Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, January 30, 2021

A common topic of New Yorker one-upsmanship is the claim of dealing with “the worst elevator in the City” at work and/or home. “Worst” can be open to interpretation, but generally it means that it’s slow, cramped, oft-malfunctioning, or any combination of the aforementioned. It’s a perverse badge of honor to claim, because the complaint is usually accompanied by the boast that the building that houses it is historically old, and therefore desirably distinctive (and probably cheap, rent-wise).

It’s impossible to zero in on the definitively worst lift in the five boroughs. But the antiquated beast at the original Fairway Market on the Upper West Side is probably one of the strongest of contenders, with its claustrophobic 4′ by 6′ interior and underpowered 16-second travel time from first to second floor.

Its lack of speed, in fact, is best characterized on an operatic scale:

[Fred] Plotkin, also an opera consultant who is the author of “Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera,” described the lengthy wait for the elevator as Wagnerian. “It is the Siegfried of elevators,” he said. “A little slow on the uptake. You know, Siegfried is famously dopey.”

When you have to invoke one of the greatest Germanic protagonists of all time to get your point across, I’d say you’ve got the shitty-elevator props pretty well wrapped up. Pipe in “Ride of the Valkyries” to serve as the onboard muzak — make that happen, senior manager Steve Jenkins, to accompany your snarky in-elevator warning sign — and the experience will be complete.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 01/30/2009 01:56:32 PM
Category: Comedy, Creative, Food, New Yorkin'
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