As far as creative cultural pursuits go, Taxilandia—a theatrical experience that takes place in the back seat of a cab—checks all boxes: it's funny, unexpected and it raises awareness about issues that have plagued New York City for years.
Created by 39-year-old artist Modesto Jimenez, who goes by Flako, the show will run out of Jimenez's own 2004 Lincoln Town Car through May 30.
During the 90-minute ride through Bushwick (complete with a COVID-19-appropriate screen separator, of course), the driver and artist takes passengers through the neighborhood, stopping at landmarks, local eateries and storefronts, touching upon topics the likes of gentrification, art, music and history while delivering laughs. Keep in mind that Jimenez also teaches Shakespeare at Sarah Lawrence College, a fact that adds a whole lot of flair to the experience as a whole.
Born in the Dominican Republic but raised in Bushwick, Jimenez's creative experience also fuels the local economy. Part of the $25 ticket helps the creator purchase a snack from the neighborhood deli for each audience member. Jimenez also pays the various businesses that the tour stops at.
Unsurprisingly, the backseat of Jimenez's ride is a hot ticket these days—which is why he has decided to set up a lottery when selling tickets for the rides. You can sign up for it right here.
Those not lucky enough to snag a seat can opt for Textilandia instead, a text-guided walk of Bushwick that Jimenez created in unison with the program that runs out of the car. It'll cost you $3.
A third option includes a free map of the various storefronts that Jimenez focuses on during the tour. You can download that on Taxilandia's official website as well.
Jimenez's effort falls squarely within the city's new devotion to its streets as stages—but the artist takes it a step further. Although plenty of newly launched shows take place on stationary, outdoor destinations, Jimenez's decision to take audience members around the very roads that make up the theme and backbone of his performance is a novel one that pays off.
Here's to hoping more shows like Jimenez's get added to our must-try calendar of events this summer.