Those electronic, nine-foot phalluses protruding from sidewalks all over the Lower East Side are poised to get a makeover with yesteryear New York.
The LinkNYC kiosks, where free phone charging and access to various city services and maps (and at one time, porn) are at locals’ fingertips, are embarking on a walk down memory lane. The city has teamed up with the Department of Records and Information Services to display neighborhood-specific archived images on their massive screens for passersby to enjoy. In some cases, the pictures may be from the same block where the kiosk is installed. An ironic juxtaposition, to say the least.
“LinkNYC now allows you to travel back in time with localized historic photos, bringing the Department of Records and Information Services’ rich digital collections to the streets for everyone to enjoy,” Jen Hensley, the general manager of LinkNYC, said in a statement. “We hope New Yorkers and visitors alike will delight in seeing snapshots of New York City history and feel more connected to the city.”
As previously noted, the LinkNYC program was officially announced last year as public-private partnership between CityBridge and NYC. Each kiosk comes equipped with “the fastest public” free Wi-Fi signal, free domestic phone capability, two USB charging ports, and annoying digital displays. Customers can also use the touchscreen to look up directions and find out about other city services; web browsing was disabled due to the extended use (i.e. porn).
The city plans to install 4,550 hot-spots by July 2019. According to the agreement with CityBridge, that number will allegedly increase to 7,500 across the Five Boroughs by 2023.