Wednesday, April 03, 2013

I have join the Twitterati

I am spending more time tweeting at cabtivist. So you can follow me there. This is a sign from Boardwalk Empire 1924.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Richard Hammond picture went up on the wall at world famous  Katz deli where we had lunch.

Richard Hammond’s BBC America show CRASH COURSE premier’s this month, and the October 29th episode features New York cabtivist John McDonagh, showing Richard the ropes of cab-driving in NYC. Here are some pictures from the 2 day's I spent with Richard Hammond of Top Gear.


Here is the trailer that BBC America is running on their web site.Richard Hammond and myself blaming each other for why the cab over heated.

New York Daily News Profile

Richard Hammond of Top Gear gets training on how to drive a yellow cab from a Queens guy.


This a review in the New York Daily News about myself teaching Richard Hammond how to drive a yellow cab in NYC.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

This weeks Irish Echo newspaper

Thanks to this weeks Irish Echo newspaper for running this story of me being an extra on Boardwalk Empire.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Radio Free Eireann in the New York Times and the Irish Echo

Radio Free Eireann makes the World news in the Times of London

Friday, September 14, 2012

Radio Free Eireann Interview Lt Girard Owens tomorrow on WBAI 99.5FM

As the 11th anniversary of the attack of September 11th loomed, I never thought I would mark it by being on a National Parks boat heading to the Statue of Liberty for a special ceremony for FDNY LT Girard Owens, who saved the last 2 civilians out of the WTC. After recovering from series injuries he suffered as the towers fell, LT Owens embarked on a journey of visiting all 397 national parks. Although recently diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma and stage 4 lymphoma, Lt. Owens had visited 396 parks – the last remaining one being the Statue of Liberty. As Paul Harvey used to say “[a]nd now, the rest of the story.” For over 20 years at WBAI I have been receiving postcards from around the world and national parks telling me to go to Cuba. It seemed almost every time I would take phone calls during the show, someone would call in and say “go to Cuba you Commie.” After many years, I learned that it was a fireman making the calls and sending the postcards, but still didn’t know his name. I called him “Johnny From Greenpoint,” and he became a fixture on the show. Then on Saturday, after Radio Free Eireann, ended I picked up the phone and the go to Cuba guy asked me to go with him to the Statue of Liberty on 9-11. When I asked him why, he said “read tomorrow’s New York Daily news.” So I took down his number, and called him the next day after reading the news story. We spoke for an hour and talked about people we both knew, and arranged to meet him at his apartment and go with him and his family to the ceremony.
My wife, aware of some of the extreme lengths that Johnny From Greenpoint went to send his message of “go to Cuba” to me, urged me to be cautious as she kissed me goodbye. Her concern was totally unfounded. When we met, we hugged like the old friends we seemed to have become – it was almost as though we had grown up together. He showed me photos of his travels, and he gave a flag from North Korea and a postcard with the image of Che Guevara. I gave him Brian Mor O Boyle drawings commemorating 9-11. Then of we went to catch the National Park boat that was taking his family and friends to the Statue of Liberty. Sailing out to the Statue, I wondered what my mother and father were thinking when they were going past the Statue of Liberty on the immigrant ship from Ireland - could they ever have imagine that one of their sons would one day be on a National Park boat heading to the Statue for a ceremony honoring a hero Firefighter?
On the island we were met by David Luchsinger, parks superintendent for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, to get the final stamp for Lt. Owen’s national park book. After the stamp was put into the book, everyone took pictures with Lt. Owens at the foot of the Statue of Liberty. When it came to my turn, Joanna Molloy from the Daily news yelled at me “John how does it feel to be with Lt. Owens with your politics?” I pointed out that I was standing to the left of Lady Liberty, and Gerry was standing to the right of her, and the island is big enough for both sides of our politics. As we headed back to lower Manhattan on the boat, I made arrangements to have Gerry come into the WBAI studio on Saturday for a two hour special about his life, and to talk about his calling WBAI for all these years. It will also give a chance for WBAI listeners to talk to him. Gerry told me that he is very sick from working down at the Twin Towers, and he didn’t want listeners two years from now saying - Hey where did the go to cuba guy go? As Cindy Adams says” Only in New York.”
After 20+ years of calls - not to mention postcards from most of the national parks - Johnny from Greenpoint will finally be an invited studio guest on Radio Free Eireann 99.5 f.m.,this Saturday, Sept. 15th, from 1-3:00 p.m.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Irish Echo Newspaper

This is from this week's Irish Echo newspaper. It mentions that Randy Credico and I will be hosting a comedy night every Thursday at Connelly's 121w 45th Street, starting Sept. 6 at 8 pm. I will be talking about my 35 years of driving a Yellow Cab in NYC. CABTIVIST A New York cabby's 35-year journey of driving NYC crazy.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Jalopnik online interview

Just finished a 2 hour online interview with the Gawker web site Jalopnik, in which I reveal all the secrets of driving a yellow cab in New York City.
They already have had over 100,000 views. They say by the end of the month they will have had 4 million.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Richard Hammond from Top Gear learning how to drive a yellow cab in NYC from myself

Filmed 20 hours this week with Richard Hammond from Top Gear, who has a show on BBC America called Crash Course. I tried to teach him how to be a yellow taxi driver. The show will air in Oct. Had a great time, but more on that in Oct.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

May Day Celebrations in New York City 2012

I celebrated May day running around the city with the banner in support of the Guatemalan victims of non-consensual U.S medical experiments. I was at the Stop and Frisk trial in Manhattan Criminal Court with Princeton Professor Cornell West, and spoke to him about the Guatemalan experiments and Ireland. I then went to Union Square for May Day celebrations with my fellow Veterans For Peace brothers. Hundreds of photos were taken of the banner. I ran into a Spanish television crew who are interested in covering the issue. I was approached by a friend of the Wellesley College professor who discovered the Guatemalan file on the experiments - they took pictures and took a flier to give to her. I also had a remarkable conversation with a woman who said she was a friend of Dr. Cutler who carried out the experiments she told me that he never mentioned the experiments to anyone, and she was amazed to learn about them. Just another day in New York City.

Friday, April 13, 2012


A tribute was held for WBAI'S most famous caller Monroe Litman at The Saloon on 84th and York Ave on the Upper East Side.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

ST. Patrick's Day in New York City at BB Kings in Times Square

Can any one at BB King's spell ST. Fuctting Paddy's Day.I got to introduce my good friends in Black 47 on the stage at BB Kings in Times Square. The show was broadcast live on sirus/xm satellite radio.

The Empire State Building goes green for ST. Patrick's Day

I got to introduce my good friends in Black 47 on the stage at BB Kings in Times Square. The show was broadcast live on sirus/xm satellite radio.

Hanging with the family with Larry Kirwin founder of Black 47 back stage at BB Kings.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

EL Diario coverage of the ST. Pats for All Parade in Queens New York

FACT: Between 1946 until at least 1953, the United States Public Health Service conducted highly invasive medical tests on Guatemalan citizens drawn from penitentiaries, the national orphanage, state run schools and rural communities, the military, a leprosarium, a mental institution, as well as commercial sex workers. These experiments were performed without the subjects’ consent.
FACT: The United States Public Health Service bribed Guatemalan institutions with essential supplies such as epilepsy medication for the mental asylum and malaria medication for the orphanage, to gain their cooperation in using vulnerable Guatemalan populations for medical experimentation.
FACT: The United States Public Health Service performed experimentation that included deliberately infecting subjects with syphilis by scraping samples of infected pus and placing it on genitalia or in eyes, transferring gonorrhea from infected subjects to non-infected subjects, failing to provide treatment for contracted diseases, and various other medical procedures such as drawing blood and lumbar punctures to obtain cerebral fluid.
FACT: The United States Public Health Service conducted similar medical experimentation in the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male” in Tuskegee, Alabama, from 1932-1972. The U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare appointed a panel to review the study, which subsequently condemned the Tuskegee experiments, but provided no compensation for the victims until they filed a class action lawsuit.
FACT: In 2011 the United States Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues confirmed that the members of the US medical team knew they were violating the rights of vulnerable populations in Guatemala, calling it a “reprehensible exploitation of our fellow human beings.” Yet, just as it did with the Tuskegee victims- the US government has failed to provide any compensation to those it harmed. In fact, on January 9,2012, the U.S Department of Justice filed motions asking the court to dismiss the class action claims brought by the Guatemalan victims.
Sign the online petition at
Learn more about the issue – “Like” Fair Compensation for Guatemalan Victims of US Medical Experimentation at!/pages/Fair-Compensation-for-Guatemalan-Victims-of-US-Medical-Experimentation/341735475845006
Contact- Piper Hendricks, counsel for the Guatemalan victims at for further information

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Brian Mor Ó Baoighill Gone But Not Forgotten

Just back from burying my good friend Brian Mor Ó Baoighill. This is the eulogy I gave at his graveside in New Jersey along with Pat Williams of the Irish Freedom Committee, who read a statement from the Irish Republican Movement in Ireland, and Fr. Pat Moloney "The Saint of The Lower East Side". It was a sad day for the Irish Republican movement.

Thank you, Joan, for inviting me to speak. I am here to pay tribute to the life and legacy of my friend, Brian Mor. It is an impossible task – for in every way, Bernie was larger than life. His wit, his talent, his commitment to a free Ireland and even his very name were larger than life. Mor, in Irish, means “Big,” and to me, Bernie was my big brother, my mentor, my best friend. Fortunately, there is no need to sum up his legacy in a few words – Bernie has left behind a treasure trove of artwork, cartoons and writing. He has laid the foundation for future generations to follow – and we will be forever in his debt.
One of Bernie’s favorite author’s, Evelyn Waugh, once wrote “your actions, and your action alone, determines your worth.” I am lucky to have been part of his actions and I’d like to share a few with you. Bernie was a character that only being born the son of immigrant parents in New York City could produce. Born in Harlem, Bernie later moved to the South Bronx, where his adored sister Margo was born. His mother’s biggest complaint was that he kept drawing on the walls of their apartment – Bernie’s friend Joe can tell stories about how many times she had to repaint the walls. How lucky we are that Bernie kept drawing on walls, and that we can still see his artwork on the walls of the Comic Club, Rocky Sullivan’s and Robert Emmett’s, to name a few.
Although a born and bred New Yorker, Bernie never forgot his family ties to Donegal, and at the Irish People Newspaper, found the perfect place to blend his Fenian passion with his artistic skills. Bernie and I worked together for many years, and as crazy as some of my ideas might have been, Bernie found a way to make them even more outlandish. One of our finest moments was standing in the middle of Times Square on December 16, 1983, watching the electronic sign board send Christmas Greetings to Irish Prisoners of War. Our second finest moment was enjoying the stir it made. I'll never forget sitting in the Blarney Stone with him, as we watched Bill Butell, anchor of Channel 7 news in NY, say "IRA hijacks sign in Times Square. More at 11." Bernie looked as though he had just won the lottery, knowing that his art was being shown around the world. In the pages of the Irish People, Bernie’s cutting political cartoons were the first thing that people looked for when opening the paper. And whether hung on someone’s refrigerator, or condemned in the House of Commons, they made a big impact. One of Bernie’s greatest gifts was his ability to blend history with current events. Whether hosting Radio Free Eireann, writing a scathing article or lampooning a subject in a cartoon, Bernie’s knowledge of Irish history was beyond reproach – and perfectly juxtaposed with the issue of the day.
You often hear people say “what can I do? I’m only one person?” Bernie’s legacy shows just what one man can accomplish. Bernie’s artistic talent should have made him a millionaire. But he was generous to a fault with his gift. Bernie’s worth will not be measured in dollars, but in his actions – giving his talent to further ideals he fervently believed in; mentoring younger artists; sharing his wisdom with those wise enough to listen. It seems wrong to live in a world without Bernie – we had so much more to do. We need more paintings, murals, cartoons. Bernie was so looking forward to his niece’s graduation this spring. And he had such grand plans with Joan! Joan took such good care of Bernie – he was planning on a lifetime of better days with her, and with his family. But knowing Bernie, I think he would find these words by Edna St. Vincent Millay fitting:
My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends -
It gives a lovely light.

I miss you Bernie. See you on the other side.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Brian Mor Ó Baoighill Unrepentant Fenian and close friend has died

Farewell to my good friend, mentor, and founder of Radio Free Eireann. A true artist, a true New Yorker, and a true METS fan: Brian Mor Ó Baoighill

It is with a deep sense of loss and sadness that we report the death of Brian Mor Ó Baoighill that occurred on Sunday evening, February 19, 2012. Brian was, first and foremost, a true Irish Republican, an unrepentant Fenian who gave so much of his time and energy to the cause of Irish freedom and unity.

Amongst his many other attributes Brian was a renowned Celtic artist, a prolific satirical cartoonist, a historian and a fountain of knowledge and wisdom. He broke bread with practically every notable Irish-American personality of this past half century and played a prominent role in every historic event involving the New York Irish-American community.

He was our friend and fellow traveler who now takes his rightful place in the ranks of our departed Fenian stalwarts. He leaves us with fond memories, but, also with a void that will never be filled. Farewell dear friend.

Ar dheis láimh Dé go raibh anam uasal -- Ní bheıdh a leıthead ann go deo aríst

Well known Irish American artist, Brian Mór O'Baoighill passed away late in the evening of Sunday, February 19, 2012. What follows is a mildly edited autobiography written by the man himself.

A New York native, Brian was born in what was then euphemistically known as “Irish West Haarlem”. Brian's parents, with him in tow, moved during WWII to “the suburbs”, the old South Bronx of the beautiful borough on the mainland of America. His wonderful sister Margo was born in the South Bronx.
Brian, like so many of Narrowback contemporaries, endured the vicissitudes of a parochial education. He majored in advanced hooliganism and his fondest memories are those spent down Cypress Avenue, his weekly trip to the New York Public Library over on Alexander Avenue, playing ball day in the summer of the PS 65 schoolyard, shooting dice in the same schoolyard, observing girls, graffiti (tagging), reading everything he got his hands on, and, when not reading, drawing his literary images.
Inevitably, when discussing his old Bronx stomping grounds, the conversation will end up in a bar. Not just any bar, but the Shannon View, where his Dad worked. This notorious emporium became the designated locale for a disparate clientele as one could ever imagine; New York’s finest (on & off duty), NYC Transit employees, Con-Ed workers (on & off duty), career A&P clerks, undertakers, corrections hacks, construction workers, sandhogs, Irish-Americans, part-time gangsters, insurance men, tugboat hands, erstwhile IRA heroes, bohemians and John Birchers, taxi drivers, and a lot of thirsty men and escorted women.
The jukebox was devoted to Irish music; from the McNulty family and Ruthie Mórrissey, to Michael Coleman and Paddy Killeran, while the conversation ranged from baseball to the Black and Tans. It was here that Brian found approbation for his family's tales of British terror in post-1960 Ireland.
When the '50s campaign ended, Mór was working for his Dad in Queens. It was here that he met a man who was to change his life's mission. The man Seamus McDevitt, an American-born IRA man who, at the cessation of hostilities of the border campaign, was released from a Free State jail and deported back to America, a country he had not seen since a small child. Seamus was living in America but his heart and soul were living in Donegal, where he was persona non grata to the Free State and to his own family.
McDevitt took care of Brian’s higher education, giving him book lists, periodicals, old newspa-pers and historic recordings in Irish, laced with revolutionary slogans in Irish and Béarla. Brian found a direction for both himself and his art (Fág an Beallach).
With the tragic death of his mentor McDevitt, Mór rededicated himself to the ancient cause, and he traveled to Ireland in 1966 for the 50th Anniversary of the Easter Rising. Brian found himself involved in the Republican experience of waiting and waiting for something to happen in Ireland.
Brian was active in Irish Northern Aid from its start and was appointed to the Irish People newspaper in 1972. His career with the newspaper (on and off over the next 20 years) is the stuff that legends are made of, from, or whatever. He was an officer of Cumann na Saoirse and prior to his death, was putting together a retrospective of his Republican and Irish American art for the past 30 years, and his vision of the future of our culture.
Brian considered the high points of his journalistic endeavors as being denounced in the House of Lords and Commons several times for his unique cartoon art; being fired and rehired by the forces of darkness that enveloped the former Republican movement; Radio Free Eireann, which he help found over 25 years ago; and of course, a great working relationship with John (Mr. Sensitivity) McDonagh, from the Times Square incident to Inwood and back down to Wall Street. Brian continues his life’s work for the inevitable victory of Fenianism, i.e.: the establishment of a 32 county sovereign Irish Republic, (and the plight of the small farmer).
In pop culture, Brian Mór O’Baoighill will always be known as the man who illustrated the Mouse on the Barroom floor. But as an artist and an activist, he was so much more. When the twin towers were attacked in New York City, Mór drew the iconic sketch of a policeman, fireman, and emergency service worker standing on the smoldering pile, with the caption “. . . because it’s what we do.” To this day, it is found on t-shirts, precincts and fire stations throughout the city. When the Irish political prisoners were on hunger strike in 1981, Mór designed wall murals in their memory, and was behind the electronic sign in Times Square sending Christmas Greetings to Irish Republican prisoners in 1983, and delighted in the fact that the U.S. ambassador to England had to answer for his artwork. He was the official cartoonist of the Irish People Newspaper in New York City – and one of his proudest moments was when he was condemned by the House of Parliament in England for one of his drawings. In between political cartoons, Mór painted murals on the walls of bars and restaurants across the country – including the Comic Strip in New York City, a wall mural with the history of NYC at Robert Emmet’s, and Eddie Murphy’s comedy club in Miami.
Brian Mór was the go-to Irish-American graphic artist. He designed album covers for Black 47, Joannie Madden, Cherish the Ladies and Seanchie. His artwork filled both the old and new Rocky Sullivan’s Bar. Mór designed a coat of arms for Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, illustrated Christmas cards, and designed a line of Irish china. His artwork is hung in the Bloody Sunday Museum in Derry, Ireland. Mór was one of the founders of Behind the Green Curtain on WBAI, which eventually became Radio Free Erieann, and he was an active contributor until his death. Ironically earlier this year, Mór’s poster memorializing Theobald Wolfe Tone and The United Irishman, first displayed in New York City Hall, was hung in place of a picture of the Queen of England in Belfast City Hall. While Mór rallied against it being hung in a government office in Ireland still under British rule, somehow, it is fitting that it is there.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Extra Extra Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire has called me back this year as an extra because of the wonderful job I did last year sitting for 12 hours as a Spanish American War Veteran.So I went for my fitting as a lower middle class extra at Steiner Studios in the old Brooklyn Navy Yard yesterday.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Stephen Fry meets the Goodfellas in Queens

Just a reminder when Stephen Fry came to Middle Village Queens New York.