Vox Popular

Improvement of public transit is always exciting for me, especially when it happens in Queens as well as the other boroughs. It’s not just having shiny new stuff. It’s the evidence that we’re making progress, growing up, that thrills.

So the semi-electric buses run more green. The subway cars have clean blue seats and windows free of etched tags and doodles. Some subway stops have new tilework on the floors and walls.

But by far the best improvement is the voice I hear on the new E trains running express in and out of Queens. She tells us each stop we’ve arrived at and what to do next. And she is kinda hot.

“This is … Queens Plaza. Transfer is available to the R … and … V train.”

It’s the way she says “transfer is available” that catches my attention. It rolls off her tongue like candle wax gaining momentum as it runs down the length of a taber. It’s a little richer, more throaty, more lusty, than the station announcement. It all runs together in one suggestive vocal gesture.


It’s like she’s waiting for you after work after a few cigarettes. The ice tinkles in her second, slightly stronger, gin and tonic. She’s given up the pretense of waiting for you before she starts her evening. She hitches one leg up across the other knee and leans back. Her lacquered fingertips dangle. She tempts you to switch trains. Go on.


You know you want to do it. Get off the express. Take your time through the city. Do it … slow…

But those R trains are still using an intercom. The seats are an ugly orange. And it just wouldn’t be the same.


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