a New York Taxi Driver. He also keeps a blog called Cabs are for Kissing.
In 2014, the Long Island native told Newsday that he quickly recognized the great stories he could tell from his job.
‘I always kept journals,’ he said. ‘I realized very quickly once I started driving a cab that the material for being a writer comes in your door.’
Over the years, he’s had his cab commandeered by cops, given rides to Leonardo DiCaprio and Paul Simon, and driven a man having a heart attack.
No way: Saloman had been responding to an op-ed by Jerry Seinfeld, who defended the city against claims that it’s ‘dead’
Salomon’s comment was written shortly after the publication of Seinfeld’s op-ed on Monday.
The comedian wrote that while New York is facing ‘one of the toughest times we’ve had in quite a while,’ it doesn’t need ‘some putz on LinkedIn wailing and whimpering, “Everyone’s gone! I want 2019 back!”’
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out! NYC comedy club owner James Altucher had declared on LinkedIn that the city was dead and would never recover again
That ‘putz,’ Altucher, had written a lengthy post complaining that NYC is ‘completely dead’ and won’t bounce back this time.
He insisted that the business opportunities, culture, and food were all destroyed, and he had moved ‘temporarily, although maybe permanently, in South Florida.’
Seinfeld fired back, writing: ‘Imagine being in a real war with this guy by your side.’
‘Wipe your tears, wipe your butt and pull it together,’ he chastised.
‘Energy, attitude and personality cannot be “remoted” through even the best fiber optic lines. That’s the whole reason many of us moved to New York in the first place,’ he went on.
‘Real, live, inspiring human energy exists when we coagulate together in crazy places like New York City. Feeling sorry for yourself because you can’t go to the theater for a while is not the essential element of character that made New York the brilliant diamond of activity it will one day be again.
He concluded that Altucher won’t bounce back, but New York City will