To be honest, I really struggled with the title of this piece. If you could see me dance every time I say the words, “I feel the earth move under my feet” you would probably laugh out loud (like everybody else in our office does when they see me). But I gotta tell you, “Two Turntables but No Microphone” didn’t sound quite right.
Okay, let me tell you what I’m talking about. Yesterday, I was walking down Broad Street after visiting our cool new coworking facility, Hive at 55, and I saw this couple walking down Broad in the other direction. All of a sudden, the woman’s mouth dropped open, she hit her husband in the arm, and yelled, “Yamoh canna twilili cantig jubsta!”
Well, to be honest, I have no idea what she said, but it was absolutely in a language other than Hebrew, English or Spanish. When I turned around to see what she was flabbergasted by, I saw the turntable at Broad Street, rotating back into position. If you’ve seen it already, then you know what I’m talking about. If not, let me explain.
At Broad Street, south of the Stock Exchange, and on Wall Street east of Nassau, there are turntables. These are almost like records built into the ground that can turn (though they don’t play music and no one that I know of has scratched on them). There are two turntables at each location. Each turntable has five bollards blocking vehicles from passing through. Each bollard has a series of lights on them that turn from red (please stop your car) to green (you may proceed) after the turntable spins to move the bollards to the side.
However — and here’s the confusing part for most people — only one turntable moves at a time. Instead of the vehicle getting on the turntable, the vehicle passes the first turntable and then is essentially trapped in between the two turntables until security can check it. The primary purpose is, obviously, for security, but it is has also greatly improved the aesthetics of the area. No more large pick-up trucks blocking the street.
I think what really freaked this lady out was that they did a really good job of making the turntables seem like a part of Broad Street. The reason it has made a big difference in the look and feel of the Wall Street/New York Stock Exchange area is because the turntables were covered with cobblestones to match the décor of the rest of Broad Street. And now with all of the work on building a replica of the old canal right through Broad Street (have you seen the different color cobblestones and stone tablet explanations?), the Broad Street Pedestrian promenade is finally a sight to behold.