The end of phones in the street in New York
The end of a myth and famous movie scenes in New York like in Serpico with Al Pacino and Taxi Driver with Robert de Niro. The famous “payphone booth”, was replaced for a few years by free wifi terminals.
Despite everything, Manhattan will keep four phone booths closed, those in which the journalist Clark Kent, the famous Superman, changes into a superhero.
On May 23, 2022, the city of New York put an end to a myth popularized in popular culture during decades of comics, photos, movies and television. In front of the press, city officials and Manhattan Borough President and Mayor Mark Levine had the last “booth” housing two phones, which sat at the corner of 7th Avenue and 50th Street in the center of New York Island, marked with the bluebell logo of the telecommunications company Bell System, dismantled and placed on a truck.
Anyway, it was a good idea because pay phones started to disappear from the streets of New York in the early 2000s as cell phones appeared, and then in the 2010s with the explosion of smartphones. Starting in 2015, Manhattan accelerated the installation of thousands of LinkNYC kiosks offering free wifi and local calls. These new kiosks are expected to gradually connect to the 5G network.
“This is really the end of an era, but also hopefully the beginning of a new era with more equal access to technology,” Levine boasted, referring to Manhattan’s northern neighbourhoods, Harlem in particular, which are less well covered by phone and internet networks.
Manhattan will keep four old-fashioned phone booths with or without a swinging door in the most upscale Upper West Side, on West End Avenue at 66th, 90th, 100th and 101st Streets.