Pancake dates, fruity conversations, and fireworks galore: Lyft passengers on 4th of July

“Make sure you secure your pets tonight Folks, because some of them might get scared!” the woman on the radio encourages in a sweetly concerned tone of voice, as I drive the crowded July 4th streets of San Francisco. It’s cold out. One guy has his arms folded up inside his short-sleeved American flag shirt whenContinue reading “Pancake dates, fruity conversations, and fireworks galore: Lyft passengers on 4th of July”

Honks, Expletives, and Relentless Traffic: Dispatches from the Wild Wild Road

The driver lets out a sigh as he waits for pedestrians to cross the street at the speed of molasses. Seeing that one of them has a walker, he eases up on the steering wheel, which he’d been gripping tightly before. “No one to blame, Anger. Stay down,” he instructs his festering emotions. The walker scootsContinue reading “Honks, Expletives, and Relentless Traffic: Dispatches from the Wild Wild Road”

To Hug a Porcupine: A Marin County Passenger Talks Bojack Horseman and Intergenerational Trauma

*Names changed to protect confidentiality For many years, Marin County was home to Robin Williams. Its natural beauty and proximity to San Francisco have made it a popular dwelling for affluent retirees in search of sanctuary without having to forgo easy access to the culture and bustle of a city. When I look up fromContinue reading “To Hug a Porcupine: A Marin County Passenger Talks Bojack Horseman and Intergenerational Trauma”

Are we too Siri dependent? Comparing now to the climate of yesteryears

When I think back to the days before Siri, my mind lands on that time when my 18-year-old self drove from the East Bay down to Gilroy, California (a city 1.5 hours south), on a journey to retrieve a bag I’d left in my date’s car the previous night. I’d printed out Map Quest directionsContinue reading “Are we too Siri dependent? Comparing now to the climate of yesteryears”

Off the Beaten Path: Exploration of the Artsy & Historic in California & Nevada

Come explore artistic flair and interesting history in this latest batch of towns—all stumbled upon during my stint as a Lyft driver! Marysville, CA (Yuba County) Back in 1857, Marysville was a prospering city—one of the largest in California, due to its proximity to so many gold-mining sites. Though it was slated to become the “NewContinue reading “Off the Beaten Path: Exploration of the Artsy & Historic in California & Nevada”

Hamburger passengers and my car the traveling food court: a day in the life of an Uber Eats delivery girl

The message “Order ready” flashes across the screen overhead. Giant cardboard boxes wait on the counter, quarter pounders loudly declaring themselves in the center and fries spilling out from the grease-stained edges. Condensation drips down the soft drink paper cups, mirroring the beads of sweat on employees’ foreheads. All wearing black visors, they scamper fromContinue reading “Hamburger passengers and my car the traveling food court: a day in the life of an Uber Eats delivery girl”

Rural passengers, 1950s vibes, and Walter the failed botanist in Ukiah, CA

Nice things people on Yelp had to say about Ukiah, a rustic town in Mendocino County with a population of 16,000: “The air is always sparkling clear (unless there are forest fires). Every night we can go outside and look up and feel as though we are camping in the Sierras—billions of stars! There areContinue reading “Rural passengers, 1950s vibes, and Walter the failed botanist in Ukiah, CA”

Diamond poop clinic, Choose Your Own Adventure, and the Internet’s superfluity of biased chatter in East Oakland, CA

Many people’s negative stereotypes of Oakland as a “dangerous place” stem from biased perceptions of East Oakland. The Earl Warren Institute wrote that “Drug dealing in general, and the dealing of crack cocaine in particular in the 1980s, resulted in elevated rates of violent crime, causing Oakland to consistently be listed as one of America’sContinue reading “Diamond poop clinic, Choose Your Own Adventure, and the Internet’s superfluity of biased chatter in East Oakland, CA”

Spanish-sounding Greek guys, Belle departs the Beast on an Uber Carriage, and the old man who spurned selfie sticks

On the line-up for this week: My thoughts on Uber Carriage, a babysitter explains the concept of ride share to two young children, and an anecdote from a passenger inspires a short story about the line between altruism and boundarylessness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lyft Quote “People think we are Spanish because the accents are similar.” —Four GreekContinue reading “Spanish-sounding Greek guys, Belle departs the Beast on an Uber Carriage, and the old man who spurned selfie sticks”

Angsty, Insightful, Disobedient and Forlorn: When Teenagers Take Lyft

“The area of teenage life is not necessarily rarefied; we’ve all gone through that period. It’s not as rarefied as a western or a space adventure or a gangster film, but it has its own dynamic.” —Director and musician Gus Van Sant Swinging open the front door, an ebullient adolescent female plops herself without hesitation ontoContinue reading “Angsty, Insightful, Disobedient and Forlorn: When Teenagers Take Lyft”