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    Default Taxi! Find me a date -- and step on it!

    Taxi! Find me a date -- and step on it!

    Lukas I. Alpert Canadian Press January 30, 2005

    NEW YORK (AP) - If you look hard enough, you can find anything in New York.

    So for the lovelorn who are burned out by the bar scene, fed up with personal ads or tired of scouring the Internet, there's another place to look for that perfect date: the back seat of a taxicab.

    Specifically, Ahmed Ibrahim's cab.

    The 50-year-old Egyptian immigrant sets up blind dates for his single passengers through a free, impromptu matchmaking service he runs out of his yellow cab. He said he finds mates, or at least dates, for about eight people a week.

    "New York is a very tough city for dating," Ibrahim mused while driving through the West Village recently. "I have heard a lot of crying in this cab, a lot of fighting and a lot of broken hearts."

    "Sometimes great people were just missing each other by minutes; one would get in my cab just as another had gotten out," he said.

    Funny thing is, it works.

    Ask Natalie Dillon. She hopped into Ibrahim's cab with friends on the way to a party one day last April. When their conversation switched to how hard it was to find a decent guy, Ibrahim chimed in through the bulletproof partition: "Hey ladies, I make matches."

    "He really got our attention when he said that," Dillon said. "I was kind of skeptical at first but then I figured, 'Oh, this is New York, what the hell.' I figured he must meet a ton of people."

    So Dillon - a single, 33-year-old Media studies grad student - described what she was looking for in a guy, and gave Ibrahim her cellphone number. About six weeks later he called her and said: "Natalie, I have a guy for you."

    "I couldn't believe it," she said.

    She soon exchanged several phone calls with Martin Karamon, a 34-year-old lawyer. A few weeks later they went on a date. Six months later, the lovebirds are still going strong.

    "It's very surreal, but that's the way it happened," she said.

    New Yorkers have long poured their hearts out to cab drivers, but during his 21 years on the streets, Ibrahim has built deeper relationships with many of his fares. During the holiday season, he decorates his cab with Christmas lights and ornaments. He routinely sends birthday cards to passengers he has befriended and even hands out roses on Valentine's Day.

    Playing Miss Lonelyhearts with a hack licence comes naturally to Ibrahim, though he stumbled across the part accidentally.

    "I was joking around with this girl . . . who said she couldn't find a boyfriend," he recalled. Ibrahim took her number.

    Three days later, a man got in his cab and bemoaned his bad luck finding a woman. Ibrahim called the woman and gave her the man's number. Three weeks later, she called back and said they had gone on a date and were getting along great.

    "I thought, 'Oh my God, this is my new project,' " he said.

    So he set about it with gusto, attempting matches for doctors, lawyers and students.

    Since then, he has been featured on Fox News Channel and NBC's Today show and in The Wall Street Journal. He even has an agent shopping his story to producers in Hollywood.

    Ibrahim doesn't charge for his service; he does it for fun, he said. But he doesn't offer his help to just anybody who gets into his cab.

    First, they must be serious about looking to settle down. Men in their early 20s are usually ruled out as being too young and wild. Older men who are "looking for Britney Spears" are crossed off the list for just being creepy. They must be gainfully employed: no one looking for a meal ticket is invited.

    Try as hard as he may, his work is about love and chemistry, so not all of his matches have been successful.

    "The guy I met was a very nice person but he just wasn't for me," Dana Rosen, 26, said of the one date Ibrahim set her up on. "But I'm very picky and it's hard to meet someone right away."

    She's willing, however, to let Ibrahim set her up again.

    "I trust Ahmed because he knows what I want and he knows that I'm picky," she said. "Besides, I'm always up for something different."

    Ibrahim said he will keep working on setting his passengers up for as long as it takes to find them the perfect match.

    "I hope I can accomplish a few marriages," he said. "I'm an old-fashioned guy."

    And what about for himself?

    "Marriage is not for me," declared Ibrahim, who is divorced. But he has a girlfriend - a woman he picked up in his cab.

    The Canadian Press 2005
    **PHOTO CREDIT:
    Raina Forman listens through the partition as taxi driver matchmaker Ahmed Ibrahim makes a phone call Friday Dec. 3, 2004 in New York. (AP/Tina Fineberg
    Attached Images Attached Images  
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    Wow, this is great! My best friend, who is a gorgeous blond, always ends up with these total dorks for boyfriends! Maybe this guy could help her. It would be worth driving her to New York City to have the satisfaction of being a matchmaker and finally see her with a decent guy!

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    .
    Richard Nester
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    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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    Originally posted by kentbwj
    Wow, this is great! My best friend, who is a gorgeous blond, always ends up with these total dorks for boyfriends! Maybe this guy could help her. It would be worth driving her to New York City to have the satisfaction of being a matchmaker and finally see her with a decent guy!
    Why drive her clear to New York City when Orrville, Ohio is just 60 miles away? How old is she and does she like cops????
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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    Originally posted by MetalMedic


    Why drive her clear to New York City when Orrville, Ohio is just 60 miles away? How old is she and does she like cops????

    In answer to the two-part second question: 39, and affirmative. How old are you?

    Also, it's a small world. My husband and I grew up in Orrville (went to Maple Street School, in fact). We moved up this way from Wooster in 1994.

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    Originally posted by kentbwj



    In answer to the two-part second question: 39, and affirmative. How old are you?

    Also, it's a small world. My husband and I grew up in Orrville (went to Maple Street School, in fact). We moved up this way from Wooster in 1994.
    43.. sent you an e-mail with more details.

    Grew up in "Jelly City" eh? Go figure! LOL
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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    Originally posted by kentbwj
    Wow, this is great! My best friend, who is a gorgeous blond, always ends up with these total dorks for boyfriends! Maybe this guy could help her. It would be worth driving her to New York City to have the satisfaction of being a matchmaker and finally see her with a decent guy!
    Hey, ask her if living 50 yards from the beach in Sunny Australia would interest her
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

    ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

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    Originally posted by stillPSFB

    Hey, ask her if living 50 yards from the beach in Sunny Australia would interest her
    And you were worried that New York City would be a long drive...
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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    Looks like we may have our own lil LOve Connection going on over here......
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
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    Originally posted by kentbwj



    In answer to the two-part second question: 39, and affirmative. How old are you?

    Also, it's a small world. My husband and I grew up in Orrville (went to Maple Street School, in fact). We moved up this way from Wooster in 1994.
    Somehow the word SMUCKER is going to sneak into this conversation

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    Originally posted by MetalMedic


    43.. sent you an e-mail with more details.

    Grew up in "Jelly City" eh? Go figure! LOL
    I was always told that dating an Orville gal could turn into a sticky situation

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    Now where did you ever hear a thing like that?

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    from relatives close to the situation

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    Oh, they promised...ya just can't trust anyone...

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    I'm still waiting for a photo
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

    ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

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    Talking Had A Better Shot...............

    I can't be the only one who met his wife at a Fire am I? In fact, BOTH wives, (1st one for 11 years, this one for 29, still on the Honeymoon). I guess the BRT and all the noise attracts SOMETHING...
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    Red face

    Hey, what about match makers for this end of the map???!!! I want a date! Some one who likes'em a little sassy!!

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    Wink

    How far are ya from Chicago area???
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    Wink

    Well...... I hope you have lots of money, because it would be one heck of a taxi fair to get here. I guess I'm out of luck ( again) I'm in the north west, not many taxi dating services here.
    Any body got a suggestion for this sassy little thing?!
    Hmmm..... must be cupid in the air......

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    Sassy is good, ever thought about relocating???
    I.A.C.O.J. Charter Member
    "Chet, get an inch and a half on that!"

    "Not for fame or reward,Not for place or rank. Not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity. But in simple obedience to duty as they understood it. These men suffered,sacrificed,dared all, and died. Let us never forget our fallen friends."

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    Red face

    Ummmm..... yes, I have thought about it, but I've been told if you're not from the East, Easterners can be very rude. (Bad mix w/sassiness and a quick tongue)....besides, how would I ever leave my Captains and my big brothers here??!!! I love driving them crazy so much--OOPS!! I mean I LOVE them so much (lol) Besides, why would it have to be me??? Hasn't anybody heard of the SEATTLE F.D.???/ They're pretty awsome, so is Portland and there's smoke jumpers all over here! Hmmm.......Maybe I should by a cab...
    SO where are you from, how long have you been in the fire service--or are you a fire fighter? I take it you're from Chicago---is it really a windy city?!

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    Well, I am a firefighter in Northwest IN, real close to Chicago. Yes, it can be windy when the breeze comes off the lake. I have been in the fire service for 12 years, I am 30 years old, divorced 4 years ago with one beautiful little girl. My sign is Taurus, I like long walks on the beach, pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain! I also like a woman as "sassy" as I can get!!
    I.A.C.O.J. Charter Member
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    "Not for fame or reward,Not for place or rank. Not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity. But in simple obedience to duty as they understood it. These men suffered,sacrificed,dared all, and died. Let us never forget our fallen friends."

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    You should be careful what you wish for--you may find her, and if she really does have the "sass" ( and I would know!) you may be wishing you were back to the good ol' gals with predictability. Nothing like learning how it feels to have your head spinning all the time!! I make my fellow brothers here do dbl. takes every shift, I know how to keep them on their toes. Besides, it makes for great entertainment around here! Lots-o-questions, lots-o-opinions, lots-o- crazy ideas!!! "Tee-hee"! But I work really hard, so they humor me.

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    Oh, I think I could handle having my head spinning all the time! As long as she isn't a mean spirited person, it's all good! I got a CRAZY idea................PM me for details!!
    I.A.C.O.J. Charter Member
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    "Not for fame or reward,Not for place or rank. Not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity. But in simple obedience to duty as they understood it. These men suffered,sacrificed,dared all, and died. Let us never forget our fallen friends."

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    I dont feal so bad anymore thought I was the only one who couldnt find a date! LOL. Is it the job? Hmmm...Im puzzled.

    On the subjeect of that HAPPY SINGLES AWARENESS DAY!
    Rath De Ort

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