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17 Ways to Help New York

Continued from page one

6. New York Needs Fare Play
If no one's going out, it's only logical that they don't need cabs to take them home. "Look at this," sighs a taxi driver named Prince as he passes typically chaotic Herald Square without a single tap on his horn. "It should be much, much busier at this hour."

Prince has been struggling to make $300 after eighteen hours behind the wheel, $100 less than normal. George Marquaye says he can drive around for two hours these days without a single pickup, pulling in half as much as he used to. "Tourists are our main customers," he says, "and there aren't any in New York right now."

Many cabbies are also worried about discrimination. Like a lot of drivers from the Middle East and South Asia, Ashok Kumar, an Indian, displays an American flag prominently on his antenna. Still, he says, riders are suspicious. "A lot of people are asking me many questions about myself. Like where am I from, and how long have I been in this country? They're nervous, I understand. I just try to be very nice." It's up to us to be nice back. —DAVID AMSDEN

7. Fighting the War Behind Your Ears
Three mental-health experts offer their advice for staying sane:

1. Robert P. Franks, National Center for Children Exposed to Violence:
"Give yourself a break from the news. And if you are a parent, remember that your children take their cues on how to behave and react from you. Show them that in the aftermath of tragedy, you have the courage to live your life."

2. John Draper, Mental Health Association of New York City:
"Because of the enormity of the event, you may think you have no coping mechanisms that can work in this situation. But you should return to ones you've relied on before — and maybe just use them a little more intensely, whether that's exercising, spending time with family and friends, or just listening to more music."

3. Thomas C. Neylan, medical director of the Post-Traumatic-Stress Disorder program at the University of California-San Francisco:
"Sleep. The best way you can be supportive to your loved ones is to be alert and attentive."

8. Stay Home for the Holidays
Have grandmother — and everyone else in the extended family — over to your place for Thanksgiving. If relatives insist that it would be "so much easier" to do it elsewhere, explain that it would help "so much" to repair your wounded pride — and the city's — to host them here. —DAVID AMSDEN

9. Show the Taliban What Freedom Means — Go Dancing
No Bob Hope-style entertainment for us. But downtown nightlife is back, under duress: Body & Soul, the long-running dance party at Vinyl, reopened this past Sunday, even though promoter John Davis's apartment, located right next to the World Trade Center, was severely damaged. The disaster has actually brokered an unlikely alliance between cops and clubbers. "The 1st Precinct will sign off on ticketholders and band names so that they can drive in with equipment," says Guy Compton, spokesperson for the Knitting Factory, which opened all its stages last Wednesday. "I think they understand that they need us to survive and we understand that we need them too." The Knitting Factory is donating 10 percent of its box-office to the FDNY for the remainder of the year. —ETHAN BROWN


Photo by Christina Nunez.