Pay Phones Are Suddenly Important Again Because Of Sandy | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Pay Phones Are Suddenly Important Again Because Of Sandy

"After Sandy, Wired New Yorkers Get Reconnected With Pay Phones: Coin-Eating Retro Devices Baffle Some, Frustrate Many; Moment Merits a Tweet."

That Wall Street Journal story today, about folks in lower Manhattan who have been forced by the power outages and damages in the wake of Superstorm Sandy to seek out an old-fashioned way to make a call, has struck a chord.

With cellphones running out of juice, once again a tried-and-true technology has proven itself in a time of trouble.

Well, it's proven itself, that is, if you can find a phone that hasn't been damaged or wasn't vandalized before Sandy. To help in that search, Bowery Boogie has posted about "reliable pay phones you can use" in the lower third of Manhattan. "Of the 20-odd pay phones we visited," says the site, "nearly all had some sort of malfunction. Whether it was a lack of dial tone or gunk plugged in the coin slot, issues abounded." It recommends these three:

-- Northeast corner of Orchard and Delancey

-- Outside Casa Mezcal on Orchard Street

-- Bowery, just south of Delancey

Lines have been long at some phones. For now, at least, the answer to a question Planet Money asked last October — "Does Anyone Still Use These?" — is yes.

If you've got a story to tell about a time when a pay phone came through for you, please share it in the comments thread. Meanwhile, we've also got a question (and this blogger has to confess, his answer would be "I can't remember").

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Aug. 27

An artist jabs at comforting notions of home and playwrights present new work at a local venue.

NPR

Lizards And Worms Should Not Be On The School Lunch Menu

India wins praise for providing free lunches to 120 million of its poorest children. But lax supervision has led to lapses that have sickened and even killed youngsters.
NPR

After Inspector General Report, Veterans Want More Than Promises

The report said it couldn't be proven that anyone had died because of wait times at the medical center in Phoenix. On Tuesday, President Obama pledged to do better by vets and announced initiatives.
NPR

Science Crowns Mozzarella The King Of Pizza Cheese

Why do some cheeses melt and caramelize better than others? Researchers used high-tech cameras and special software to figure it out.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.