Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Papernet: An Interesting Train Of Thought

Fred Argoff is fascinated with Brooklyn and trains.

I've enjoyed his zine, Brooklyn!, but always wondered about his other niche publication, Watch The Closing Doors. A copy of WTCD has been added to my burgeoning zine collection, issue #51. It's a basic DIY B&W zine, digest sized and saddle stitched, no frills, but more entertaining than most of the slick mainstream titles stuffing the newsstand shelves.

Fred is now employed as a tower operator but in his earlier years he was a conductor for the New York City Transit Authority. The stories he can tell, like a man trying to drop kick his train and the unexpected result.

But he doesn't confine his coverage to just NYC. The issue goes global, photos showing the interior of a modern Warsaw station, ridin' the rails in Bulgaria, and a clever NO SMOKING sign at a Moscow station. Considering that this zine is laserprinted or photocopied, the quality of the photos is good. (Want great photo reproduction? Buy an expensive slick magazine loaded with annoying ads.)

I'm not a "railfan" but I did enjoy this issue because I'm interested in history and architecture, two topics that Fred covers within his study of locomology (Did I just coin a word?). And there are also the "people stories" that Fred shares in the "Things Happen" section.

WTCD #51 also features an article by guest writer Mark Strickert on the first section of the Phoenix, Arizona light rail system. It's good to hear that this mass transit system has been a hit, a large number of riders.

And for someone like me who doesn't own a car, more emphasis on mass transit in this country, especially by rail, is welcome. Watch The Closing Doors might be early at the station as a new age for train travel dawns.

Snail mail a couple of dollars (bills, well hidden) for a sample copy of WTCD to:

Watch The Closing Doors
Fred Argoff, Editor
Penthouse L
1170 Ocean Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11230-4060

1 comment:

X. Dell said...

Interesting. With the amount of time I've spent on NYC subways, I could have written this zine.