Joel Karie was returning from a trip to Maryland on Thursday, having left that morning to make rehearsals at the Minskoff Theater, where he is a singer in The Lion King. He had just pulled over on 10th Avenue and 44th Street to hop out so his partner, Derek, could take the wheel. Just then, a red-and-black Mini Cooper pulled up behind them, and an older gentleman with a salt-and-pepper mustache got out.
“He wanted to know if I actually liked it,” Mr. Karie told The Observer. “People seem to have a very positive reaction, but then they want to know if we enjoy the car as much as they seem to.” It was the same reaction Mr. Karie has gotten not only driving around the five boroughs for the past two months, but also on the streets of West Baltimore and at a Delaware rest stop. “It’s kind of ridiculous” how much attention the car draws, Mr. Karie said.
He is the proud owner of a brand new Fiat 500, one of only a few hundred in the metro area. He opted for the 500 the sport model, because it came in the color he was looking for, Tropicalia Yellow. “It cost a few thousand dollars more, but that’s what I like about the Fiat,” Mr. Karie said. “I didn’t get a small car because I couldn’t afford a better car. Really, really both of us wanted to buy an American car. However, when you go under $20,000 in an American car, it feels like you get what you pay for. I don’t get that pop I get with the Fiat. You can buy the baseline 500 and it doesn’t feel like the baseline.” Read More