The most obscene gesture Nixon observed in Manhattan was that of hailing a cab. People did it by stepping into the street without bending their legs at the knee. They shot out an arm without regard for passersby. They peered into the distance with a peeved or sullen or blank face. What got Nixon most was how they dropped off the curb, as off a short pier. The pier was so short, thought Nixon, it would not reach the nearest subway entrance, that is, two blocks.
He was amazed they were never hit.