Sunday, December 05, 2010

Things That Are Disappearing

Five things disappearing from New York, that I noticed this week.

1. Almost everybody who would refer to the subway as the IRT or the BMT or the IND are dead. The husband commented that he never really learned which line was which. (If you want to learn more about it, click here.) Just last night I heard some people calling the N train "the yellow line." But some signs remain to remind us of the history of the subway. (34th Street)


2. A ham sandwich for $1.75 (34th Street and 8th Ave)


3. Appetizing used as a noun (3rd Avenue near 9th Street I think)


4. Guardian Angels (today on the Q)


5. Say goodbye to the o.b. tampon. If you see me walking around in tears with blood dripping down my legs, you will know why. Here are the last few boxes to be found in New York. The ultra size, which has no competition and nothing comparable on the market, were selling for $40 a box on e-bay.

24 comments:

Larry Slade said...

"LBJ took the IRT up to 4th st USA.
When he got there what did he see?
The youth of america on LSD."

I never knew one from another either.

Larry Slade said...

Funny I never see the Guardian Angels anymore either on the train. They must take taxis.

But watch out for Guardian Angels Youth.
A bout a month ago I saw a couple adult Guardian Angels on 23 st leading a whole lot of, like, 10 year old kids down the sidewalk. They all had red tee shirts.

Jill said...

Yes! You can't really tell in my photo but the kid sitting next to the Guardian Angel is a little kid, dressed up as a Guardian Angel!

Lisa said...

Hell, I don;t even run into people much anymore who remember the LL, AA, RR and other double-letter trains from days of yore.

Anonymous said...

The Guardian Angel in the photo is founder Curtis Sliva and his son Anthony.

esquared said...

i often hear people referring to the subway lines by the color of its respective lines, makes me wanna scream to them that this ain't dc, chicago, or boston...

Jill said...

That was Curtis Sliwa?! I thought about that but he looked too young.

Jill said...

Ha! I just looked up photos of Curtis Sliwa and indeed it was him. He kept looking at me because I was staring at him, and I guess he was waiting for me to greet him. I took the photo on the sly but he would have posed. Oh I am dumb.

Nathan said...

i don't understand why people object to calling the subway lines by their color, in the right context. if i'm discussing how to get from 42nd street to 86th street on the east side, i don't find it efficient to say "you can take the 4, 5 or 6 train" or "you can take the lexington avenue line". just call it the green train. it's is a quick way of relaying the information, without giving more or less detail than is necessary.

Same thing with a stop like the N/R stop at 8th street. It used to be the R/W stop, and sometimes the N on weekends. Now the W no longer exists. For many destinations, you can get on any train that comes to the station and you'll be fine. There's no need to complicate life by trying to transmit unnecessary information about the trains.

I agree that this isn't Chicago, or DC, or Boston. And good for us, because I don't want to live in those places. But I'm not going to refuse to do something sensible and efficient just because that's they way it's done in some other city that happens to have a vastly inferior public transit system.

Jill said...

Nathan, I guess when you grow up with things a certain way it just sounds so foreign to hear them referred to differently. There didn't used to be colors on the logos of the trains, that still feels like a relatively recent invention, even though it's going on, what, 30 or 35 years since they made that new subway map, which was really revolutionary when it came out. And readable, for the first time!

My mother still calls it the "Lex" when she means the 4,5,6. She is young enough, or modern enough, to not call it the IRT.

For me, the W came and went and I didn't even notice. Kind of like McRibs.

It took me years to stop calling them the GG and the RR, which were my hometown trains. Times change, but memories remain hard and fast.

glamma said...

my grandfather still calls it the IRT and the BMT. He is 93

EV Grieve said...

The W train is gone? Oops.

How about McRibs?

John M said...

hey, jill, all these comments from guys and nobody mentions the o.b. story. coincidence? ha ha

as a male, even I had to appreciate the original advertising that featured the fact that o.b. tampons were designed by a woman gynecologist. I was impressed, and I wasn't even the target audience.

so, here is one guy who is sorry to see them go. now all we have left are the rest, and their horrid ads that just get worse and worse and cutesier and cutesier....

Jill said...

Hi John
Believe me I stood in Duane Reade this weekend with literal tears, crying at the empty shelves. Even as I write this I get a pit in my stomach. You have no idea how brand loyal women can be to their tampons.

According to their customer service line they have only discontinued the Ultra size, and the others are scarce because women are panicking, but Duane Reade and CVS no longer have shelf space for any o.b.'s regardless of size, so I wouldn't trust those men selling tampons.

May the blood of all women rain on their heads.

esquared said...

yes, calling the subway lines by its colors are convenient and easier, much like starbucks, duane reade, the banks... are convenient. it's not a question of calling the subways by their colored lines inferior, it's about homogenization. much like the characters -- such as the noo yawk accents -- the seediness (times sq. etc.) that are disappearing in nyc, not calling the subway lines by their colors is a unique character of new york, if people do so, then there'll be no distinction between nyc and boston, dc, or wherever.

Shawn Chittle said...

Amazing, amazing post Jill. And when I saw the Guardian Angel photo I was like "That's Curtis Sliwa! The founder!" glad someone else got that. He was shot in a cab on St. Marks and Ave A in a botched mob hit and lived to tell about it. My hero.

Trains/MTA: I have heard both "Transfer to the IND" and "Transfer here for the IRT uptown 1" announcement at 59th Columbus. But it is rare, you're right.

Sorry to disagree here, but calling an MTA line by color is a fallacy. Due to the express/local combos on the same color, saying "take the red line" or "take the blue line" won't work. Telling a tourist in midtown wanting to go to the Museum of Natural History to take "a blue train" uptown will get on an A train and find themselves in Harlem on 125th Street and not at all happy.

Those $1.75 sandwiches: I work at 34th and 9th, and you can be damn sure I'm heading over to find where those sandwiches are! Holy christ! $1.75!

Goggla said...

I never learned the older train line names, mostly because if I didn't have the city map in my head, or know where I was going, I wouldn't know to take the "6th Ave" or "Lexington" line. The colors have been known to mix me up as I have synesthesia...and am, therefore, the LAST person anyone should ever consult for subway directions.

Very cool shot of Sliwa. It's almost better that you didn't recognize him as that comes across in the casualness of the photo. Are there any Angels left besides him?

And, what's going on with OB??! Do I need to move to another state?

Jill said...

@Goggla - it appears they have stopped making o.b. Ultra size "due to a marketing decision" which I am sure is male-oriented. This is the whole US, but I heard they might still be selling them in Germany, but they never had the Ultra size, and it's unclear if their Super Plus size is the same as ours, since FDA has rules on the sizes so that they are consistent across brands. No other manufacturer makes an Ultra size in the U.S.

But just try to buy an o.b. tampon in any size, the stores are all out of them, in all sizes. They say they are just running short due to the panic over their discontinuing the Ultra size, but I think they are liars and thieves.

Lynnevites said...

ABC
LBJ
IRT
USA
--Hair

Karen said...

I was talking to my kids the other day and for some strange reason mentioned IRT and double L and they thought I was nuts.

Goggla said...

Hi Jill

Maybe you already saw this in the NYT, but the OB mystery is bigger than I realized:

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/22/the-case-of-the-missing-o-b-tampons/

The reader comments are enlightening.

Goggla said...

Also - I checked Amazon and boxes are selling for over $20 - highway robbery!

(Apologies to all the men in the room...)

Jill said...

I know! I actually ordered a whole bunch on eBay from England from a company called Lil-lettes that makes almost the same thing (I hope), but they aren't allowed to sell them in the US (FDA something or other). I'm hoping it will be enough to get me through to menopause! (TMI? Probably.)

Vera said...

OMG I Just went into Duane Reade trying to get my OB tampons and freaked out as well and googled it and found this blog and the posting re: the tampons! I even went into that hideous Walgreens in Times Square for the first time and in there realized that the "new look and vibe" of some of the Duane Reade's was like Walgreens! SO then of course I realized - WAIT did Walgreens buy Duane Reade!!!! and it looks like they did or are etc.... I assumed they don't carry OB's because they don't have an applicator and they somehow thought that was inappropriate!!!! But now I just found the NY TIMES link on the blog and see perhaps that may not be the reason. But I am still disgusted. But glad I found this information through this blog. Thank you.