What a long strange, trip in a yellow cab it’s been.
After a seven-year run, husband and wife creative team Shannon Kirkman, 35, and Philip Kirkman, 37, are releasing their final NYC Taxi Drivers calendar — a project that’s become a cult classic in the Big Apple.
“Creatively, we feel like we took it to its limit,” Philip, a Brooklyn-based writer-director, tells The Post. “The idea of keeping it fresh has always been top priority. It’s important for us to go out on a high note.”
And photographer Shannon’s subjects are sending pulses sky-high.
The 2020 edition is chock-full of shirtless, sometimes hairy hacks showcasing their racy and humorous sides — and two female newcomers with personalities more boisterous than the sound of horns during Midtown rush hour.
Mr. August Alex Sheng, who hails from China, is squeezing a soapy sponge over his head, suggestively soaking his bare chest and his rubber-ducky bathing trunks.
“He posed with a python last year,” Phillip says. “We know he can do almost anything.”
It’s also a return for Poland’s Darek Zielinksi, who was featured in the inaugural version. He’s now a sultry Mr. May accessorizing his tattooed torso with a smoking car engine.
Philip says the appeal of the cabbie showcase is in the unexpected.
“It’s the juxtaposition between the negative stereotypes and what pop culture puts out about what cab drivers are,” he says. “You see, things are the complete opposite. These are bold individuals. It’s unexpected and that’s the magic.”
This year’s leading ladies include Ms. May, Haiti native Dorothy Leconte — who strikes a handful of coquettish poses.
And then there’s Colombia native Arminda Cuervo, who came to New York in 1963 with five small children. In the calendar, Ms. September is draped in receipt tape.
“She drives her cab to Florida to see her family. It must be really cool to see a cab on the road,” says Philip.
A portion of the sales from the $14.99 calendar benefit University Settlement, which services over 40,000 immigrant and working families.
The Kirkmans have been profoundly changed by all of the cabbies they’ve met along the way.
“Going into this, we had certain assumptions,” says Philip, who was hooked after they shot their first subject seven years ago. “We learn their stories and have grown close to some of them.”
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