Time for Wasting Time: Fascinating Niche Escalator Podcast

We have our own podcast, sure, but it’s just us reading the daily news, newscaster style — a simple way for vertical-transportation buffs to keep up with the latest news by simply logging on to our site and plugging in their earphones. Apparently, there are other vertical-transportation-specific podcasts out there that get a little more jiggy with it. Your author found out about one such such podcast through The Guardian, in a piece titled, “A show about escalators, a show about cows: what’s your favourite extremely niche podcast?” Guardian writers described Australia’s Lindsey Green’s “People Movers” podcast about escalators as an “absolute joy,” with a “well-defined sense of sound design and humor throughout.” Your author visited Green’s podcast website, and was very impressed by the segment titles and photos, such as this one of Green at the Central–Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system in Hong Kong — the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world — which has been featured in ELEVATOR WORLD. We are looking forward to actually listening to Green’s podcast, but fear it will be a tremendous — but fun and informative — time waster.

Green’s joy from riding Hong Kong’s Central-Mid-Levels escalator system in Hong Kong — the longest in the world — is apparent.

“You Need to Get Down Here!”

Old postcard touting The Detroit; via Fox 13 News

“You need to get down here! Don’t tear that out!” Those are the words Pete Mortellano of Tampa-St. Petersburg-based G&M Contracting heard over the phone when G&M employees were working to incorporate a restaurant into The Detroit, an 1890s hotel-turned-condominium building, Fox 13 News reports. What the person on the phone was referring to was a fancy antique elevator, with an ornate green cab trimmed in gold, along with all its mechanisms. In addition to the dazzling cab, also entombed in the walls were an electric motor, transfer case, spool, cabling and a hand-wired, hand-numbered switching panel. The system was made by The Warner Elevator Mfg. Co., and was in use when John F. Kennedy campaigned in Tampa-St. Pete in 1959. Fox newscaster Lloyd Sowers said the owners of the new restaurant plan to preserve the elevator, which “even though it hasn’t moved in decades, is now the express elevator to a different age.”

TBT: Of Elevators, the 80s, a Legendary Watch and a Legendary Hip Hop Band

In looking through my Google alerts for blog material, I noticed a “Coffee Talk Wednesdays” segment by an Oklahoma City FOX news team in which the three hosts revealed their choices — Stevie Wonder, (comic actress) Mindy Kaling and (comic actor) Will Ferrell — for who they would like to be stuck in an elevator with, and went on to conduct an audience poll. My work and, at times, personal life has brought me face to face with a few famous people. One such encounter took place in a hotel elevator in New Orleans in 1987. While the elevator was not “stuck” (it was simply traveling from floor to floor), it gave a just-out-of-high school goth/Madonna wannabe a chance to attempt to strike up a conversation with the celebrity in the elevator with me: Joseph Simmons, aka Run, Rev. Run and DJ Run of the groundbreaking hip hop band Run DMC. Noticing we sported the same “X” Swatch watch, I said, “Hey, nice watch!” To which, Rev. Run replied, “……” In other words, silence. He just stared deeply into the wall. Oh, well. He could probably tell from my attire I wasn’t exactly a hip hop fan.

(l-r) Jason Mizzell, Darry McDaniels and Joseph Simmons in an early Run DMC publicity photo

I have since learned that the “X” Swatch in question went on to be embraced by the “straight edge” punk movement that eschews alcohol and drugs. That wasn’t why I was wearing it — I simply liked the letter and the Los Angeles band, X. Anyway, original “X” Swatches became legendary and some have even sold on sites like eBay for hundreds, or even a thousand, dollars. No — I have no idea what happened to mine.

The legendary “X” Swatch, circa 1987
“Hey, nice watch!” Your author around the time of the incident