The Hamptons Subway: Betsy Johnson and Kelly Bensimon Take a Ride

Betsy Johnson
Betsy Johnson. Courtesy The Heart Truth

The Hamptons Subway newsletter for the week of July 5–12, 2013

Riders this past week: 18,512

Rider miles this past week: 144,865



Betsy Johnson was seen with her daughter Lulu riding the subway between Bridgehampton and East Hampton. Kelly Bensimon was seen riding the subway between Westhampton Beach and Quogue. Jimmy Buffett was seen riding the subway between Sag Harbor and North Haven and said to say hello.



The annual Subway Fourth of July fireworks was held in the tunnel between Southampton and Water Mill on Saturday night. We had a tremendous display in the tunnel halfway between as we always do, and the echo roar from the explosions could be heard in both the Water Mill and Southampton platforms and, we are told, as far west as Shinnecock and as far east as Bridgehampton’s platforms. The flashes of light were seen from the Southampton and Bridgehampton platforms too. But unfortunately, this year the Southampton Fire Department, for safety reasons, did not allow anybody to walk down into the tunnels to get to see the actual bursts. It was really, Water Mill Village Historian Ben Henderson told us, more like a factual re-enactment of Francis Scott Key’s famous Star Spangled Banner’s song where he can see the rockets’ red glare, but can’t see the explosions. So this was an authentic display.

The fireworks were set off by volunteers from the Hampton Subway staff (they have cotton in their ears), and it was a lot more dangerous for them this year than last. Last year, the Fire Department required they wear fire retardant pants and jackets, which was good. This year they upped the ante and had our volunteers also wear oxygen tanks strapped to their backs with tubes leading to masks over their faces, so there would not be a repeat performance of all the coughing that went on by the volunteers during the display last year. Oxygen can explode if ignited, as you know, but we crossed our fingers and it was all right.

It was unfortunate, however, that we fired the fireworks off on June 29, thinking that was the weekend this community would celebrate Independence Day given that July 4 falls on Thursday. We were wrong. This community, by consensus, chose July 6 for the fireworks displays. Therefore, practically nobody came to our fireworks. And now we are out of fireworks.



The Hampton Subway Board of Directors has voted a much more lenient policy toward pets on the train. The new rule is that the pet must be in a carrier or a cage, and it must be able to fit through the sliding doors. That’s it. It rules out elephants, grown ones, anyway. The baby elephants will fit until they are seven months old. We tried it. They fit.



The L Train will not be running tomorrow, Friday, between 6 a.m. and noon, so we can do much needed track replacements. Please go where you have to go in the afternoon, not the morning. You’ve been warned.



Hampton Subway brought a modern automatic car washing system to our Montauk Yards so the trains can get on a conveyor belt and be washed in half the time it took the old-fashioned way with scrub brushes, soapy water and hoses. I was brought up short by the grumblings of some of our workmen in Montauk who will be getting pink slips since their jobs will be redundant. At least half of them claim they are war veterans, and I know that is not true. It’s the Fourth of July for God’s sake. Get with the program.

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