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Seabreeze Market & Deli, 598 University Avenue, Berkeley, California.

Monday January 30th through Sunday February 5th.

Picture of payphone

The Seabreeze Market is a happenin' deli and market across the street from Eastshore State Park in Berkeley, California. The two phones are next to the espresso nook in the back. They have lots of fresh fish-type selections. It is open from 6am - 7pm Tuesday through Sunday. [more photos] [overhead]. The stickers on the booth are for a band named after Tura Satana [her website] [interview w/Dr. Cliff], called "Tura Satana." They released two albums in 1997-1998 and that's about all the info I've found on them.

Monday, January 30th.

12:15 AM EST Tuesday January 31 (9:15 Mon. PST): Let it rang abot 10 times, wasn't really expecting anyone anyway. At least there was no modem noise.

This is funny because I drove by the Seabreeze at about 8:30pm and thought "Oh, I should just park in front of the phonebooth and read my book some," and then I thought "and the cops would be on me like (snaps fingers) that." Since it's private property and all.

Tuesday, January 31st.

I went on my walk today and parked myself inside the booth for about five minutes to work on a sentence or two of some writing project and Alan called from NASA. He was not floating in space, but hunkered down keeping evil hackers from infiltrating top-seekrit NASA-type computers. He said it's a mix of 50% random hackers and 50% "OH BOY I ARE ATTACKING NASA"-type hackers. Then somehow Dorkbot came up and I mentioned that I would have to whittle myself a wooden laptop if I wanted to infiltrate their top-seekrit society, since I don't have one (this gave me flashbacks to the first cub scout meeting I attended, more on that never). He said there was a chef there who served up cuisine somehow prepared with liquid nitrogen. Then I asked him if he had seen Real Genius since there's a small humorous bit involving liquid nitrogen and he said he'd put it on his list. It was a good call.

Dear Sir(s) or Madam(s)(oiselles):

Love the project. Why, though, do you remove the payphone numbers from the archived phoneswarm pages? I happen to have the two Waikiki numbers, so I can call them at my leisure (I'm ringing one of them right now), but suppose I hadn't noted them down? It seems kind of spoil-sporty. What about people who have only just heard of phoneswarm.com, are browsing around the archives and want to call one of the listed payphones? I understand that you wouldn't post whatever reply we might get--that's fine--but that doesn't seem like a good reason to withhold the number(s) from people.

Really, the biggest reason I started this was to see if it could be some sort of low-rent substitute for the Mojave Phone Booth which was a barrel of laughs until it caught the eye of Big Government and was removed. I'm not saying that any of the payphones in the archive would be removed, I'm just trying to maximize transitory happiness here. Trying to find the line in the middle of the road where no one gets pissed off, no one complains. I've already tossed out phone numbers that I can't use because they've been answered by people working nearby who are clearly ticked off that the phone is ringing (one particular phone at a gas station in Yosemite comes to mind). I don't want that for any phone. I don't want to draw any more attention to phones that have already had their week in the sun, though I'll probably "re-run" a few of them. Which is another reason why I don't list the numbers -- blow someone's gasket about a phone ringing "too much," and if they make the right call, suddenly that phone doesn't accept incoming calls anymore. Burned out.

Wednesday, February 1st.

calling from the wilds of kalamazoo, excellent concept! hopefully this little box will contain more than- "I tried the number a few times the evening of february first, will be trying whenever the need for a truly random connection strikes me, as has been known to happen." alas, i did come to this site somewhat late in the evening, shall try during the hours of daylight... and i had my snappy opening line all worked out too!
finite jester

Kalamazoo. Huh.

Thursday, February 2nd.

Tried the booth at 5:55 EST, so I'm assuming the place nearby is still open. No answer. Gonna try again in a while.

-Meagunn H.

Friday, February 3rd.

This excerpt from an L.A. Times article written during the Mojave Phone Booth "heyday" came up in conversation with Doc today:

"It's the get-a-life factor," said UCLA sociologist Warren TenHouten. "Some people just have nothing to do, so they pursue shreds of information that have no value. It amuses me, but there's something pitiful about it too. I mean, what's the most interesting thing that could happen by being so mischievous as to call a public pay phone? "Someone answers, a person you have absolutely no connection with. You exchange names and talk about the weather. What a thrill."
This reminds me of a similar sentiment about zine publishers spoken by another sociologist. Sociologists aren't very social.

tried calling again this evening, and after about seven rings it seemed as though someone picked up and then hung back up, i got inordinantly excited and tried right back but it just rang and rang... oh well... i'll try again tomorrow.

finite jester

Saturday, February 4th.

People assume that other people will judge them in the same way that they judge other people. So if someone thinks that people who call random people on the telephone are lame, they assume that everyone else will think the same of them if they think that they call random people on the telephone. So whenever the topic comes up, they feel they must make their disapproval obvious.

That's how you tell the nice people from the mean people. Look for the ones who aren't afraid to let you know how weird they are. They're the ones who aren't spending every moment trying to find a reason not to like you.

I think that calling people at random is a great use of one's time. Assuming, of course, that you have nothing better to do. I wish I had long distance service. In absense of that, I wish more people would send in their reports. Especially with MP3s. That one that came with an MP3 was absolutely awesome.

Well, everyone's probably got something better to do, but it's such a small investment to make, you could do it during commercial break when you're watching Tele-Butties or whatever. But yeah, it's always strange when someone goes out of their way to try to take you down, especially with something as rinky-dink as this phenomenon. But I just remembered something -- I spoke to someone years ago who was randomly calling my friend's phone number because she was some sort of dating service telemarketer. I answered the phone. We ended up talking for about five hours, and we had a nice long-distance friendship over the phone and email for several years (we were going to meet up somewhere, but it never came to pass). She also ended up working for NASA in some capacity. That's not exactly a payphone story, but it's close enough. In your fucking face, TenHouten.

Also, as far as long-distance service goes, if you have a cable modem, take a look at Vonage, $15 a month. I use Vonage, but I do not get a "cut" if you follow that link.

Sunday, February 5th.

I tried the phone at 6:40 kansas time. No one answered. It kept ringing like 20 times and then I gave up.

Thursday, February 9th.

Your site fills me with delicious wiggly spasms of connectivity joy. I have linked to you in a variety of semi-exciting places. At the moment I have laryngitis otherwise I would call and talk to someone. Sigh.

Simone

After calling on the 9th of February, no one picked up after about 2 minutes. My dreams have forever been crushed :P

Tuesday, February 14th.

did you fall asleep and forget to update ?

OMG ... update your site once in a while at least

Are you letting phoneswarm die? Just a question noting the disparity of date on-site and actual date.

Also - called, let it ring a half dozen times, no one answered.

I've been busy.

Friday, February 17th.

About 8 p.m. eastern time on Feb. 17, 2006, called from cell phone in Avon Park, Florida. It rang about 20 times. Then someone picked up and said hello. It sounded like a man. I chickened out and hung up.

8:36 EST (5:36 PST) No answer. Get out there, people!