Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The next stop is...

Today, riding the subway home, there was a young man (boy?) standing by the door of the car, holding a New York map that was notated in an Asian language (my guess is Chinese, but I'm not positive.)

The subway cars on the East Side (and some of the #2 trains on the West Side) now have automated Disneyland-like voices which announce the stops. "Stand clear of the closing doors, please," a man intones with a hearty cadence.

The map-holding man didn't seem to be a native speaker of English, but he had this phrase down. He would say it along with the voice, matching the rise and fall of the words, getting the slightly self-satisfied cheeriness of the tone.

"Stand clear of the closing doors, please."

"The next stop is ... Sixty-Eighth Street!"

"The next stop is ... Seventy-Seventh Street!"

"The next stop is ... Eighty-Sixth Street!"

There, he folded up his map carefully, and joined the throng of people leaving the Six train, heading out into the wintry night.


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10:12 AM  

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