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Cheyenne Diner

<< Location: New York's Chelsea neighbourhood on 9th Avenue >>


> Cheyenne Diner, a railroad-car stainless steel, enamel and neon diner (1930-2008)

> Ford Crown Victoria yellow cab (1992-2008)

> A coin-operated parking meter (1952-2006)

> Apple iPod (2001-2022)

> Coin-operated payphones (1905-2022)

Getting behind the wheel of his taxi cab every morning, Angelos never knows if his first fare will be just a short ride to Spring Street or a rush-hour drive to the South Bronx. On his 12-hour shift he sees himself as The Greek Psychoanalyst (he was a marine biology researcher back in Petroupoli for five years, just like Freud) - ready to listen to his passengers and offer therapeutic techniques for their unconscious minds.


More often than not, Angelos finds that people are curiously eager to share their otherwise covert emotional plight in exchange for $8 and a tip. Perhaps it’s their momentary confinement on the worn leather couch of his yellow cab, or the deep rumbling tone of his voice that makes them feel he genuinely cares.

It’s with this anthology of stories in mind that Angelos has carefully assembled his own symbolic Memory Palace of the city - a more simple, analogue landscape that provides reliable visual markers on his drive home across Midtown. The blinking neon signs above the Cheyenne diner signal that it’s time to clock-off. He’ll take the Queensboro Bridge east to the Astoria carwash on 21st Street and then it's on to Franky’s Souvlaki Streetfood on Steinway St. for a $4 grilled shrimp stick and a hunk of bread. He knows it’s not fresh from the Aegean, but standing now in the streetlight, off the beaten track, his day is a reminder of just how much his routines have been shaped by his own past.

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