Wednesday, August 29, 2007

E. 29th Street, August 2007


The strangest thing happened Saturday morning when I went downstairs to get my newspaper.

Every day, the paper carrier just plops the paper down on the front steps outside the building. It gets stolen occasionally, but usually it’s there when I go down for it about 6:30 or 7 a.m.

On this particular day, a whole STACK of newspapers was waiting for me. The carrier, for whatever reason, dropped all the papers for my entire block on my doorstep - about 20 of them, including Sunday sections, magazines and inserts. It was not a small stack!

Why this happened, I have no idea. But since I work for a newspaper - and since fewer and fewer people still get home delivery, opting instead for the Internet or no paper at all - I decided to deliver them myself. Must keep those readers happy!

Here’s what I learned. The Catholic church across the street gets the Times and the Post. The apartment building two doors down gets a whole bunch of papers, mostly multiple copies of the Times and the Wall Street Journal. My building gets only one: mine. The Times is delivered on my block far more than any other paper.

An interesting sociological study of news delivery on East 29th Street!

7 comments:

  1. Also interesting is that you took on the job of newspaper delivery person. So you've now worked at many levels in the newspaper biz.

    it's a romantic job, newspaper delivery. I always hear the music coming from the car of our delivery person who comes so very early, maybe 4 or 5 a.m. I think about all the delivery boys in old black and white movies, shouting, "EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT!" The next shot is the front cover of the paper with a huge headline. Then the paper starts spinning. You know those scenes?

    Actually I'm sure the job is not at all romantic, but the idea of the job is. How cool that you delivered papers! I salute you!!

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  2. that's a great photo.

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  3. what's interesting is that there is only one carrier for all the papers instead of one for each. kids and paper routes have all but been replaced by men in vans. paperboy was one of the best video games ever!

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  4. The Sneed children were all paper carriers, beginning with our oldest son who delivered on his bike. When our two dailies decided to consolidate routes and demand that they be delivered via automobile, the three Sneed teens combined to make it a family business. They each earned about $400 per month for their effort.

    Unfortunately there were many times when old Dad was pressed into emergency duty. Being a paper carrier is a demanding job and there are no days off. It is easy to see why carriers sometimes look for shortcuts.

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  5. I really like that photo as well.

    I used to LOVE spending a lazy Sunday morning reading the NYT or one of the other biggies - but somehow it has seemed less appealing in recent years - far too many advertisements, too. The news is so depressing. 80% of it is bad. Though, I still love a good travel section.

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  6. Thanks for the compliments on the photo. We have some funky '80s mirrors in our building lobby that throw those vertical reflections. They're kind of tacky mirrors but the effect is nice!

    Yeah, the job of paper delivery has definitely changed. No more kids on bikes! I think they're basically contract workers who work for a distribution firm that handles all the papers - hence, the variety in my stack!

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  7. you are funny
    ;0p

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