Riders this past week: 12,444
Rider miles this past week: 96,312
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Pia Lindstrom was seen on the subway traveling from Westhampton Beach to Quiogue reading a book. We weren’t sure, but it might have been, could it have been, Chaucer?
This past Saturday at 11 a.m., the big parade came through Sag Harbor to celebrate the arrival of the new titanium trackage destined to replace the old throughout the tunnels of Hamptons Subway. A huge crowd lined Main Street to welcome the new tracks, made at a defunct Space Shuttle factory in California. Mayor Gilbride led the parade, and there were baton twirlers from Bay Shore, the Pierson High School Marching Band, the Noyack Cub Scouts teepee float, the Barcelona Neck Pipers Revolutionary War float, from a time preceding when the subway was built, the Mashashimuet Park Rollers float with a dance band and break dancers celebrating 1932, the year the subway was built. Then came nine 1,000-foot-long titanium subway rails, all brightly glinting in the sun and each marched up the street by 12 uniformed trackmen in lockstep with the rails on their shoulders. These were the straightaways. (Curved trackage was delivered after the parade was over.) The men did have trouble wrestling the tracks around the curve at the Emporium Hardware store, but they made it through. Bringing up the rear was Mayor Bloomberg, or somebody who looked like Bloomberg. What a day!
The new trackage will be installed during the night when the subway system is closed for maintenance over the next six weeks, thus completed by Memorial Day. Subway rides will now be smooth as glass, even that bumpy corner by Trout Pond on Noyac Road. And hopefully the cost of it will not necessitate a rate hike above $2.25 per ride.
A group calling themselves the “Descendants of Ivan Kratz” has filed a claim of ownership of Hamptons Subway. All 32 members of the group are descendants of the seven children that Kratz fathered in the early 1920s, before he built the subway out of the construction materials he stole from a job he was doing in Manhattan for the MTA. According to the papers filed, the group claims that the stolen goods no longer matter since more than seven years have passed since the deed was done and Kratz is now dead. As for the property, they acknowledge the land above is owned by others, but they say that the tunnels their beloved great-grandfather dug through the earth 15 feet down were his and they have the deed. We will see what is what when we first meet these idiots in court.
Elisa Dariaelle, our receptionist, celebrated her 27th birthday in the company cafeteria last Wednesday. She’s a likeable person and most everyone attended to wish her well and give her gifts. And so what if the switchboard and desk remained unattended for that hour?
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
I held our annual pre-summer picnic for our staff on the vast front lawn of Chez Toot Toot, the estate my wife and I own on the ocean in Southampton. We had pony rides, clowns, a baseball game, a band, a barbecue and everybody was welcome to use both the pool and the tennis courts, and many did. As they say, it was “toot sweet” and at the end bon voyage. And I very much appreciate the “Best Boss” trophy the staff presented to me, which will be displayed with the other similar trophies from prior picnics.