Phone booths — not just for Superman anymore

Most people who know me now don’t know that I had another life as a travel industry sales rep, traveling all over the city to visit accounts, most of that career in pre-cellphone days, relying on public payphones (remember those?). At one time I even lamented the disappearance of real telephone booths in favor of those open shelfless telephone shelters.

So in this cellphone era, who uses payphones? I sat in a Chinese restaurant last week with a view of a phone booth(?) on the corner of 35th and 8th and watched as a woman put her stuff down, and shading herself from the sun, proceeded to use the phone-enclosure to talk on her cell phone. So those payphone areas still serve as shelters from rain and sun, even if not as a dressing room for Superman.

By the way, if there are any briefcase-lugging, brochure-carrying, sales reps still out there, I can still give good suggestions for spots to comfortably climate-controllably make a phone call and even to use the restrooms without asking for a key or having to purchase a $5 latte. I’ve been around.all around Manhattan. I have the fallen arches to show for it.

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