1.9.2023 – instagrammable

moments lacking are listed
don’t we need to pee?

Ginia Bellafante, writing in the New York Times (Must We Gentrify the Rest Stop?) about the changes at rest stops on the New York State Thruway stated:

Five years ago, the New York State Thruway Authority conducted a survey of more than 2,600 drivers to take measure of the customer experience at the service areas lining the 570 miles of road that make up one of the largest toll highways in the country, stretching from the edge of the Bronx up past Buffalo. Whether participants were traveling for work or for pleasure, they had needs that apparently were going unfulfilled.

The resulting report listed as chief takeaways that leisure travelers complained about unappealing interiors and the lack of “Instagrammable moments.”

Instagrammable moments?

Instagrammable moments!

When I was studying history back in college, I was taught over and over, in lectures, in statements, in LOUD RED LETTERS WRITTEN on term papers, to AVOID A SENSE OF PRESENT MINDEDNESS.

What was an instagrammable moment 10 years ago?

What will be an instagrammable moment be ten years from now.

Since the beginning of time people traveling from point A to point B have hoped for a clean, well lighted place to answer a call to nature.

And if it wasn’t too much trouble, maybe a decent cup of coffee and a bun or a biscuit or a doughnut maybe.

Why do these two things do not figure in as the chief takeaway on a survey of customer experience of service areas?

As Ms. Bellafante writes: In a society so casually stratified that major airlines now offer five classes of service and airport security lines can be bypassed for an annual fee, rest stops remain one of the few spaces in modern life that can be generally counted on to level us. 

As my Dad would have put it, “Everybody has to pee.”

That won’t change but if it comes it to that, spare me anything instagrammable that captures that moment.

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