Magazine November 11, 2019, Issue

Lost and Found

Taxis in New York City, March 2016 (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

I was supposed to meet my wife at our neighborhood coffeehouse, but over the phone it sounded as if she was at a funeral parlor. Her credit-card case had gone missing.

There had been a pistarckle with the cabbie who brought her to the rendezvous. The rise of phone-a-cars has made rude cabbies almost a thing of the past; the pressure of competition makes them models of congeniality, doing U-turns on avenues in order to nab a fare. This cabbie, however, was a holdover from the bad old days. Pay with credit card, he insisted. Your machine does not work, my

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