"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

New York Minute

On the BXM1 Express Bus the other day, the PA system crackled to life and this announcement sprang forth, “The next stop is 96th St.” It was one of those recorded robotic voices, very clear and with the characteristic cadence and syntax.

“The next…STOP is…ninety SIXTH… street.”

I thought to myself, “When did they robotize the announcements on this bus line?” By the time I got off on my stop, I realized they hadn’t. The bus driver was just doing his impression of robotic voice. Over and over again.

He has a lot of hours to kill I guess, but I chuckled. I wondered if it would throw him off if I remarked on his ruse. I decided not to say anything. I’d hate to spoil his fun.

[Photo Credit: Viaduckvideo ]

Categories:  Bronx Banter  New York Minute  NYC

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1 Matt Blankman   ~  Jan 27, 2011 5:44 pm

Years ago, in my adolescence, there was a LIRR conductor on the Port Washington line who would announce the station stops in a WC Fields voice. I miss that.

2 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 27, 2011 5:54 pm

There's a dude that was on the F Train when I lived out in Brooklyn who sounded like an Indian guy doing Inspector Clouseau with a Yiddish accent.

3 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jan 27, 2011 6:09 pm

And that, in brief, is why there's only one New York.

4 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 27, 2011 7:45 pm

[3] - Naked Cowboy, Times Square 2002

5 Boatzilla   ~  Jan 28, 2011 9:40 am

Great post, John.

In Tokyo there all several brands of "live" train and bus announcers/drivers: The pinched nose effeminate (sorry no women drivers out here), the low-voiced garbled slurring drunk (sounding), the over conscientious one who scolds passengers and announces everything. Unfortunately, the longer JR lines and bullet trains have gone to recordings and it's always a lady's voice with a British accent.

6 Raf   ~  Jan 28, 2011 12:47 pm

[5] I liked the station announcements on the JR Yamanote Line, usually followed by a tune before the doors closed.

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