Hamptons Subway Newsletter: August 1–7, 2015

Riders must have a barf bag on Hamptons Subway's special 3 a.m. train out of Montauk on Saturdays
Riders must have a barf bag on Hamptons Subway's special 3 a.m. train out of Montauk on Saturdays, Photo: uatp2, BoYzZzZz/iStock/Thinkstock

Week of August 1–7, 2015
Riders this past week: 25,813
Rider miles this past week: 201,411

Environmentalist Andy Sabin was seen on the subway Thursday at noon heading from Montauk Harbor to Napeague dragging a 200-pound bag containing a very big fish. Paul McCartney and Alan Alda were seen traveling between East Hampton and Georgica discussing old times.

President Obama visited Hamptons Subway last Tuesday and spoke to the staff of the subway system in the Hamptons Subway building in Hampton Bays at noon, after a guided tour of the subway system aboard a regular train (though in a private subway car) by Commissioner Aspinall. He noted that he was the first sitting President to make an official visit to Hamptons Subway and he said this meant the Hamptons Subway was becoming increasingly important to American foreign policy makers and also to businessmen, who he would be urging to make bigger investments in the system. He pointed out a crack in a window in the room where he was speaking, the company cafeteria, as an example of how the public sector and private sector in America, working together, could aid the long neglected Hamptons Subway system. He was roundly applauded by the subway employees and given a special subway token good for any service on the system anytime for the rest of his life. A lunch was then served (Jell-O mold and Orangeade) and the President sat with his relatives, many of whom work for the subway but who had not seen him in years. Obama said he’d see more of them when he was out of office. One relative replied—don’t be a stranger.” Out front on Ponquogue Avenue, meanwhile, marchers carried signs protested the President for speaking in what is in fact the only building in North America ever designed by Albert Speer, the famous Nazi architect for Hitler during World War II.

Surprisingly, only a few people noticed the strange-looking westbound subway train pulling into the East Hampton station last Monday at 3:32 p.m. It was sprayed with graffiti; a sign on the front read “K Train to Pasadena” (there is no K Train, and no train goes to Pasadena), and the signs on both sides also read “K Train to Pasadena.” It came to a halt, the crowds pressed forward, boarded it and it headed out toward Bridgehampton. The subway train was redone as part of a scientific experiment that researchers from the University of Pennsylvania were conducting to see if people would take notice of something odd. They did not. They talked to one another, texted or read Dan’s Papers as they got on, and then the motorman running the train, all excited, forgot to stop in Bridgehampton but instead went through that station to Water Mill, which did get people riled up. A research paper about this will appear in the Journal of Psychiatric Behavior next April. Hamptons Subway regrets using its straphangers as guinea pigs this one time, but the university paid us a lot.

The Hamptons Subway closes down for maintenance every night at 2 a.m., but on Saturday nights until Labor Day, there will be one late night special train westbound one way out of Montauk at 3 a.m. for all the partygoers too drunk to drive. Maintenance will step aside to let it through. All passengers will be required to show the sickness bag Hamptons Subway provides them as they board. Tickets will be $50, because the train will have to be hosed down when it returns to the subway yards.

I am in San Diego where I will be accepting some sort of award this week.


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