Pay Phone Mass Grave Discovered In New York

One Flickr user uncovers the dismal resting place for a once-great technology.

1. The pay phone used to be king. Just look at these long lines!

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2. Now, they’re mostly germ-laden disease booths that dole out free wifi on your unicycle commute to and from work.

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3. It’s gotten so bad that New York City even held a “reinvent pay phones design challenge” to bring the outdated device into the next century…

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4. This weekend, photographer Dave Bledsoe stumbled open this sad spot, where tens, if not hundreds of pay phones have been unceremoniously discarded next to pools of stagnant trash water.

His description:

Underneath the elevated West Side Highway at 135th and 12th Avenue I found this telephone graveyard. At least a one hundred old, battered pay phones were locked behind a fence near the Park’s Department building. I almost took these on my iPhone, but my irony levels are dangerously low these days.

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11. While it’s not hard to imagine some of these guys ending up in fancy new steampunk bar somewhere, for now, they’ll remain a sad monument to our pre-cellphone halcyon years.

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12. Sorry, Adam Levine!

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13. Check out more of Bledsoe’s photos on his excellent Flickr page.

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Charlie Warzel is a senior writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Warzel reports on and writes about the intersection of tech and culture.
Contact Charlie Warzel at

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