So, as some of you know, Erin and I live right outside the David Letterman building (Ed Sullivan Theater, on 53rd Street and Broadway). It was at this location on Monday morning that I witnessed quite the event.
And I was walking towards the subway, I noticed a fairly large crowd of photographers (still and video) congregating at the corner. Now, this isn’t exactly rare, as celebs are regularly showing up, going in and out, and often times it’s a paparazzi feeding frenzy. And on this particular day, the bottom-feeders were out in full-force as the Letterman “scandal” was breaking.
However, as I got closer to the cameras, I notice that 4 men are in a scrum, on the ground, in the middle of Broadway. My first thought is that perhaps it’s some sorta skit or segment for Letterman. But upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that it’s actually a fight between 2 men, with 2 others attempting to separate them.
The cameramen (again, both still, and video), are shooting the fight, circling around the two competitors. It turns out, the two men fighting are cabbies, one a bike (or pedi) cab operator, the other a taxi cab operator. Their two vehicles are up alongside one another on Broadway, and have made contact (likely only moments before), and this is what the altercation centers around.
After a few moments, the two men are now up on their feet, walking around, shouting at each other, and it seems things have settled down (at least from a physical stand-point). However, it’s at this point that the bike cabbie appears on the sidewalk, hoisting a garbage can, high over his head. For clarification, this is one of those large, metallic, cylindrical garbage cans you see on every corner in NYC. The strongman then proceeds — as the cameras are rolling and clicking — to heave it at the other man (he misses). Trash goes everywhere.
Quite the scene. Traffic stopped. Pedestrians (including myself) standing in shock, watching the developments. The taxi cab driver remains on foot, as the bike cabbie mounts, and attempts to pedal off. But the taxi cab guy is blocking his way, attempting to keep him from fleeing the scene. At this point, the bike-cabbie cuts across traffic, hops a curb, and pedals off down the sidewalk, leaving only a trail of obscenities.
The other competitor is left to scoop up his broken sunglasses and torn iPod ear buds from the street.
As they say, only in New York.
Here’s the link to video from the FOX website: