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Nina In New York: A New Nissan Life (Get It?)

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This photo provided by Nissan, Tuesday May 3, 2011, shows a Nissan NV200 that was selected by New York City to supply the taxi fleet for the next 10 years. (AP Photo/Nissan)

This photo provided by Nissan, Tuesday May 3, 2011, shows a Nissan NV200 that was selected by New York City to supply the taxi fleet for the next 10 years. (AP Photo/Nissan)

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A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.
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The Taxi of Tomorrow is HERE! Huzzah! Hooray! The future is today*!

Turns out I was wrong (what!) about a vote for Ford being a vote for the American auto worker. They were going to manufacture their cab in Turkey, which is funny because the Turkish company was willing to open a plant in Brooklyn. Saddies for both of them because neither one wins. The lucky taxi is…the Nissan (which will be U.S.-made, in fact).

I don’t think you can accurately call it an SUV. Maybe more of a van? A minivan, perhaps? It looks kind of like the Scooby-Doo bus with a big, mean frowny face. It’s pretty tootin’ ugly, to put it plainly. But! It has a pixelated, 1990’s computer-age checker design on the outside, which is great because it is reminiscent of the good old days when cabs were classic and I got to sit in the jump seat (in retrospect, this strikes me as quite a dangerous spot for a child).

Anyway, in addition to that bit of bastardized “old New York” charm, the Nissan NV200 is jam packed with all sorts of super cool stuff. It’s got a see-through roof, which as previously mentioned, will be an excellent way to see a brand new angle on New York and bird poop. One point! It’s got rear air bags, which sounds good for grown-ups (+2) and terribly dangerous for little tykes (-3). They’re crash-testing it with the partition, which is terrific, but no points awarded for bragging about finally taking what sounds like a relatively necessary safety measure. It’s great on gas, and the engines could go electric at some point, but are not currently. Let’s give that a +3. All the geeks and iHoles out there will be thrilled to hear about the USB charging ports, for situations like when you are in the middle of a wicked game of Angry Birds while stuck in tunnel traffic and you just split up your little blue guys at exactly the right trajectory so that arrogant, grinning pig and his top hat are definitely going to explode and then BAM your screen goes dark. We’ll have no more of that. Five points? Negative three points? I lost count.

The NV200 also boasts “separate climate controls,” which will ideally be an improvement on the current AC on/off buttons backseats that generally serve the purpose tricking your mind into feeling a blast of cool air. Also, no standard wheelchair access in every vehicle, but yes to reading lights! And I am just going to read the crap out of my unspecified electronic book device on every cab ride going forward. Sorry, it’s just that reading in the backseat while weaving in and out of lanes of traffic at 40 mph and stopping short at every red light is just kinda my thing. I haven’t even had a chance to mention the NV200’s other features, like the GoGo Gadget legs and copter propellers, the soda machine, flashing license plates, mood seats which change color depending on a passenger’s temperament, emergency eject button, and a television which cannot be muted and plays only a loop of Sandy Kenyon’s review of “High School Musical 15: Sharpay Gets a DUI.”

All in all, it promises to be an exciting time for everyone. Except for people who live in Brooklyn, who have evidently been banned from taxi-riding evermore. Tough break, Brooklyn. Don’t give up.

*in about 2-3 years

Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.

Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.

The Nina Archives:

The End May Or May Not Be Nigh…

Happy New Year!

The Garden State Diet (No Garden Salads)

Official State Dog Is Gus! (Kinda)

Standing At The Edge Of Tomorrow…Today!


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