That Time I Rode Like a ‘Boardwalk Empire’ Gangster

This morning, I rode like a gangster. At precisely 9:15am, a 1934 Bentley showed up at my door – awash in rich white leather and wood – with a dashing man named Marco ushering me like an ant to a picnic with the simple phrase, “Step right in.” And for the next 20 minutes, I felt like a really important person. I was waved at, smiled at. Pictures were taken of me. But most of all, I felt like a real 1920s gangster, just lounging in my Bentley. And to top it off, the ride was all in celebration of one really good bit of news: season three of the hit HBO period drama Boardwalk Empire is premiering this Sunday at 9pm. In collaboration with Uber, an app that orders you a private chauffeured ride, HBO is offering New Yorkers today and tomorrow, from 11am to 6pm, free rides in vintage vehicles that’ll transport you from Soho to Midtown, and all the way back to the roaring ‘20s.

Sitting back in the rich white leather (and craving a Cuban cigar), I got to talking to Marco, my warm and knowledgeable driver. While watching a sneak-peek trailer of season three, I asked him what it’s like driving a 1934 Bentley. “It rides real smoothly,” Marco said. “The horn is my favorite feature. When these taxi cabs are blowing at me, I’m like ‘You think that’s a horn? That’s a whistle! Watch this.’” And then he honked it. And people ran for their lives.

He told me that just this morning alone, nearly 60 people had already stopped and asked him questions. And when I marveled at the number of people that smiled and took photos of us as we drove by, he simply said, “ This car brightens up their day." Mine too.

To book your free ride in a Bentley, check out the official website for all the details.  

Boardwalk Empire