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”

Ride with Me: Exploring California’s Rustic, Woodsy Towns

Ride along this week as we step foot into the snow globe town of Shasta City. Later we’ll let notes from a gently strummed harp seep into our souls as we stare out at a view of the state’s largest lake (in California’s Lake County). We’ll soak in the bucolic, woodsy calm of a townContinue reading “Ride with Me: Exploring California’s Rustic, Woodsy Towns”

Bros eat Girl Scout cookies, passengers talk Bitcoin, and the beastly pothole dream in San Jose, CA

On deck for this week: A male passenger describes how a bro bonding Girl Scout cookie binge sesh made up for a disappointing date. In “Spanish Practice,” a daughter reveals to her mom the shocking gift she plans to bestow on her dad for Father’s Day. Two passengers in #Lyft Line speculate over the futureContinue reading “Bros eat Girl Scout cookies, passengers talk Bitcoin, and the beastly pothole dream in San Jose, CA”

Cars Are Animals and the Road’s a Jungle

A porcupine stands in the middle of the road. Body completely still, its wide-open eyes stare placidly towards my passengers and me. I see it too late. We all brace ourselves as I slam the brakes and the car swerves violently. Just as it seems we’re about to crash into a stop sign, my ToyotaContinue reading “Cars Are Animals and the Road’s a Jungle”

Ride with Me: Endless Vineyards, the Joys of Reading, and Goat Alarm Clocks in Santa Rosa, CA

I’d set out to Santa Rosa–a city that Sonoma Magazine described as “the kind of place where natural bounty serves as a muse for utopian dreams, sleepy residential streets hide ambitious farm-to-table kitchens, abandoned buildings are resurrected as art galleries, and the corner coffeeshop turns nightlife hot spot with craft-beers on tap, all to theContinue reading “Ride with Me: Endless Vineyards, the Joys of Reading, and Goat Alarm Clocks in Santa Rosa, CA”

Paint, Sculpt, and Ride: Passengers Talk Creating, Part 2

Artsy Cake Woman “I paint with frosting and express myself with icing,” says Lila,* for whom it’s therapeutic to render a portrait on a squooshy bed of cake. Her interest in art traces back to childhood: “I never cared if my grades were perfect—but it was always deeply upsetting for me when the food IContinue reading “Paint, Sculpt, and Ride: Passengers Talk Creating, Part 2”