Saturday, August 5, 2017

Photo of the Day: Tech Dinosaur in Times Square

Viewers of a certain age are likely to chuckle at the sight of Clark Kent transforming into Superman by ducking into a telephone booth. Those below, say, 20—maybe a bit higher—are likely to be nonplussed by a once-ubiquitous piece of infrastructure made obsolete by the cellphone. (Heck, in the day of the smartphone, those of us who cling to flip-top cellphones are likely to feel as much of a museum piece as the eight-track tape.)

All the more reason, then, why I was stunned at a sight this week in New York’s Times Square enough to make the visual record seen here. It’s part of Once Upon A Place, an interactive public art installation created by Afghan-American artist Aman Mojadidi. This is one of three telephone booths that will be in Times Square (or, to be technical, Duffy Square) now through September 5.

Listen: It may seem that you can step into this confined space and call a relative in God-knows-where, except that the facility has been, to use a phrase much in vogue these days, repurposed. Instead of its old use, visitors can pick up the receiver and listen to oral histories of immigration from recent New Yorkers.

Let's hope immigration to America doesn't go the way of the phone booth, too.

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