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Saturday, October 9, 2010

On the Platform, 34th Street

Biding Time
Photo by myself on the subway platform at 34th Street, in Midtown.

Whiling away the time with a handheld device is a common sight on the subway platforms.

No, you can't receive phone calls while on the train, but as I wrote in an earlier post, we will, soon. The MTA is making it possible to make phone calls while underground.

I think most New Yorkers have mixed feelings about this. Yes, it'll be a convenience so you can call ahead when you're late for a meeting or if, god forbid, there is an emergency below ground.

But there are many other things the money for the upgrade could be spent on. Like nicer subway stations, maybe? Ones without the disturbing crumbly tiles and dangerously uneven stairs? And let's not mention how unquiet our trains will become. In the mornings. When all you want is some quiet.

Plus having the excuse 'I was waiting forever, the train was stuck, a sick passenger, yadda yadda yadda...' can no longer bail you out of a tight pickle.

Related posts: Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, Elevated Tracks, in Park Slope, Brooklyn and Tales from Below, A Subway Transcript.


Locomotiva said...

in Milan, Italy, all the subway system will badly need a good restoration, BUT you can use your phone anywhere (on the three lines)

You can't really have a conversation on a subway train, you can't hear clearly enough.

It may be useful for a short message like "I'm struck, I'll call you later"
But the noise doesn't stop too many people to try a long phone call anyway.

So you travel in something like a bird's cage, with electronic gadgeds ringing, singing, making strange noises, and people howling inside that traps.

So, I hope that the MTA will riconsider the decision.

Kitty said...

Hi Locomotiva
I was in Milan a million years ago but did not go into the subway. I had no idea you had one and am surprised, since Milan is such an old city.

Oh boy. Your subway rides sound like an experience. I would love to see what these trains and tunnels look like.

NYC fan said...

haha... well you know, america used to be ahead of everything, but they have stopped advancing long ago. Now, most stuff in the USA is outdated (foremost the subway system, clean energy, cars, washers, and vacuum cleaners). In europe they have more and much better subways than in new york.

Locomotiva said...

The Milan's subway, to be honest, is "new".
First two lines started in the mid'60s, the third one was the pet project of some politicians in the 80's.

So, Milan got its subway a good half a century AFTER most european cities (and New York, for the matter).

Linea 1 "Red" and 2 "Green" had grumpy stations, painted coffee brown, black rubber floors, with some little shops inside - very depressing.
The Linea 3 "Yellow" is a mix of tiles, concrete, marble, stamped gray metal with Ferrari red accents and some inox accessories coming out from walls.
Horrible as an 80s haircut.

Problem is maintenance: lot of unrepaired damages, unpainted handrails, chipped walls, graffiti and stickers everywhere.

But here we can annoy people with phones also underground. Great, isn't it?