Day Cabbie

San Francisco taxi stories from one of the very rare female drivers

Hope

I picked up a guy at a house in Potrero Hill. He was going to the Sunset. He said

"I have to pick up a friend from the airport a little later and bring her back to the city. Do you want that job?"

"Absolutely."

"She arrives at 12:30."

"That works for me."

"You're not a full-time cab driver, are you? You seem too young to be doing that."

"No, I just drive part-time."

"Are you an artist?"

"Yes."

"What kind of art?"

"I paint with acrylics."

He told me about a famous San Francisco artist he knows who I should contact for business advice. He also said that he owns several of his paintings and that I should come inside and see them later when I pick him up to go to the airport.

I dropped him off in the Sunset and agreed to meet him back at his house in Potrero Hill at 12:30. When I showed up at 12:30, he was in the garage. He invited me in to look at the paintings. They were all colorful, of a big sky with a little bit of ocean on the bottom. I liked them. He gave me the artist's card so that I could call him and maybe be mentored.

I looked around this guy's house. It was big, at least three bedrooms, I would say, with a huge kitchen, a huge living-room, a deck and a view of the San Francisco bay. I thought to myself "Do people actually live in houses in San Francisco? I guess they do. This guy does." It's hard for me to wrap my head around that sometimes, considering that sometimes I'm afraid I can't even afford my little studio.

"You have a very nice house."

"Thank you."

"How long have you lived here?"

"About four years."

Wow, I thought. He must have bought it right when real estate prices were at their highest. Or close to it.

In the car on the way to the airport--we were still in Potrero Hill--I said

"Owning a house in Potrero Hill is one of my biggest dreams. But it's also one I have a hard time imagining ever coming true."

"Well, somebody has got to live here."

"That's true."

"And all the people that live here got the money somehow."

"That's true! They all got the money somehow."

Somehow, the idea that all the people who own the Potrero Hill houses got the money somehow, that gave me all the hope in the world.

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