The Hamptons Subway

Naomi Watts, Ivan Kratz and Natasha Bulinsky

Week of July 29—August 4, 2011


Riders this week: 14,821

Rider miles this week: 163,711


Naomi Watts was on the East Hampton platform Saturday at noon. We couldn’t tell if she’d just got off or was waiting to get on. Our spotter had to pick up her daughter at the pre-school so could not stay to find out.


A delay of our service took place on Monday between 3 and 3:30 p.m. As many of you know, the Hampton Subway was originally built in 1932 by Ivan Kratz, and as an antique is listed on the New York List of Historic Places. Things cannot be changed.

Indeed, when three months ago, our token booths were deemed too uncomfortable for the token clerks because of the current epidemic of obesity sweeping the nation, we did have to replace the booths with larger ones, but they were the same otherwise right down to the last filigree, overhang and detail. [expand]

The same has been true with the Hampton Subway flagmen who work in the tunnels. Although other subway systems have long since installed red or green lights in the tunnels to tell the motormen to proceed or wait, Hampton Subway still uses the flagmen that were ordered up for this service in 1932. Not the same flagmen, of course, but the children and grandchildren of these flagmen. Now unionized, they get mighty good pay for what they do, which is wave either red or orange or green flags at the oncoming trains as the case may be. (These flags are hand sewn in a sweatshop in the Flatiron Building by immigrants just as they were in 1932.)

Anyway, last Monday at 3 p.m., a flagman between Southampton and Water Mill dropped his flag onto the tracks and then refused to go down to retrieve it, reporting that it had landed on the third rail. After being told that if that were the case it would have already burst into flames, he still declined to retrieve it. All service therefore came to a halt and for 25 minutes did not move, until the flagman foreman for the eastern service arrived and retrieved it with his pincers on a stick he uses for such purposes. The flagman, Harry McFarland, although of 22 years with the service, was promptly fired as well as he should have been.


The old man with the beard, laurel leaf crown, white robe, sandals and lantern still wanders the system, last seen briefly at the eastern end of the Noyac platform. Any help by anybody will be a big help.


The Hampton Subway platform in Bridgehampton was mobbed with people at 11 p.m. last Saturday night as more than 1,000 attendees from the DAN’S TASTE OF TWO FORKS event in Sayre Park came down to take the subway home. For some reason, although they had eaten for four hours from booths run by 40 restaurants and 20 wineries at the event, they nevertheless, without paying, cleaned out the Subway Restaurant concession on the platform there thinking this must be part of the arrangement too.   Hampton Subway is now in negotiations with Subway Restaurant to make restitution for the loss.   Subway Restaurant has the contract to sell food on the subway platforms.


The summer “pushers,” hired to keep the crowds moving onto the subway trains during rush hours have announced their upcoming boxing schedule. This tournament, approved by Commissioner Aspinall, will allow the pushers, who wear catcher’s masks, chest protectors and boxing gloves, to burn off a little steam after their day’s work.

The ring will be set up at the Hampton Bays headquarters building in the conference room there for a week while the pushers duke it out. Already there is controversy though. One pusher, 27-year-old Natasha Bulinsky, an immigrant from Russia, bragged to others that she has had seven professional fights in her home country during the last two years. Since she comes from the same place where the two heavyweight championship Klitschko Brothers live, other participants say she should be disqualified from competing with the others, because she is not an amateur.

The fights will begin on Saturday after the evening rush, at 9 p.m. on August 6.


I am very concerned about this apparently homeless man in a white robe who is wandering around aimlessly in our tunnels with a lantern. Could he sue us? Do we have fire insurance? What if he steps on the Third Rail? If he does, what do we do with the body? Nobody has claimed him during the last eight days. Hopefully he’ll go away. [/expand]

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