What has become of the once-popular pay phone?, Well here in NYC it has either disappeared completely, or turned into a kind of gritty relic. You can find pay phones with no receivers, or, if they do have one, there might be a "no dial tone" sticker on it.
I read that in the late 1990's there were approximately 2.4 million pay phones here in the US. Today there are less than 500,000. NYC's government web site says that as of January 2014 there are still 9,900 working pay phones around the city.
Lately I've been noticing these defunct pay phones, and taking photos of them. They each have a different character, and, to me, some of them are even a bit artistic. This particular phone has just a hint of graffiti, and you can notice the yellow blur of a taxi speeding by on the metallic background.
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marabu61 (7599) 2014-04-27 11:01
Oh how the world has changed. Once seen on every street corner, the all important pay phone has fallen victim to the modern times of our smart phones and have literally disappeared from the face of the western world.
But you are completely right, these abandoned pay phones have a character of their own and make for wonderful photo subjects. This is a particularly charming one, perfectly close cropped by you and thus creating a strong composition.
have a great week
holmertz (38025) 2014-04-27 11:02
I like this elegant composition of a pay phone that seems ready for the junk yard. The last ones actually working will no doubt soon end up in museums or be sold to nostalgic collectors. I like the modest graffiti, the garbled wire and the yellow reflection which gives us a hint of the location.
rbassin (16576) 2014-04-27 11:28
C'est bien observé, cette photo est bien faite et très originale.Détails , graphisme et couleurs sont magnifiques.
lousat (73149) 2014-04-27 11:33
Hi Brenda,this is the progress,the mobiles killed the pay phones,that are now only a cost and a passive voice of the budget of the phone companies, so they are almost gone, and in Italy the same thing is happening,an excellent idea for an original pic,made with the usual top quality,i like it! Have e nice week and thanks,Luciano
mesutilgim (80858) 2014-04-27 11:33
That's life! You have seen this well and realised this interesting capture !
TFS and best regards
saxo042 (37024) 2014-04-27 12:36
An interesting documentary picture of this historical item. Who need public pay phones these days? An interesting picture nevertheless.
macjake (53278) 2014-04-27 13:17
I love these type of daily life relics.
and the face the cable is attached to the rod is pretty darn cool.
its a subject that will soon be defunked!
I recently watched a YouTube video of children trying to figure out how to actually operate a rotary phone...its hilarious!
great post from NYC and for TE
adidas5nb (4504) 2014-04-27 18:17
great shot.i like the subject and the thinking behind the shot.nice and tight frame.and the pay phone looks to have a character.great note.
emka (74159) 2014-04-27 23:37
Hi Brenda, They should leave some of these pay phonos. EWhen you come to the forein country with your mobile, then much cheaper is use the payphones for the local calls. Artistic photo, with these silvery lower part, lines from graffiti. Excellent idea, I like it very much.
WArm regrads MAlgo
Noel_Byrne (21682) 2014-04-28 11:14
A gritty scene, matching your description of this place. You have made a really nice artwork of this abandoned old phone, and the way the receiver cable is jutting out has a wonderful 3D feel to it. A perfect composition, as the steel reflects back the city that no longer loves these once vital pieces of technology. Its funny how quickly something that is a part of all our lives can be forgotten about.
This looks like quite a new model too, so sad to see it in this forlorn state. I guess its time has passed now, so this is an important documentary shot, and a great note too.
thanks as always
batalay (34885) 2014-05-02 9:03
Nice example of photojournalism. Who could have predicted this development in the 1980s, or even 1990s, and indeed a ubiquitous development. The most recognizable public phones remain the red boxes in the UK. Since so much in Britain stays up by tradition, rather than the forces of physics, it is likely that the red boxes will survive others around the world.
Warm regards and have a good weekend,
Waylim (25166) 2014-05-05 12:57
A very nice shot with some sense of humor, as we know the pay phone booth is slowing diappearing as we still occasionally see a few here and there and some are in the most unexpected places. Example I found on in Death Valley near a campsite. I guess back then it was probably really useful, now I guess it can still be as there may no be signal for the cell phone.
Anyway, I wonder when was the last call and who called it :)?
jcpix (11926) 2014-05-05 20:44
Wow, a dinosaur! :) My, how times have changed, yeah? For such a dated and all but forgotten piece of equipment, this makes for a wonderful subject and a reminder of an era not too long ago. I guess no one's making a call from here...or is it still functioning as a "b.y.o.r., Bring Your Own Receiver?" lol
I love that you saw this as a photo op, it really does have an impact and link to the recent past. How in the world would people survive if they had to revert back to something like this...or better yet, a rotary phone? I'm thinking it would be a complete breakdown of society, right? :o
Maybe not the prettiest sight, but it's full of grit and character, and the stainless steel finish certainly catches attention. Hello, can you hear me now?? :) Have a great day. All the best.
Friendly wishes from the Western half,
annjackman (18303) 2014-05-05 22:53
This pay phone makes a very good subject. The metallic surfaces still have enough shine to give some bright reflections. The elements are well placed in the frame so that it looks like a modern piece of art. I like the way that the cable breaks the symmetry of the composition. A very successful picture.
Kind Regards, Ann
Mics (649) 2014-05-15 22:15
Around two decades ago, I have to walk quite far from home just to have access to pay phones, that's the red-type pay phone where you put 3 25 cents to have unlimited minutes of call. That was subsequently replaced by this type, but with limited no. of calls. Indeed, this shot is a historical relic, an antique of sort, but still very interesting :-)
Have a nice day!
npecanhuk (61842) 2014-06-01 19:05
This is happening here in Brazil too!
Unfortunately, even before cell phones and all that jazz, public pay phones (here, they're called "orelhão" = "big ear", because of the shape of their protection) were frequently destroyed by vandals... the years I hadn't a phone at home I faced difficulties in finding one to call my parents! Anyway... now they're really doomed!
Great urban picture, for sure!
TFS - congrats,
claudeD (31017) 2014-06-20 3:05
you had the photographer's eye here. Very well seen and done. Excellent title. Like your fotojoib very much.TFS.
WIth regards from Luxembourg
abmdsudi (40538) 2014-07-01 8:09
Nicely captured & composed, my eye is drawn to the blue and yellow that go so well against the glossy background. It's a sad situation i guess many more will end up this way with the advent of the mobile phone. A fine sign of the times capture, Well done, tfs
serp2000 (38467) 2014-07-02 8:24
This is very familiar street "instalation". Not so original and creative idea but we can see the same situation everywhere in the global civil world. It could be an illustration of some article about vandals, for example. ;)