Beware of hi-tech elevators in new skyscrapers in Manhattan. In a building along Park Avenue, one never waits more than two minutes to make it to the top floor. Even during rush hour, there is never a long wait for the next car. Simply type in the number of a desired floor, and in less than a second, an LCD monitor advises passengers which elevator bank headed to various heavens will appear next.
There is no re-typing in of floor numbers once entering the assigned elevator, nor is it necessary to cringe as Jewish women point their middle fingers obsessively at numbered buttons or ‘door close’ switches.
These post-9/11 anti-terrorist elevator computers group inner-building commuters headed to similar heights together, and the lovely voice of a fem-bot instructs passengers when to discharge.
While riding a regular elevator while delivering pay checks to a real estate company on Madison Avenue on Thursday, I encountered a middle-aged white woman with what was obviously an adopted Asian girl clinging to her coat tails. I tried to stay out of their business, which is what is expected of elevator commuters in the city, espcaially low-life foot messengers like myself, but the Jew woman had me in stitches laughing.
The woman who had a big nose and her hair tied in a type of Challa twist bun, said to her little girl—
“When I was your age, elevators had elevator men on them. You told them what floor you were going to, and then they pulled a heavy crank, and up you rose.”
Thinking of the new elevator in the building on Park Avenue, I could do nothing but agree. I turned to the Asian child to confess, “Yes, those were the old old days.”
The Jewish mother then added, “It was fabulous back then. You could sit down on a little chair in the elevator and smoke a cigarette if you felt like it, or even have a cocktail.”
I could feel the woman staring at the back of my neck, awaiting my response.
I rushed out of the not so fancy elevator on Madison nearly choking on laughter, wishing city life was like it was when the woman was still a little girl.