Saturday, February 13, 2010

Paying our respects to the pay phone

[My photo from Second Avenue at St. Mark's]

Interesting piece in the Times today ... Manny Fernandez does a day in the life of a vanishing part of our streetscape: The pay phone ... He talks with different folks using a pay phone on Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens... A few facts from the article:

The Queens Boulevard pay phone is one of 16,358 on the city’s sidewalks, according to the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, the city agency that regulates them. The total has steadily decreased as cellphone usage has proliferated — 33,335 in 2000, 28,971 in 2004, 16,358 today. There are thousands more inside bars, restaurants and private buildings that the city does not regulate.

Verizon, which owns many, though not all, of the city’s pay phones, operates about 7,000 on the sidewalks and another 18,000 in subway stations and buildings.

My favorite pay phones -- today, at least -- are at the Subway Inn.


Mike Boyle said...

The Blue & Gold had a wooden phone booth in the bar, back in 'da day...

EV Grieve said...

Hi Mike. The Grassroots still has a wooden phone booth inside the front door. The phone is still there, but it diesn't work. Now people go in there to use their cellphones!