1993 Calling

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

A new project from the New Museum and Droga5 has re-purposed New York City payphones to share stories from 20 years ago. Pick up a phone, call 1-855-FOR-1993, and you'll hear a story about that block in '93. And if you're in TriBeCa, Inwood, or the Upper West Side, you'll hear Brian's voice!

David Droga, founding partner of the ad agency Droga5, which designed the project, and Karen Wong, deputy director of the New Museum, talk about the payphones and the related New Museum exhibit on 1993.

Morning Listener Project

  1. Visit the map of payphones and find one near your home or work
  2. Around 11:35 Wednesday, go outside to the nearest payphone (don't worry, you can tell your boss it's important)
  3. Dial 1-855-FOR-1993 and listen to the story
  4. From your cell phone, call in to the Brian Lehrer Show at 212-433-9692 and tell us what you heard
  5. Bonus points if you snap a picture of the phone and tweet it to us, or hold the cell phone up to the payphone to play it on the air!

Comments [15]

Joanne from Edison, New Jersey

Boy, what a lot of gripers! I think it sounds like a fantastic project - coming in from the burbs tomorrow and will try any phone booth I see!

Apr. 05 2013 04:57 PM
Frownland Cherish from Queens

Do you mean 1893? The last I checked, Brooklyn and Queens were also in NYC.

Apr. 03 2013 10:08 PM

I picked up a phone in Hell's Kitchen just yesterday, and there was a tape recording from Orwell himself informing that in twenty years New York would see a public park called THE HIGHLINE, a Stepford-like elevated park with no diversity; Times Square would be a suburban mall; and a billionaire mayor would vocally support dark-skinned New Yorkers being stopped and frisked.

Apr. 03 2013 08:57 PM
J.R. McGrail from United States

Congrats. Someone almost certainly died when you hogged the publicphone system of Manhattan for this stunt and a 911 call was delayed.

Apr. 03 2013 12:24 PM
Trixie from East Village

I'm in the East Village and tried to cheat and call from my iPhone, but I didn't get away with it and the voice of the Tour Guide on the other end told me to get outside and find a payphone, but I can't because I'm working! There's a payphone right downstairs on the northeast corner of 12th & A but I haven't seen anybody using it yet.

Apr. 03 2013 11:56 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Called from my work phone. Got a message that started with 1993 reflections but then told me to call from a pay phone. Clever.

Apr. 03 2013 11:55 AM
citizenbob from mnhattan

Do this only work with verizon payphones? I've struck out so far....

Apr. 03 2013 11:54 AM

why 1993?

Apr. 03 2013 11:52 AM
Robert from NYC

This giggling and referring to these phones as "fossils" is really dumb. I see people using the street phones all the time. They're still there and they are used regularly. NYC is the global capital of the world?! LOL More NYC narcissism and it's always laughable. Provincial NYC.

Apr. 03 2013 11:52 AM
Mike D from Hell's Kitchen

My payphone didn't work, which really brought back memories of 1993.

Apr. 03 2013 11:45 AM
Lloyd from Manhattan

Just called from a pay phone in Murray Hill. The spiel was about the Lower East Side -- a pretty broad net being cast here. But not much has changed here in Murray Hill in the last 20 years, but a lot of change on the LES which has gentrified.

Apr. 03 2013 11:41 AM
Stephen from East Village

Sounds like an interesting enough idea, but since it seems that almost every phone booth in my area has also been converted into a public urinal I don't think I'll be participating.

Apr. 03 2013 11:37 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

Sure, why not. Not like I have anything better to do, like WORK or anything. :)

Apr. 03 2013 11:09 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

My problem with this project is that unsuspecting tourists who actually need to use a phone will try one of these booths and not be able to connect with anyone. What a cruel prank to play.

Apr. 03 2013 11:08 AM
Robert from NYC

Sounds like fun but I was living here in 1993 and I know what it was like... a lot better. Can I do it from my home phone?

Apr. 03 2013 11:08 AM

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