Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Worth Waiting For?
How drear and robotic the service announcements of modern bus & subway trains, or those deep-into-the-bowels-of-the-earth escalator rides. All the locality's vanishing from public transport voices. Where once we heard an actual New Yorker over a crackly intercom- usually a mildly depressed, late-middle aged one by the sound of it, though sometimes a younger, more playful ham - more often now there's a Stepford wife or husband haunting our journeys through the city. Currently tunnel repairs are giving F train riders a blast from the past by way of old cars & a real live conductor going through the roll call of station stops, but this is a rare treat for the ears. And yet ... In downtown Brooklyn at Cadman Plaza, if you wait long enough, a crossing signal yields an almost forgotten transit demotic. Recorded, not live of course, but still - a surprising gesture. The shaking hands of the camera person here do not signify extreme age, merely the discomfort of being seen videoing a crossing signal. In broad daylight. Among crowds.