Week of January 17–23, 2014
Riders this past week: 5,212
Rider miles this past week: 85,898
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Billy Joel was seen on the subway heading west between Quogue and Quiogue Saturday, apparently headed to his motorcycle parked in the lot in Westhampton for the drive to Madison Square Garden. He was humming the tune “Allentown.” Sarah Jessica Parker was seen carrying a stack of gift-wrapped shoes in a canvas bag on the subway on Wednesday heading from Bridgehampton to East Hampton. Were these some of the items from her new shoe line? We couldn’t tell.
SQUAT CARS ARRIVE
The first of the new sightseeing subway cars have arrived in our Montauk yards. They have a glass-enclosed observation deck that tourists can go up to and watch the ceiling lights of the tunnels zip by. Called “Squat Cars,” these cars are hydraulically lowered after boarding to fit in the tunnels, then raised again for unloading. As they will be “cabooses” on certain trains, they will indeed cause two 20-second delays at each platform, one on arrival when they are raised to platform level and then again just before departure when they are lowered 19 inches for the tunnel fit. But this is a small price for this luxury. Everyone is free to board the Squat Cars. Funding for them has been provided by the new Federal Government Tourist Encouragement Office. The cars will be ready for use in April, after motormen are trained on how to operate the hydraulic lifts.
According to emails that investigators have uncovered, the five-hour delay last Saturday throughout the subway line was caused by agents of Governor Cuomo stepping in to administer retribution to our Subway Commissioner for not endorsing the governor’s bid for re-election after Cuomo specifically asked that it be publicly done. An email from a personal aide to Cuomo to the appointed state official monitoring the subway system read “time for delays on Hamptons Subway.” A smoking gun if ever there was one. The “track work” delays took place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and caused several women to be late for their beautician appointments and several others to be late for getting their nails done or going to wedding ceremonies, one in Quogue and the other in Amagansett. The Amagansett one was especially bad because in that case, that was the bride. According to Commissioner Aspinall, a secretary in his entourage never gave him the request. He has fired that secretary. Next time, he said, “of course, I will endorse the Governor.”
Hamptons Subway still uses flagmen in the tunnels to wave either red or green flags at approaching trains so they either proceed through or slow down or stop. Instructions on which flag to use are radioed to them through earpieces. Anyway, February is flagman (and flagwomen) vacation month, when the members of this union go off in relays to a selected winter resort to “get rid of all the grime,” as one of them sweetly put it. This year’s trip is to the Buckskill Bathhouse in Hot Springs, Arkansas. These natural springs top out at 105 degrees Fahrenheit. They’ll do the job. Lucky flagmen.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
I want to apologize to the Governor and the people of the Hamptons for failing to endorse the Governor in his recent election campaign. It was the fault of a secretary, who has been fired, stripped of her name tag and sent back to the foreign country she came from that will remain nameless to think about what she did.