End of an era: New York unplugs its last public phone booth

The last remaining phone booth in New York City  was removed Monday. 



New York City on  Monday pulled the plug on its last public coin-operated phone booth , the notorious ” payphone booths ,” which have been replaced for years by free WiFi.

Calm down Superman fans: Manhattan is going to keep four closed phone booths, the ones that turn journalist Clark Kent into a superhero.

On Monday morning, New York put an end to a myth that has lived on in popular culture for decades in comics, photos, movies and television.

Before the press, the municipal authorities and the president (equivalent to mayor) of the Manhattan neighborhood, Mark Levine, had the last “booth” with two telephones dismantled and placed on a truck, which had been located for years on the corner of the 7th Avenue and 50th Street, in the center of the Big Apple, marked by the blue bell logo of the Bell System telecommunications company.

“I was there today for the last goodbye to the famous – or embarrassing? – NYC pay phone. I will not miss his lack of tone, but I have to admit that I have felt a nostalgic knot in my stomach to see him go, “he writes Mark Levine on Twitter.

The Democrat said he doesn’t really miss the days when these phones worked one out of two times, where you had to search your pockets for a quarter or stand in line to call on the street in sight. of passers-by.

Payphones began to disappear from the New York landscape in the early 2000s as cell phones became popular, accelerating after 2010 with the explosion of smartphones.

Starting in 2015, Manhattan accelerated the installation of thousands of LinkNYC terminals that offer free WiFi and free local calls. These new access points will gradually connect to the 5G network.

“It really is the end of an era , but also, hopefully, the beginning of a new era with more equal access to technology,” Levine said, referring to northern Manhattan neighborhoods, particularly Harlem, worse covered by telephone networks and the Internet.

According to the local press, Manhattan is going to keep four old telephone booths on the Upper West Side, on West End Avenue at the level of 66th, 90th, 100th and 101st streets (AFP)