I saw my first floral taxi about a month ago, barrelling down Clinton Street in Brooklyn, where I live. “That’s pretty,” I thought to myself. “Maybe one of the medallion owners was looking for a creative way to set his (or her) taxi apart” the way a couple of old-fashioned Checker cabs still used to cruise the streets years ago when I was in college (the last one was retired in 1999). Those were the taxis everyone wanted to ride in.
But then I saw another cab with the same bright floral pattern. Soon, it seemed, they were everywhere, and I decided to investigate. As it turns out, the flowers are part of a public art project called Garden In Transit, created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of New York’s first metered taxicab. Coordinated by Portraits of Hope, a non-profit arts and education organization, it’s brought tens of thousands of volunteers together to help paint and apply the designs.