BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

This is written for anyone who has either never driven Uptown or those who have but didn’t make out too well. You have to understand; driving Uptown takes a whole different mindset. Whether you’re coming from New Jersey, the Bronx or even other parts of Manhattan, realize that once you enter Uptown territory, using whatever bridge, street or avenue that got you here, you better have your A game, if not, it won’t be pretty. It’s not just the locals and cab drivers you have to watch out for but basically everyone on the road. The UPS dudes, the city bus drivers and even the ice cream truck drivers, all those people drive like maniacs.

The first thing you must do, and this is an important step, as bizarre as it may sound, is get your hands on some really hard, gutter Hip-Hop. Someone like Young Jeezy or Uncle Murder (you have to be gutter if your name is Uncle Murder) comes to mind. Believe me, even if you don’t like Hip-hop, the testosterone-laced music will put you in the right frame of mind to drive Uptown. Make sure you get the explicit version, you’re going to need all the curse words you can get to fuel the necessary fire to traverse the neighborhood. Make sure you put it crazy loud, as in the famous words of my dad, “a to le que da”. Seasoned Uptown drivers can skip the Hip-Hop tunes altogether. A dude like myself, could drive with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony playing whisper low and still handle things. But I digress.

The next step, and again, this is a big one, as it is a philosophical adjustment, is realize that you’re Uptown. You have left wherever you have come from and have entered uncharted territory. The comfort and solace provided by rules, regulations and niceties are in the rear view mirror, so its time to man up. The driving rules that exist in other places simply are not in effect here. Red lights, stop signs, one-way streets, anything and everything is up for interpretation. Shoo, up here, turn signals are for woosies. This is a place, where there is such a thing as a good triple parking. With this handy manual and a little chutzpah, you should be on your way. More to follow…..

Check out Uptown Driving Part 2: Here

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  • ThreeFingersBrown
    July 16, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    No doubt. Good call on the music. I go between hardcore rap and old school NY hardcore punk when I drive. I suppose some reggae-tone would work too, but that shit gives me a headache… It’s all good now though, I can roll with Joni Mitchell and still get where I gotta go easy. Just can’t sweat it – embrace it. Drive aggressive, keep your eyes open and get ready to avoid any and all obstacles – sentient or non.

    Driving up here is only for the rawest OG’s. I grew up in Flushing and even Main & Roosevelt, or Jackson Heights can’t compare to the intensity of driving in the Heights. If you’ve ever been in a car in DR (or other parts of Latin America) you’d know that you’re lucky to even see a paved road, let alone a stop sign – Dominican drivers don’t play by American rules. Pretend your in DR and you’ll be ok… oh, right then you cross broadway and you have to deal with the Ortho-Jews. My people are the worst. They’ll cruise in a mini-van and take up both lanes without a care in the world. I recently had an Ortho lady back up into my car to park – with about 20 feet of space in front of her! Bitch didn’t even apologize. I screamed at her and called her every Yiddish word under the son. Whatever, she’s Chosen right?

    My wife’s from the UWS and never got her license. She’s not learning how to drive up here. In fact, I’d rather drive shit-faced than let her get behind the wheel in our hood.

  • uptownco
    July 16, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Great comment – you said it best with “drive aggressive, keep your eyes open and get ready to avoid any and all obstacles – sentient or non.” More in this series to come.


    August 3, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    […] Check out Part 1 – Here […]