I am enjoying immensely the reruns of "Welcome Back, Kotter", running in syndication and on an odd, seemingly religious/family values channel, called the Good Life Network. My Windows Media Center PC is recording these reruns in the wee hours for me.
On a recent episode, in a scene in the schoolyard, I noticed that even though the 1970s set was wildly fake-looking, one of its attempts at NYC public schoolyard graffiti was rather realistic: "B.M.T. Sheiks." For those who don't know, BMT is one of three disused names for divisions of the NYC Subway system. The BMT lines were once run by the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation, a private concern whose holdings were eventually taken over by the agency that is now the NY State government authority called the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. I don't know if the Sheiks actually existed, but the BMT Lines did (and do) serve the neighborhood where the show's Buchanan High School is seemingly located.
The B.M.T. Sheiks "tag" reminds me of a strange Manhattan public access cable show in the 80s called the "Crank Call Show." The show basically consisted of private school teenagers calling in, saying something stupid, giggling, and then hanging up. There was one guy who kept calling in saying his name was Muhammad, and that he sold incense on the D Train and the (Times Square - Grand Central) Shuttle. That was funny, because there really was such a person who really did that.
Why did I put this posting into the Tech Industry category? Because it turns out that Steve Lasker, a member of the VB Team and a former RD, grew up here in NYC and worked on the crew of the Crank Call Show. I was in stitches when he told me this a few weeks ago, and he was impressed that I even knew what the Crank Call Show was.
I never in a million years would imagine that my VB world would collide with my NYC 80s public access TV show/subway riding world. I guess Times Square really is the crossroads of the world.