Open Thread Wednesday 1/14/09

BHB Photo Club pic by fkuffel

BHB Photo Club pic by fkuffel

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • Senor Salsa

    I’m interested in people’s opinion on this:

    What is appropriate ELEVATOR etiquette at the St. George subway entrance (top-side going down)…?

    How long should you hold the ‘Door Open’ button for people coming as others are waiting to go down?

    Is it rude for someone to throw their hand in to stop the doors as they are closing…when the elevator is obviously full of people waiting to go down?

    I’m just curious what people think…as this type of day-to-day social interaction is rarely discussed as a community.

  • No One Of Consequence

    I’m sure this will somehow devolve into a nice discussion about racism.

    If they’re through the turnstile, hold it, except that opens it up for those who are still coming through, so discretion is advised.

    If they’re not running, or moving quickly (relative to the individual), close it.

    100% rude to make 20+ people wait that extra 11 seconds which is all it takes to miss the doors closing. Do you not feel us all breathing down your neck as you blithely turn around to face the door?

    *Disclaimer: I haven’t taken this line regularly for many years, but I used to.

    Since you brought it up. How about blocking the way on the down escalator at High St. when the train is obviously approaching and there’s a stack of commuters behind you wanting to pass. (Going up, I don’t care).

  • AEB

    Re elevator deportment, there is, first of all, the issue of whether one chooses, upon entering an empty car, to make oneself the de facto operator–which means taking it upon oneself to man (woman?) the buttons.

    Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If you do, it is entirely in your hands–literally–to decide if and how long to allow the doors t remain open. Which depends on crowd flow, doesn’t it?

    Here’s where an innate sense of rhythm helps. Rule of thumb:

    If one sees one or more people hurling themselves toward the car, even from some distance, keep the door open. If the oncoming folks seem more leisurely, or there’s an obvious break in the traffic, you’re free to push the close button.

    I’ve found, however and also, that the cars have a mind of their own. Wisdom often resides in allowing them to do their own thing. When all is confusion, it’s best to allow them to be the “decider,” though one risks the ire of fellow passengers waiting for the doors to start.

    Next issue: dealing with the welling panic one feels as the elevator creeps, creeps, creeps to its destination. Will one actually ever get OUT?!

  • Jen

    Speaking of elevator etiquette, what possesses people to walk into the elevator, LOOK at the buttons, and then walk to the back without pressing anything? And why do people stand at the elevator banks, again LOOKING at the buttons helplessly? It’s an easy concept — press the button, elevator moves. At least most of the time at the Clark St subway station, anyway.

    When entering the elevator, I am the person who pushes the destination button and then moves out of the way. Whoever gets on before the doors close are on, and if others choose to hold the door, whatevs.

    Speaking of subway elevators, I also don’t understand the “Upper Mezz Rear” button in the elevator at the Montague St. R station. When the majority of people are gathered at the “front” entrance, there’s always someone who goes around the back and then everyone in the elevator waits extra time while the rear doors open and close.

  • AliG

    I usually get on at the upper mezz rear on my way to the stairs because I hate waiting. If it opens in the back then I get on, otherwise I’m walking.
    Which brings me to the stairs at Montague…why are they letting homeless people live in the stairwell? It’s scary at 8am when you’re hopping down the stairs and come face to face with a vagrant who is relieving himself in the corner. And what’s the correct etiquette in such an instance? Do you apologize for coming upon them in this state of dishabille?

  • In the Heights

    I’m with Jen. I take this train every day. I press the button and move out of the way – to the very back of the train. What I find irritating is those who get on first and don’t move all the way to the back. If you want to be the first one off, then be the last one on.

    It is incredibly dangerous to stick your arm in that door as it is closing. I have seen some VERY scary things with that elevator over the years. If its closing, let it go. Another one will be along soon. Not worth losing an arm over.

  • In the Heights

    Does anyone know what is going into the space on the corner of Hicks (where the old laundromat used to be)? The building looks so nice. It appears that part of the space will be used commercially because of the big windows.

  • Berkeley Grosvenor

    No One Of Consequence, if you’re in such a rush at High Street, take the stairs. By the time the alarm starts chirping at the turnstile, you have plenty of time to calmly descend. Time and again, some overbearing idiot (usually with an oversized backpack or luggage) is pushing to get around you on the narrow escalator and when you reach the platform, there they are again, only now looking frantically for a train that’s still yet to arrive. So, High Street IND riders, here’s the drill: if you can’t “ride” the escalator, walk/run/hurl yourselves down the stairs.

  • Jeremy

    Someone posted here a couple of months ago that they spoke to the architect on site at 68 Hicks, who said it’s going to be residential. Leaving the windows in is a landmarks issue – the building always had a commercial space on the ground floor and the owner would not be allowed to remove them. This is quite common on the oldest blocks of Hicks in the north Heights, where many storefronts have been converted into apartments.

  • alex

    If an elevator is already fairly crowded when I’m making my way through the turnstile, I just let it go.

    Another one will come soon, and I’m sure those people in the crowded elevator have already been been held up by three or four waves of people re-opening the closing doors.

    I wish everyone else would do the same.

  • AEB

    Interesting that crowded subway elevators propose a kind of self-consciousness entirely absent when one stands hip-to-hip with other riders in a packed train car.

    What’s the diff? That the train experience has been ritualized over time such that riders know their parts exactly, whereas the elevator thing, especially in a subway station, is terra incognita, and demands our attention?

  • alex

    AEB, The difference is that in subway cars we don’t have the power to delay movement as we do in the elevator. Sure, people sometimes hold things up by prying open train doors, but the onus there is on the incoming rider, not those already in the train.

  • yo

    Best thing I ever saw on the subway was the time where some jackass was trying to squeeze his way onto an extremely crowded train even though there wasn’t room and the conductor repeatedly stated that there was a train DIRECTLY behind ours. After watching this guy block the doors about 10 times without moving, an older gentleman next to me looks around, then calmly but firmly two hand shoves the offender out of the train just as the doors close. The guy was so taken by surprise that he fell right on his ass on the platform. As we pulled away, there was scattered cheering and laughing. The older guy never batted an eye, he just smiled.

  • my2cents

    I really really hate when people stand in the down escalator at High Street! I have missed many trains because of it. I don’t see why people are too lazy to walk down! Don’t they want to make the train?

  • GHB

    I use Clark Street elevators every day. I get on and push the button (if I’m first), then stay in that corner. I’ll be one of the first off, but I’m also not blocking the door. The worst is when I’m going up at the end of the day and the douchebag inside won’t hold the nearly empty elevator for the oncoming rush of commuters trying to get home. Drives me nuts!

  • AEB

    Yow, yo! Given the hair-trigger tempers of many of our fellow MTA riders, I’d be loath to take such forthright action…

    …I find that honey usually works best in situations in which people are being blissfully, unselfconsciously selfish, although I have been known to apply knee pressure not so gently to the knees of other guys who sit down next to me with their legs wide open, in effect, taking up more than one seat.

    I once griped when a very large woman chose to sit next to me in a space that could accommodate about half of her. When I grumbled, she smiled at me and said, “I’m so sorry–these big thighs of mine are a real problem, I know.”

    I was totally disarmed, not to mention ashamed of myself.

    Another advertisement for using honey.

  • cv

    Some people are elderly, or have knee or back or chest pain — i.e. things that one cannot know from just looking at them — and so they cannot walk down the stairs or down the escalator. Perhaps the best thing one can do is to leave extra time in the morning — another five minutes or so — so that if one finds oneself standing behind such a person and missing the train, there will still be time to catch the next one without being late for one’s destination.

  • AEB

    CV, what I do when “blocked” on the down escalator, and I hear a train approaching, is to ask the blocker if I might, please, squeeze around him or her.

    The usual response is, sure. And then I proceed.

    In other words, I ask permission to forge ahead.

  • Monty

    Those elevators are a real hot-button issue!

  • Rude Commuter

    Unless you’re physically unable to walk down the escalator at High Street (or have a stroller that makes it possible), you are everything that is wrong with America today if you do not walk. Your selfish sloth and indifference leads you to deserve the infliction of physical pain, so that you become incapabable of walking down the escalator, thereby making it acceptable to not walk down the escalator.

  • AEB

    Oh, Monty!

  • AEB

    So, Rude, if I walk down but ride up…am I everything that’s half wrong with America today?

  • MAK

    Well, I don’t walk down the escalator at High Street because I have a terrible fear of heights. It’s all I can do to just stand there white-knuckling it without feeling like I am going to tumble at any moment.

    As someone mentioned earlier, if you are in such a hurry then run down the stairs. And, yes, another train does come along.

  • another jen

    it doesn’t take too much to be aware that you have someone behind you on an escalator who would like to pass, and push over a smidge to allow them to do so. If there’s a small child or someone with limited mobility I just take a deep breath, but too often people are texting or they just plant themselves firmly in the center of the step and space out. Escalators and walkways are to help you move through more quickly, not to eliminate the need for walking altogether. That being said, the fact that so few subway stations are set up to accommodate people who can’t handle stairs or escalators is atrocious.

    ANYWAY I bought an Annie Chun’s noodle soup at Trader Joe’s the other day for 1.99 and it was a fine albeit insubstantial instant lunch. Although I am happy to have the Gristedes option available again – they need a serious reality check because they were selling the same soup for 6.99. The price inflation is beyond the pale here.

  • anon

    You might have met me on the Clark st elevator, especially when I’ve held the doors for you and you do not acknowledge it with a thanks, glance or nod. I’m the loud one that says, “You’re welcome, smiles are free! I do not gety paid for this”. Then the zombies look either away, down, or continue to be in lala land, texting, cell phoning, ipoding. The self entitlement and apathy is astounding and really. to those who make no effort to ring for elevators, hold a door or say thanks, you seem to be waiting for life to happen FOR you. Sad.

  • AEB

    Right, another jen: it’s Gougestedes.

    I’m surprised that anyone shops there; to do so is really masochistic.

  • nazimova

    gougestedes thats good! it used to be Grossstedes remember??Do not even compare prices with other chains (Key, Traders ) even Peas and Pickles is cheaper..(on most items)..they have one helluva nerve..

  • weatherman

    agree with those of you who dislike riding the down elevator at high street…used to live in dc, where most of the metros require a decent escalator ride down and up (dupont circle, etc). anyway, they had signs – “escalumps” is what the dc metro called these folks. keep an eye out for them.

  • In the Heights

    Cheers to you Anon! I couldn’t agree with you more! I will never forget the time that I stopped a 3 year old from running into traffic only to be snubbed by the mother. When I said “You’re welcome” to her, she then proceeded to yell at me!

    I think we, as a society, could greatly benefit from turning the clock back about 50 years when it comes to manners.

  • Peter

    Yo and AEB, thanks for the great subway stories, I got a real chuckle out of both. Having one of those days at work, I needed that …