Breaking News: Mystery Solved

Commuters and workers who frequent the area around New York City’s 50th Street subway station are relieved that an annoying bell has finally been silenced. It’s been going off, day and night, for almost two weeks. Nobody knew where it was coming from, why it started ringing in the first place, or how to turn it off. The dilemma was compounded by the city’s chronic “SEP” culture. Nobody steps up to do what’s required, simply because that’s “somebody else’s problem.

Annoying bell silenced

On Monday, July 1, the annoying bell finally went silent. The sound had been coming from the stairs to the downtown side of the station for the past two weeks. That isn’t where the earsplitting equipment was.

Nobody knew who it belonged to but it didn’t belong to the city and isn’t part of the subway. It’s been driving everyone nuts, especially workers in the adjacent shops.

Every day, busy New Yorkers complained loudly about the infernal racket but nobody turned it in to anyone. Nothing was done about it at all, until the New York Post wrote a news story about it.

The bell turned out to be some sort of alarm. We still don’t know why it started ringing but gathering clues are starting to fill in the picture of why nobody bothered to turn the obnoxious noise off.

It’s not clear why nobody took responsibility for tracking down the incessantly ringing bell. It could have been police, a city official, or simply a citizen smart enough and motivated enough to start asking questions.

The building’s owner read about the problem in the news. His own investigation quickly revealed that the noise originated in a vacant storefront. A Duane Reade store sitting empty, in the wake of the city’s uncontrolled retail theft. Before he was forced to figure out how to shut it off, the former tenant beat him to it.

The noise originated in a vacant storefront. A Duane Reade store sitting empty, in the wake of the city’s uncontrolled retail theft.

No more noise!

Albert Laboz owns the building adjacent to the subway station. He gave the Post a jingle to let them know he read their story and the problem bell had been fixed. “I was there myself,” he reported. He made sure personally that it was quiet.

He couldn’t give them much information that they didn’t already have. He had “no idea” what in the storefront “had actually caused the ringing, as it was the tenant, Walgreens, which addressed it before he arrived.

Walgreens did, indeed, own the Duane Reade store. They “confirmed the bell was theirs, but remained tight-lipped about its source.” They aren’t saying if it was a burglar alarm, fire alarm or something else entirely.

They did appreciate the news reporters for giving them a call on the phone about it. “Thanks for reaching out to Walgreens communications regarding the alarm at one of our Duane Reade locations. Confirming the alarm has been turned off. No further comments at this time,” a representative told the outlet.

There’s something about the way Walgreens responded which caught the Post’s attention. Their reporters smell another story in there somewhere.

You can bet their newshounds will stay on the scent until they figure it out. “The bell may be gone, but the mystery rings on,” they write.

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