Friday, February 22, 2013

Exchange Place Calling

 Wasn’t there a row of open kiosk pay phones at the Exchange Place Path Station, a bank if you will? There, in the southern most corner, one last remaining open-air phone booth, a two phoner, with the WTC memorial in the background. What a nice view to call my baby and see if I should pick up milk on the way, oh wait a second. What century is this? That’s not the WTC, that was destroyed more than a decade ago, it’s the WTC memorial being constructed and the kiosk is empty, devoid of pay phone. I’ll have to use my cellphone. Oh crap, I’m in the PATH station, no reception.
The view is still nice. A woman feeds a hovering flock of sea gulls. People linger here, finishing their cup of coffee, and of course, leave litter where the phone used to be, like stones left by mourners on the tombstones in a Jewish cemetery. To be fair, because of security, there are no garbage pails within the PATH system. Safety first and besides, Jersey City has never been litter adverse.

I seem to recall that you could make a pay phone call without going through the turnstiles, but I guess that’s no longer true, you have to enter the PATH system to go to empty kiosk where pay phones used to be. Oh wait, in the other corner is an actual working pay phone kiosk. I’ve noticed this before, half the pay phones being removed – which leaves a half the number of pay phones and a glass half full optimistic attitude that the cell phone fad just might fade. Or maybe they just haven’t gotten around to removing this one yet. I know there were more phone kiosks here once upon a time
Exchange Place PATH only recently re-opened post Sandy. There is still abundant repair construction apparent. No one was using the working phones, not even for a place to leave litter and through the windows no seagulls were in view.


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