Every week for the past decade, I’ve been running a column in the paper called “The Hamptons Subway Newsletter,” which consists of the newsletter that a subway system might write every week if there were a subway system (which there isn’t) and which “Dan’s Papers” as a courtesy would reprint.
Usually it’s about outrageous things that go wrong on the subway system. Up and down escalators that go berserk. A Miss Subway System contest that in the end allows men, children and dogs and cats to enter as well as women. Wedding rings that have to be picked up on the tracks after wives angrily rip them off and toss them. Things like that. Last week, our new marketing director (there is always a new marketing director) announced a new service on the subway.
Write your name on a piece of cardboard, hold it up under your chin, turn to face the surveillance camera in the subway car, raise your hand and smile. The picture will be found on the footage by an intern before the end of the week, plucked out and posted on your Facebook account. Absolutely free.—Dan
Here we present the first-ever edition of “The Hampton Subway Newsletter.” Mind the gap.
As the longtime Commissioner of the Hamptons Subway, I am proud to introduce this reprint of the very first Hamptons Subway newsletter. It is available only because of the splendid decision by Dan’s Papers 10 years ago when the first train left the Montauk Yards, to reprint all of these newsletters as a public service, in sequence, on the particular Friday they were needed thus bringing the news of the subway system to a greater segment of the public than we were able to do on our own. As this is all these years later, this present offering is important because the Dan’s Papers reprints are all that is left of these old newsletters. Sadly, the originals—and we were saving them—had to be thrown out from the basement of the Hamptons Subway building in Hampton Bays during a mold removal operation in 2014. This is living history! Which, shall I dare say it? This is what Dan’s Papers is known for! And we expect nothing less!
—Commissioner Bill Aspinall
November 4–11, 2007
Total Riders: 5,217
Total Riders Miles: 51,414
Employee of the Week: Ben Harris, Union Chief, Maintenance Crew, Montauk Yard
Delays: There will be numerous delays along the entire subway line for the next few days as the Department of Homeland Security does a thorough search of all the stations and lines.
Advisory: Officials from the Federal Department of Transportation will be inspecting the new subway tunnel between Shinnecock and Sunrise for construction irregularities next Monday.
Wanted: German Shepherd guard dogs. Will pay top dollar, depending on the level of training. Call 631-4SU-BWAYX.
VANDALS GRAFFITI CARS. CLEANED IN A DAY
The Hamptons Subway maintenance team working in the Montauk Subway Yard cleaned the spray can graffiti that appeared in less than twelve hours on the side of all the subway cars on Halloween night.
“A few riders may have seen some subway cars all spray-painted on the morning of November 1,” Commissioner Aspinall said, “But after that, the cars were all gleaming and shining like new again.”
The security breach occurred at the Montauk Subway Yard sometime between midnight and 6 a.m. on Halloween, when unknown perpetrators picked the lock on the gate of the barbed wire topped chain link fence that surrounds the yard, went inside, with spray paint, and painted up the cars with phrases such as WHOOOOO, GHOST, WITCHES BREW. The perpetrators were gone before the first shift of maintenance workers arrived at 6 a.m.
All of the German Shepherd guard dogs that keep the yard safe at night were missing. It is not clear when they got out, if they got out on their own, or if they got out when the perpetrators came.
“At the present time, we have no suspects,” said Montauk Police Chief Brendan. “But we do have clues. Two wooden broomsticks were found at the site. Also a Darth Vader mask. There are fingerprints on the empty spray cans. The spray cans were not on the premises before that night, nor were the two broomsticks.”
Maintenance people were called in from all other stations for this emergency, and the graffiti was scrubbed off the subway cars very quickly. The last graffiti was removed around 11 a.m.
Homeland security Agents have been called in to inspect the entire line to see if some of these perpetrators were still hiding somewhere on the line underground, a possibility since the yard entrance to the underground line is on the property.
COMMISSIONER BILL ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
It was a dastardly, cowardly act that was perpetrated on the subway riding public on Halloween when persons unknown entered the subway grounds at Montauk. The extra overtime spent to remove it, of course, will have to be borne by the taxpayers. You can bet that we will leave no stone unturned until these criminals are brought to justice.
On the other hand, I want to compliment our maintenance crew on the speed with which this graffiti was removed under the direction of Union Chief Ben Harris. Harris has been selected employee of the week. It is so noted at the start of this newsletter.
On another note, I want to allay public fears about the rumors that the Federal Transportation Authority will be shutting down the new Shinnecock to Sunrise Shuttle over construction irregularities. It is true that there is a little bump on this subway halfway between the two stations. The tunnels were built in a hurry from both ends to meet up in the middle. As it is a six-mile total run, you might expect it to be a little off. I would not worry about it.
As for the German Shepherd guard dogs that apparently got out during the spray painting of the trains on Halloween night, I would like to note that we are seeking replacements and hope to have the yard secured soon. We now have the yard manned 24 hours a day by regular employees, an assignment that might stretch our regular service thin, particularly at token purchasing booths, but we will continue to man Montauk, paying overtime, until the new dog replacements are found or justice is served.
In the meantime, help us try to find our German Shepherds. They are probably off in the woods of Montauk somewhere. If you see them, do not approach them, as they are highly trained and quite fierce. Instead, call 631-4SU-BWAYX and we will come pick them up.
The German Shepherds look very much like all the German shepherds I saw in Montauk yesterday on leashes, prancing along with their masters. I’m told there has been a surge in the popularity of these wonderful dogs in recent days. I hadn’t been in Montauk in a while. It is good to see such happy dog owners with their pets. At least now you know what to look for.