New York City: A cab ride on a silent, soulful winter night
A snowy Manhattan cab ride in the wee hours reveals an impossibly serene glimpse of the city that has remained pressed in memory all these years later.
Snow covers a road in Central Park in New York City. (Michael Rowe / Getty Images)
We finally said our goodbyes, and I walked down the steps of her brownstone into the first snowstorm of the season. At that early-morning hour and with the wretched weather, I knew snagging a cab was a long shot. Then one of those "Manhattan miracles" occurred — a yellow Checker rounded her corner, the glowing light on its roof signifying it was empty.
I hopped in and we took off for my hotel, the cabbie driving slowly through Central Park as the snow fell. Just north of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he made a careful right turn onto Fifth Avenue. It was empty — not a car or bus or cab to be seen — and covered with fresh snow unmarked by any tire tracks.
Out the cab window, I could see the broad steps of the Met, also cloaked in white. There were no pedestrians — odd for New York even at that hour — it was just me, the driver and the big yellow cab. We seemed to glide — almost float, really — down the deserted boulevard.
I will never forget the beauty of that night as the flakes gently fell. It was so dark, so empty and so still, the only sounds the click-clicking of the cab's windshield wipers and the soft crunch of tires on the snow.
— Anne Harnagel
Harnagel is an editor in the Travel section of the Los Angeles Times.