A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“Don’t chase anything but drinks and dreams” (11/28)
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“Why does no one starve in a desert?” (joke) (11/27)
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Entry from June 09, 2005
Black Car
The "yellow cab" takes street hails; the "black car" does not. Many executives have used a "black car" service, if only to the airport. The color of the vehicle is usually black, but it need not be. The term "black car" began to be used regularly by the Taxi & Limousine Commission in the early 1980s.

4 February 1923, New York Times, "New York's 15,000 Cruising Taxis Make City Unsafe," pg. XX11:
The largest company operating under the lowest tariff painted its taxis yellow. Immediately other owners followed example and the city is now flooded with yellow taxicabs which have varying rates. The only colors the law recognizes are the brown and white taxiabs, which, according to the ordinance, must have a green flag. Yellow and black cars may utilize any color.

7 November 1982, New York Times, "500 Radio Cabs Are Converted to Street-Hail Duty," pg. 59:
"This way everybody's happy," said Steve Galiatsatos, president of the Dialcab Taxi Owners Guild Association. "we're servicing the public with cabs on the street to be hailed, and the black car takes care of our corporate accounts."

Operators of the "black cars" - whose colors, in fact, vary, depending on the preference of fleet owners or individual drivers - may service radio calls only.
(...)
Mr. Ippolito, who is also president of Inta-Boro, predicted that half the drivers of radio-equipped medaliion taxis will have switched to "black cars" by December 1983.

26 May 1984, New York Times, "New York Making Changes to Improve its Taxi Service" by Suzanne Daley, pg. 1:
Meanwhile, the commission has increased the number of yellow cabs available for street hails by getting some of them to transfer their radios to a new type of taxi called a "black car," which answers only telephone summonses.

10 July 1984, New York Times, pg. B4:
In the past two years, the city has increased the number of yellow cabs available for street hails by allowing the owners of the yellows to transfer their radios to black cars - licensed, nonmedallion taxis. The black cars answer radio calls, allowing the yellows to keep cruising for fares.

7 December 1984, New York Times, "Car Services Increase in Popularity" by Lisa Belkin, pg. B20:
To increase the number of cars available for street hails, the commission decided to allow the transfer of the radios to so-called black cars, which are licensed but nonmedallion taxis.

Operators soon discovered a demand for these black cars, which were, in many ways, less expensive to operate than a medallion cab.

17 November 1998, New York Times, "Yellow Cabs and Black Cars: A Quick Lesson" by Andy Newman, pg. B14:
Until the 1950's, yellow cabs (although they weren't all yellow then) were the only private cars that picked up passengers and transported them for a fee. But as yellow cabs focused more of their business in the lower two-thirds of Manhattan, neighborhood car services, which can pick up passengers only by prearrangement, began to spring up in other parts of the city.

Today the term "livery car" encompasses a range of private taxis, including car services that serve the working and middle classes, "black cars" that transport businesspeople, commuter vans in Queens and Brooklyn and vans for the disabled.

Posted by Barry Popik
Transportation • (1) Comments • Thursday, June 09, 2005 • Permalink


What is this black car? I know that this black car is a Limousine. A luxury car. A car that was built for the rich people.

Posted by Serpentine Belts  on  04/17  at  09:07 PM

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