Trainspotter 0 Posted February 27, 2008 Share #1 Posted February 27, 2008 Trash-Talking From the D.C. Metro? By Jennifer 8. Lee NY Times February 26, 2008 [float=right] Jennifer 8. Lee/The New York Times In this ad on a Metrorail train in Washington, what other city’s subway system do you think is being blindly referenced?[/float]This City Room reporter was riding on the Metrorail system in Washington this week when she spotted a poster with a large rat glaring down on her, with the ominous headline, “You gonna eat that?” This text followed: “Unlike some subway systems (which will remain nameless), you don’t see rats the size of house cats roaming the Metro. Why not? Because we are so strict about eating and drinking in the system. So help us keep the critters away. Please don’t eat or drink on the Metro.” A subway system that shall remain nameless? Rats the size of house cats? Was the New York subway system the victim of a Page Six-style blind item? Admittedly New York certainly has its rats. We have rats at City Hall. We have rats in our fast-food restaurants. We have rats frying in our car engines. We even take pride in sharing legends of roaches as big as kiwi fruit and rats as large as dogs. But this is something New Yorkers see as our own business, our own perverse pride. It’s a little out of form for another city to needle another about our rats. We certainly temper our remarks about Washington’s pathetic nightlife (O.K., after a couple of years in Washington earlier this decade, we can’t resist poking fun once in a while). Also, we certainly don’t have rats as large as house cats, as our urban rodentologist can attest to, given the species or rats (unless they are very small house cats). Government agencies should not be spreading false rumors. So City Room called up the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and asked: What exactly were you trying to say about New York? “It was not meant to as a disrespect as a New York City transit property,” said Steven Taubenkibel, an agency spokesman. “It’s not directed at New York; it can be any other transit system. It doesn’t make reference to any other transit property at all.” He explained, “The idea behind the ad is to simply raise awareness of our passengers of what the laws are — that it is illegal to eat or drink in the Metro rail system.” Those rules have been in place for 42 years, he said, which is why, he added, that the Washington Metro has been rat-free. “That is why the ad was done,” he he said, “in a way to remind people to not leave food behind because they will be staring at rats in the future.” City Room will say, sure, Washington’s system may be rat-free, but its subway map also has all the sophistication of Fisher Price. It doesn’t run 24/7. And it does not have subway-riding pigeons, either. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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