Friday, February 09, 2007


Five days a week we take the number one train from 34th Street to midtown. Often when riding on the subway the loudspeaker announcements are completely unintelligible (even the recorded ones). However, every now and again we get to the platform just at the right time to ride on the train that not only has a working loudpseaker but also has a conductor/engineer with a voice made completely for late night jazz radio! He is my favorite loudspeaker voice... very calm, soothing-- almost makes riding the subway pleasant, but for the inability of the MTA to regulate temperature inside the cars properly, the unflattering lighting and of course, the other passengers.

"This is a Bronx Bound Number One Train, Next Stop 42nd Street, transferrrrr here for the A.....C.....E......N......R......W.....Number 7 train and the Shutttttle to Grand Central...." It's almost like a semi-Barry White purr. "Stand Clear of the Closing Doors" no longer sounds like a hasty threat.

This morning, however, we had to come in early which put us on a totally different schedule for the subway. However, I wasn't disappointed. While our voice this morning wasn't my soothing jazz radio host, instead it was someone clearly trying to break into show business.

Upon entering the train at 34th street we were all greeted with:

"You look good out there today, Manhattan!"

Geesh, flattery will get you everywhere-- one good look around the car I was in clearly meant he wasn't talking to us in particular.

Then as we approached 42nd we not only got the usual recitation of the various train lines which converge at this station but we also got directions, "Up stairs for the A,C,E" "Downstairs for the N,R,W, 7 and Shuttle" "Acrosssss the platform for the 2/3"

Next, between 42nd and 50th we were given the time and temperature and told to have a "Long, Warm, Friday." I guess he's a comedian too.

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