Week of October 17–23, 2014
Riders this past week: 21,412
Rider miles this past week: 97,802
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Many celebrities were seen subway-ing, as we call it, this way and that during the Hamptons International Film Festival last weekend. There were so many, it would take this entire column just to name them all. And we don’t have the room. But for the few local doakels who were able to squeeze on the subway by grabbing the overhead straps and squeezing in between the glitterati, it was quite a treat.
FRIDAY NIGHT SCRAMBLE
At least four movie directors wanting to get attention for their project got permits to shoot scenes on the subway during the evening of Friday, October 9, the busiest time for the Film Festival. One was a western shootout that occupied an eastbound subway car out of Westhampton at 10 p.m. that night, another was a lovers quarrel followed by some stunt people having a fight on the Southampton platform at 11 p.m., there was a deranged extortion minded contortionist holding a subway car full of people hostage between Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor at midnight and there were at least two other films, comedies they were supposed to be, where a particular joke was told over and over in take after take by the token booth in Sag Harbor and the two filmmakers got confused with each other and then there was some kind of monster horror movie filmed on the tracks at the Bridgehampton station at 1 a.m. closing off the tracks for that hour.
Everyone approached by our security people that night showed their permits, issued by subway clerk Gladys Fenzgaller over a three-week period before the weekend. Gladys said no one told her there could only be one at a time and just issued them as they came. They brought in $50 a permit, she said.
Twelve new diesel engines for all 12 of our trains arrived last Wednesday and, because six were installed all at once on Friday but the workmen went home at the end of the day leaving the other six trains with the old engines, there were problems. The trains with the new engines accelerated so much faster than the old ones that they were soon “crawling up the cabooses” of the old and the motormen had everything they could do to keep these frisky beasts under control. Thus the delays on Friday morning. Since the evening was the shoot-’em-up movies, this was one bad day working at Hamptons Subway in my opinion. The remaining six engines will be installed by this Thursday.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAYLOR
Taylor Aspinall, the son of longtime Subway Commissioner Robert Aspinall, turned 24 last Thursday and practically the whole staff crowded into the company cafeteria on the fourth floor of the Hamptons Subway building on Ponquogue Avenue in Hampton Bays to celebrate. Taylor has only recently been released from jail after completing his two-year sentence for embezzlement working at a Wall Street bank after graduation. He is happy to be back living in the Hamptons, is done with embezzling, and with his considerable skills is now our new powerhouse Comptroller of Hamptons Subway.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
It’s come to my attention that the voice messages coming from the loudspeakers on our subway system lack good manners. For example, one message says, “watch out for the closing doors.” I have hired a screenwriter to re-do these scripts. His first efforts revise the above to, “Please be careful not to get squished in the doors as they close. Thank you.” Much better.