Better ask Santa for a cellphone cuz 35 cents won’t get you squat

Once I noticed this dead police callbox over on 11th and H, NW, I started keeping my eyes out for others. So far the only other one I have seen is on 8th and I, SE, but I am sure there’s more. The light no longer lights to draw attention to itself, there’s no phone to use to call for help inside its door. There’s not even a back to the thing anymore – you can see right through it. It’s an artifact from the days before coin-operated payphones were ubiquitous.

Well, maybe we should start bringing them back. I was prattling annoyingly waxing poetic about the callboxes of yore, my girlfriend interjected with her recent experience at Lucky Strike. Her cellphone battery was dead, so she asked the bartender where the payphone was. “Somewhere out there,” she was told. No payphone on the premises.

I’m going to start looking for disabled payphones now, I think. And keeping my cell charged.

4 Comments so far

  1. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on December 21st, 2005 @ 8:36 pm

    There was one downtown by my office at 13th and F, but I can’t remember if it’s still there or not.

    Also, some of the payphones at Dulles are oddly marked as “Display Only

  2. Jenn L (unregistered) on December 21st, 2005 @ 9:02 pm

    I think at some point they were going to use these for a “Main Street” project, with little tableaux of the neighborhood inside. They are pretty old…

  3. Drew (unregistered) on December 21st, 2005 @ 10:09 pm

    Actually, the photo is an old Fire Box. The police boxes were blue. Most, if not all of them are out of commission now. There are projects underway in many DC neighborhoods to restore them and create art out of them. Mt. Pleasant, Dupont and Kalorama are among those neighborhoods who have already undertaken this effort.


  4. Victoria (unregistered) on December 22nd, 2005 @ 7:11 pm

    I remember when I moved here a couple of years ago – I had given up my expensive cell phone contract in LA and hadn’t picked up something new here – I’d been here a week and was interviewing. I couldn’t find the office I was looking for and NOT A PAYPHONE TO BE SEEN! I couldn’t believe it. Not one store would let me use the phone, and I was an hour late for my interview. Since then, I have not seen a payphone anywhere – except maybe the Metro. And, surprisingly, I didn’t get the job.

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