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Tuesday 30 March 2010

+442077001672, Nr Jct Bemerton Street and. Bingfield Street, London, N1 0BH

At the heart of this Islington estate, it is subject to regular vandalism by the local youth. The number (subject number is for the payphone to the left) rings loud but it's to call during school holidays. You can play tricks on them with the other number too: +442077001629. Will try to get a picture of the kids hanging around this one and will post it here with the one.

Also this is very close to where a local murder was carried out (off to the left of this payphone). You can read an article on it here.

Sunday 28 March 2010

Afghanistan Payphone

This is a great addition to the site. However, I have no more information on it. It was simply emailed to me saying it was an Afghani payphone. Please when contributing it would be great to have as much info about the payphone (telephone number and it's location).

Never the less, still great. Would be neat to have it's number? I would most definitely call it to see the local response.

Friday 26 March 2010

Call Offices

I don't know if you know that the GPO/PO/BT refer to payphones etc as 'Call Offices' dating from the early days of telephones where a person without a telephone would got to somewhere that had a telephone specifically set up for use of people who called in (in the days before kiosks). Most were in the telephone exchange whilst others were in a local shop. The person would go in and the call would be made and the fee collected. These were known as 'attended call offices'. These survived well into modern times ! The last one I know of was 'Rheinigidale 1' on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides. This was the UK's last single digit telephone number in use until the early 1990's in a remote croft in a village that could only be reached by sea (a road has since reached the village!). Rheinigidale is spelt in many ways - this OS map has the older Anglicised spelling - Rainigadale

You can listen to an excerpt (from a BBC Radio 4 programme 'The Secret Life of Telephone Numbers' that resulted from the BBC contacting me!) about the Rheinigidale call office on 01859 598 001 (01859 is the code for 'Harris' - probably a free call in the evenings/weekends from your BT phone?)

CNet UK 0352 2345

Thursday 25 March 2010

+442073886600, JCT Warren Street & Fitzroy Street, London, NW1 8UN

Not such a good one to call as it don't ring very loud. Just including as the scene is quite catching and it gives an impression of loneliness. Many people pass this box but judging from what I've seen it gets little or no use. It's only a matter of time before it gets removed.

Tuesday 23 March 2010

+442073871362, Main Concourse, Kings Cross Station, London, N1 9AL

There are about a dozen payphones along the concourse of this station. I tried them and all except for this rang low. However this gives quite a high pitched ring that should get the attention of people standing by. And there are on occasions many people waiting in this area, waiting to their train home to arrive. The best time call is the evening rush as this is the busiest time for this station. The bad news is, this station will be getting a full refurbishment and I'd expect them to remove the majority if not all of these payphones. So it could be that this box in only call able for another Year yet. Enjoy it while you can.

I pass this box quite often. Whenever I see someone near it I always give it a ring. So far nobody has ignored it. And on this particular occasion I had this family sitting around waiting for their train. Gave it a call, the lady answered. I just made out that my friend should be near by and if she could look around for him. I discribed somebody who was nearby and she tapped him on the shoulder and handed the handset over to him. I had a good joke and the guy hung up. The family and the guy had a good laugh and then carried on talking for a further 30mins. I feel good that I instigated that meeting and coversaion as well has having my own cheap laugh.

+442072533798, +442074908792 and +442072531111 United Kingdom, England, London, Old Street Underground Station Entrance, EC1V 9NR

+442072533798, +442074908792 and +442072531111 United Kingdom, England, London, Old Street Underground Station Entrance, EC1V 9NR
Awesome addition here and a real great photo, one of my favourite. You've got a guy to the left selling all sorts. He can be found most days of the week here and if you'll notice he's got a dog with him. I really like of the trade mobile signs contrast well against what could be seen as the old means of telecommunications (our payphone). I love this picture. In the shot above you can't see in but there's a further two payphones off to the right. There numbers are; +442072533798, +442074908792.

The series of pictures below are from a more recent visit.

Update  - Click images to enlarge

I've been calling this box a long time now. Almost everynight I get an answer. So decided to pop down there and see who the lot were. It turned out to be these dossers. They did make for an interesting conversation. The picture shows how the scene looks now (a Year after the above picture)

You can just see in the background the left most payphone. The one that's number is listed here. On the right is a popular sanwich shop. If I am right the shop owner/worker is called Tony and is friendly with the dossers that beg in this subway.

Well, in this subway system I found another of the dossers I had been speeking to over the previous nights. On this occasion I didn't introduce myself, but did find out from a seperate conversation that the dossers dog's name is Beth. You can use this when calling the payphone, ask how Beth is doing?

Follow this link it is a crazy recording taken by NOMADCOWATBK, winding up the regulars in this subway. I am warning you now. THERE IS A LOT OF SWEARING, only watch it if you have a malicious sense of humour. You can here Marco and his lady, Tony as well as dosser Dave.

Saturday 20 March 2010

+442077237938 UK England London Edgware Road OS 138 W2 1DY

In the heart of London's Arabic and Persian quarter.

Wednesday 17 March 2010

+442073884093, Eustion Road Exit, Euston Square Underground Station, NW1 2BN

Found this one when I took a different route home. It seems very lonely here. But it gets plenty of traffic. Good one to call. You might see me in the reflection of one of the attached pictures.

Tuesday 16 March 2010

+442077137852, JCT Grays Inn Road and Pentonville Road, Kings Cross, London, United Kingdom

Not much of a chance that someone'll answer, the ringing can't be heard outside the box. But I think it's a good contribution to the site as the payphone has loads of character and the building it stands before has a strange attribute. It's called the lighthouse and is now derelict, nobody knows who built it and when. Now that is strange for central London.

+442073889392, Booking Hall, Euston Underground Station, NW1 2DU

A great one to call at nearly any time of day. It is bang smack before the exit ticket gates and is the only route for commuters to take when leaving underground at this station (as one picture shows). Have fun as it ring is noticeable.

+442078384737, Opp Platform 3, Euston Station, London, United Kingdom

You don't see this too often now, a whole bank of payphones. This is one of London's busiest stations and the part is the busiest with payphones being well used. While I was here I saw a good dozen people making calls. The number is for the left most payphone. I am worried that although the payphones get good use, BT may still remove them as they have done with all the others in this station. There seems to be a big push these days to reduce clutter in busy places to allow the free movement of people. One of the pictures is of me holding the payphone's handset as well as showing the scene opposite.

Sunday 14 March 2010

+441465871200, Old Dailly, South Ayrshire, Scotland, United Kingdom

Cobwebs on BT payphone, for this a big thanks to MacMan475
This is one of the many rural payphones which have been converted to the credit/debit card system that charges extortionate rates. This conversion was carried out in recent years as a way to reduce the running cost of BT telephone boxes, and is probably actually cheaper than removing them. Sadly in the age of mobile phones, most rural telephone boxes are no longer used on a regular basis and many look just like this one (which is local to me). It stands disused with some of the glass panels broken or missing, and the "credit card" telephone inside is covered in cobwebs. Who knows how much longer these will be around but we should enjoy them while they last. Thankfully this particular phone box was re-painted in recent years after a long spell of looking very pink and faded.

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+442072836158 United Kingdom, England, London, Cannon St Underground Station

At lower ground level just of the main street. There's nearly always someone standing around, just as in the phone. It's placed between to exits and the main ticket barrier.

Thursday 11 March 2010

Some of us are too old to use cellphones, so they stick us in a phone booth to get us out of the way

Again many thanks to Ed Yourdon for this excellent shot. Thanks Ed.
This was taken at Broadway and 74th Street. The man sitting on the right is collecting donations for some charitable institution; I don't know who was in charge of the old woman on the left...

Note: this photo was published in a Sep 22, 2009 blog titled "When the Universe won't leave you alone…." It was also published in a Jan 10, 2010 "Hot Mobile Phone Offers" blog with the same title as the caption that I used on this Flickr page

Looking back on some old photos from 40-50 years ago, I was struck by how visible the differences were between the culture of then, versus the culture of now. In some cases, it was evident from the things people wore, or carried, or did, back then which they no longer do today. But sometimes it was the opposite: things that didn't exist back in the 1960s and 1970s have become a pervasive part of today's culture.

A good example is the cellphone: 20 years ago, it simply didn't exist. Even ten years ago, it was a relatively uncommon sight, and usually only on major streets of big cities. Today, of course, cell phones are everywhere, and everyone is using them in a variety of culture contexts.

However, I don't think this is a permanent phenomenon; after all, if you think back to the early 1980s, you probably would have seen a lot of people carrying Sony Walkmans, or "boom-box" portable radios -- all of which have disappeared...

If Moore's Law (which basically says that computers double in power every 18 months) holds up for another decade, then we'll have computerized gadgets approximately 100 times smaller, faster, cheaper, and better -- which means far better integration of music, camera, messaging, and phone, but also the possibility of the devices being so tiny that they're embedded into our eyeglasses, our earrings, or a tattoo on our forehead.

So the point of this album is to provide a frame of reference -- so that we can (hopefully) look back 10-20 years from now, and say, "Wasn't it really weird that we behaved in such bizarre ways while we interacted with those primitive devices?"

PacBell Payphone

Another sorry shot of a disused payphone. Never the less many thanks to Dave Bullock (eecue) for this contribution.

Here's some others by Dave

Once upon a time, I used to call my friends from payphones like this. Now I'm afraid I'll get swine flu if I touch it...

This great picture has been added thanks to Ed Yourdon.
He also has plenty of other cool payphone pictures here.
The streets were wet when I got up a few days ago, and the weather forecast called for rain throughout the day. Consequently, I decided to spend my half-hour of daily "photography time," during my lunch-break, down in the subway station, where I knew I could stay dry. Since I had a mid-afternoon appointment on 72nd Street, I decided that instead of photographing at my own local subway stop, I would take the train down town and hunker down in a quiet corner to see what came my way. I found a quiet bench on the down town side of the 72nd Street IRT line, and sat patiently to see what would happen across the tracks, on the uptown side... Later in the afternoon, when it was time to head back home, I spent half an hour sitting on the uptown side of the tracks, waiting to see how people were behaving across the way...

As is often the case, I got a consistent sense of solitude, isolation, wistfulness and even loneliness on the part of the subway riders I was observing; maybe the gloomy weather up above made them all pensive, or maybe that's the way they always are, when alone in the subway. Whatever the reason, there were only one or two cases where I saw people laughing, smiling, or chatting cheerfully with one another.

As with the last subway group that I shot at ISO 6400, there's a little bit of noise/graininess in these images -- but I decided to leave them that way. I did adjust the "hot spots" (areas over-exposed from the fluorescent lighting in the subway station) and "cold spots" (shadows and dark areas), and punched up the color a little bit. But aside from that, this is yet another view of the typical daytime scene on a typical NYC subway line...

Note: this woman certainly doesn't look pregnant; nevertheless, this photo was published as an illustration in an undated (Nov 2009) Squidoo blog titled "SWINE FLU AND PREGNANT WOMEN" It was also published as an illustration in an undated (Nov 2009) blog titled "Women and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome."

Note: this photo was published as #380 on Flickr's "Explore" page on Nov 1, 2009.

Moving into 2010, it was published as an illustration in an undated (Jan 2010) Squidoo blog titled "Difficulty in ovulation." I don't know why anyone would look at this photo and have any thoughts whatsoever about ovulation ... but who am I to say? It was also published in an undated (Jan 2010) The Pregnancy Health blog with the same title as the citation that I used on this Flickr page.

Over the years, I've seen various photos of the NYC subway "scene," usually in black-and-white format. But during a recent class on street photography at the NYC International Center of Photography (ICP), I saw lots and lots of terrific subway shots taken by my fellow classmates ... so I was inspired to start taking a few myself.

So far, I'm taking photos in color; I don't feel any need to make the scene look darker and grimier than it already is. To avoid disruption, and to avoid drawing attention to myself, I'm not using flash shots; but because of the relatively low level of lighting, I'm generally using an ISO setting of 800 or 1600 -- except for my most recent photos with my new Nikon D700, which are all shot at ISO 6400.

I may eventually use a small "pocket" digital camera, but the initial photos have been taken with my somewhat large, bulky Nikon D700 DSLR. If I'm photographing people on the other side of the tracks in a subway station, there's no problem holding up the camera, composing the shot, and taking it in full view of everyone -- indeed, hardly anyone pays attention to what's going on across the tracks, and most people are lost in their own little world, reading a book or listening to music. But if I'm taking photos inside a subway car, I normally set the camera lens to a wide angle (18mm) setting, point it in the general direction of the subject(s), and shoot without framing or composing.

So far it seems to be working ... we'll see how it goes...

Secured Payphones

Full of character. Many thanks to Tom Giebel for this.

Burger King, Richneck Shopping Center, 12913 Jefferson Ave, VA, Newport News

This one is thanks to Ryan H.
A payphone at a Burger King burgers restaurant in Newport News, VA, on 12913 Jefferson Ave, in the Richneck Shopping Center.

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Busingen payphones

Big thanks to Doug Murray for this one.
Video capture of Swiss and German payphones, side-by-side, in the German enclave of Busingen. 2001.

Keitai Killed the Payphone Star

Thanks to Faisal Sultan for this.
Pay phones at the Tokyo Narita airport. This is the very first shot I took upon landing in Japan. I cant wait to go back! In my 2 weeks in Japan - I never saw one person using a pay phone, yet they are everywhere. This is obviously due to the Japanese love for their keitais. So why the payphones continue to exist is a mystery.

+442088033494, Ikea, Edmonton, London

+442088033494, Ikea, Edmonton, London

This is a great one. Set just after the checkouts in this Swedish furniture store. To the right is a hot dog stall. Anyone who knows Ikea will surely buy an Ikea hot as their great value at 49p. So you'll have loads of customers standing around. You've also got a taxi stall that you can see to the left. This private payphone rings nice and loud and it'll get the attention of everyone around.

Wednesday 10 March 2010

+442078376294, Angel Tube Station, City Road, London, EC1V 1NE

Great one to prank. Their is almost always somebody hanging around this set of phones. It's also the station with the longest escalators in the London underground network. The number listed is for the payphone in the middle. Enjoy!

Tuesday 9 March 2010

+442072669032, Booking Hall, Warwick Ave, Underground Station, W9 2PT

Upon passing through this tube station I was approached by a man with a sorry story about loosing his wallet and needing some money to get home. Anyways, I had time to burn and wanted to soak in the atmosphere of this payphone's location so waited. The man asked every person passing on their way back from work this evening. In one of the pictures you'll see the only person that stopped to listen to his story. But she was a tourist and couldn't understand. It took him like 10mins to ex plane. Anyways, she feel for the story and helped him out (good lady). The man went off and returned a few minutes later and carried on with the same. Oh well. Give the box a call you might get him when he's on break.