Tunnel of Love

Another long day today – work followed by a long evening of teaching and training down at the kwoon, and here it is pushing midnight and no post written yet. So rather than bloviate into the wee hours, I think I will offer you all instead a glimpse of New York City life, in the form of a conductor’s announcement that I heard on the F train as I was making my weary way home this past Saturday.

The transit system here in Gotham is old – older than yours, most likely, wherever you are – and in need of constant repair. Because it would be unthinkable to do such work during commuter hours, one often finds that on the weekends things are all bollixed up, and last weekend was no exception. A temporary rerouting of the F train over to the G line required passengers to make a complex subterranean transfer somewhere in the enteric regions of downtown Brooklyn, and at every stop along the way – for the benefit of those who had just got on – our conductress repeated, in a stentorian and increasingly exasperated tone, the details of this labyrinthine excursion. The train was crowded, the PA system was set just below “stun”, and each corvine squawk pierced our captive skulls like the tearing of sheet metal.

Needing to distract myself from the urge to leap from the train and bite down hard on the third rail, I realized that I ought to be sharing this quintessential taste of the Big Apple with my loyal readers. So I whipped out my LG vx8100 cellular telephone, and made a little recording.

So here she is, folks – the sultry Siren of the Subways, singing her sweet seductive song. Play it loud.

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3 Comments

  1. MikeZ says

    I guess New Yorkers’ definition of ‘sultry’ is different than mine.

    Yikes! :-)

    – M

    Posted October 6, 2006 at 8:34 am | Permalink
  2. Nick N. says

    Thanks, Malcolm, that was really horrible. Did you use the 8khz sample rate just to make it more annoying, or is that the best your phone can do?
    It has my vote as “Worst Recording Ever.”
    As long as we are on the subject of wav files, have you heard this yet?

    http://www.npl.washington.edu/AV/BigBangSound_2.wav

    Incidently, it was produced using Mathematica.

    Posted October 6, 2006 at 12:14 pm | Permalink
  3. Malcolm says

    Hi Nick,

    That was what I got with the default settings (converted from the original .qcp format).

    That Big Bang sound is supposed to represent the cooling and red-shifting of the microwave background radiation or something? It’s a real chartbuster….

    Posted October 6, 2006 at 1:53 pm | Permalink