Three ghosts of old New Yorkers haunt the Port Authority bus terminal. You can find these walking anachronisms lurking in the back by the Red & Tan ticket windows and the desultory Book Corner where Kindle-less travelers pick up the latest Danielle Steels and John Grishams.
The Commuters, by George Segal
These ghosts, with their shabby slacks and jackets, with their heavy bags and heavy bodies, look nothing like today's New Yorkers. They hail from an earlier time, a time without cell phones or iPods. A time when people walked and watched where they were going simultaneously.
Their shoes are miserable. Their shoulder bags are miserable. All in all, they look rather depressed.
Unable to write texts or talk on the phone to their friends, they bear the heavy burden of actual thought. It is 1982 in this frozen scene. There is much to think about.
Ronald Reagan's recession is in full bloom. A frightening disease called AIDS has just been named. And the New York Times reports that "by the end of this century electronic information technology will have transformed American home, business, manufacturing, school, family and political life... a vision, at once appealing and threatening, of a style of life defined and controlled by videotex terminals throughout the house."
Pondering a life completely controlled by videotex terminals, the ghosts wonder "What will become of us?" as they step heavily through the bus station portal into a future nothingness.