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Surprises on the 7 Train in NYC

Ellen Levitt

Posted on January 21, 2020 14:06

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This week there has been a special guest voice doing the announcements on the 7 train in New York City. Surprises abound in the City That Never Sleeps.

I'm a lifelong New Yorker who tries not to be jaded. You never know what will happen, both good and bad. Strange and unusual things abound, especially if you pay attention.

If you ride on the subway trains in New York City you will encounter the canned voices that make subway announcements: a male voice and a female voice, and typically they announce upcoming stops, service changes, and polite phrases such as "Stand clear of the closing doors, please." (In the old days conductors made the announcements, and sometimes even now.) 

People often ignore the announcements or only listen for their stop to be mentioned. But this past week on the 7 Train there has been a surprise celebrity voice making announcements! Some of her patter is funny.

It's Awkwafina, who just won a Golden Globe award for her role in the film The Farewell, and who has a new TV show debuting this week called Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens. I cannot recall ever hearing another celebrity doing the train announcements, so this is a special, Only in New York kind of experience. 

The 7 Train has four stops in Manhattan, but most are in Queens. The 7 traverses a large swath of Queens, and has become a symbol of the great diversity of Queens and its many neighborhoods. Look out the window and see famous sites (the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows Park, the Silvercup sign, Citifield where the Mets baseball team plays, etc.) and lately, lots of new buildings under construction and others undergoing renovations. 

And this week, you can hear Awkwafina and her wise words. She was actually born in a nearby suburb on Long Island, but has lived most of her life in Queens. Much of the time she just mentions the actual stops and transfers to bus and train lines, but she also has quirky things to say such as "All the stops, baby!" and "When the train is crowded, keep your dance routine to yourself" and "Tell them Awkwafina sent you, you won't get a discount..." and "46th Street, I just learned that's a lucky number" and "40th Street, I don't wanna say it's my favorite street but it's definitely in my Top 40." And sometimes she says "Check out Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens On Comedy Central." She also makes a comment about 33rd Street being a palindrome, manspreading, no toenail clipping on the trains, and more.

It's mildly entertaining and highly unusual, but does seem like such an obvious thing to do. Years ago there was the Miss Subways contest and now it's seemingly come to life! Or maybe more like kids who get to do play-by-play at the local Minor League baseball stadium. 

Some may scoff and say it's just an advertising ploy for a TV show. But there is a lot more to this: the element of the unexpected, the weirdness. I think this should be done more often! I'd love to announce for the Q train!

Ellen Levitt

Posted on January 21, 2020 14:06

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Source: DNAinfo

There have been at least five derailments of subways and commuter trains in NYC since 2013.

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