Sunday, November 14, 2010

Voices of the Subways

You know that pleasant voice you hear while standing on the subway platforms telling  you when the next train will be arriving? Here's an article about the lady behind that voice,  from The NY Times:
Published: November 14, 2010
She's the voice of the subways, but she prefers to take a cab.

This reminds me of some of the other "voices" I've gotten to know over the years during my many subway travels. My personal favorite was when I used to take the R train every morning to a job I held down in the Village.  (I remember I was on that train the morning of 9/11 as the train inched forward every few seconds and they told us there was "police activity" at the World Trade Center. But I digress.) The conductor, who I only caught glimpses of over the years, had apparently devised his own signature phrases over the God-only-knows-how-many-years he had been doing the job. And he was extremely confident in using the same announcements each and every morning, peppering the ride with a quick reminder every so often, or barking an order when the subway doors opened at the next station.

My favorites of his that I still remember clearly today:

"Step in on the R!"


"Panhandling on the subway's illegal, that's-a.... panhandling on the subway's illegal."

And then there was that plea for riders to respect the elderly and disabled, ending with a clipped, "Give up your seat!"