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Ms. Subways

A person in a newspaper
Enid Berkowitz, now in her 80s, was Miss Subways in July 1946.

When I first saw this poster I thought it was a joke. Who the hell has heard of “Ms. Subways” and any type of ceremony to crown her? Apparently now that she’s the face of the MTA she’s going to have signs and even TV spots telling us the exact same things that the PSA signs on the subway already do. Things like being courteous, not slipping on the steps, not holding doors open and the like. Along with her tiara and sash she also gets a year’s worth of MTA transportation. The finalist were a sales exec, an actress, a personal assistant and an NYU med student.

This is the first Ms. Subways in 28 years, and of the 300 different Ms. Subways (spanning 1941-1976) 16 attended the ceremony. Peter Kalikow, chairman of the MTA said “Having the former Miss Subways here shows the love that New Yorkers have for their subway system.” Sorry, but I don’t feel comfortable with people thinking that I can be adequately represented by people such as these.

Ms. Subways submitted her picture on a whim and wrote and essay on how the subway system reflects the city’s diversity.

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