Many of you have noticed our extended hiatus and have begun asking if this is the end for RocSubway. I didn’t think it would be necessary to say anything about it. But for those of you who had followed this blog like religion for so long, you deserve some closure.
A little while ago I lost my job and decided to start my own web design business instead of going back to work for someone else. That was the best decision I ever made for myself. But it also means I now work pretty much nonstop with little time for anything else. What extra time I do have, I put into growing Reconnect Rochester . Reconnect is a nonprofit organization doing amazing work to change the way transportation is viewed in Monroe County. It’s something I’m very proud of. And it began with a seed planted right here.
So I’m not going away, really. I just won’t be posting much here for the foreseeable future. In the meantime you’re welcome to join me over at Reconnect . Or perhaps I’ll run into you somewhere else, helping to make our community better in your own way.
Before I sign off, I want to say thank you.
I’ve gained much more from every RocSubway reader I’ve met (virtually and in person) than what I’ve given on these pages. Always remember there are important lessons for the future buried deep within our past. Everywhere you look in this city—behind every wall and within every person—you will find a beautiful story. We’ve only scraped the surface.
On a recent trip to New York City (my previous home) I came across a poem in the subway by former U.S. Poet Laureate, Billy Collins. I cannot think of better words to close with…
As you fly swiftly underground
with a song in your ears
or lost in the maze of a book,
remember the ones who descended here
into the mire of bedrock
to bore a hole through this granite,
to clear a passage for you
where there was only darkness and stone.
Remember as you come up into the light.
Gilbert Hunt was a trolley and bus operator for Rochester Transit Corporation (the predecessor organization of RTS) from 1907 to 1948. When Gilbert retired in 1948 the Democrat & Chronicle published a story about him and his impressive collection of Rochester transit passes which he amassed over his long career. That collection is now up for grabs…
As some of you may have heard, bike share is coming to Rochester. I’ve considered writing about it all sorts of ways. I thought about mentioning how many other cities have it. Or how safe it is. Or even the specific plans for Rochester (warning: PDF). As you may have already guessed, I’m not about to do any of that. Instead, I’d like to discuss what bike share has meant for me over the past decade, and what it might mean for you too.
I don’t know of anyone in the world who loves parking—except maybe Lorraine Baines—but that’s not exactly the kind of parking I’m talking about here…
I’m talking about the hassle of cruising up and down the rows of a Wegmans parking lot, trying to squeeze in next to the hummer who decided he needed an extra couple of spaces, fighting the nine other drivers who won’t even entertain the thought of walking an extra twenty feet to pay $5 for a bottle of water.
When Andrea Chervenak received a letter earlier this year from the Town of Irondequoit notifying her that a sidewalk was being proposed for her street, she was thrilled. Unfortunately for Andrea, her neighbors’ front lawns are more important than her children’s safety. To hammer this nonsensical point home, some people even made lawn signs…
RG&E’s Beebee power plant was one of the most formidable structures in Rochester. For half a century, this cluster of buildings covered an 8 acre site along the floor of the High Falls gorge – climbing up the west rock wall and looming hundreds of feet in the air over Platt Street and the neighborhood below…
Do me a favor. If you’re at home, step outside for a moment and take a good, long look at your driveway and garage (Don’t worry, the Internet will still be here when you get back). If you don’t have a driveway or garage, step outside and catch me a Charmander!
Did you do it? Did you stare intently at your driveway/garage situation? Great! Now, think about it for a moment and answer honestly: Does your car have a bigger bedroom than you do? Seriously. What percentage of the space that you own/rent/occupy is dedicated solely to vehicular storage? Your car isn’t paying rent. Why does it get the biggest room in the house?!
What else could you do with that space the garage sits on? A jam space for your band? Art studio? Game room? Greenhouse? The possibilities are many…
The Rochester Subway stopped passenger service on June 30, 1956. To mark the 60th anniversary of the subway’s closing the New York Museum of Transportation will host a two-day weekend event filled with talks, trolley rides, demonstrations of the Subway’s fully restored “Casey Jones” speeder, food, and vendors…
This fully restored vintage Greyhound bus appeared in the movie Race, the recent film about Jesse Owens’ fight to compete in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games where he won four gold medals. The bus will be open for visitors and tales from the restoration and filming of the bus will be told next Sunday at The New York Museum of Transportation…
There’s no real reason for this post. I was going through old family photos this weekend and stumbled upon these ones from a boat tour around Manhattan island my wife and I took in 2004. By complete coincidence we sailed directly in front of the infamous Spirit of Ontario I (a.k.a. Fast Ferry) on her maiden voyage to Rochester…
When the world’s first elevated highway was completed in 1936 along Manhattan’s west side, the New York Times marveled that “the gleaming new concrete ribbon” would let drivers travel from lower Manhattan “nearly to Poughkeepsie without having to stop for a traffic light or slow up for an intersection.” Legendary city planner and master highway builder, Robert Moses promised the new highway would “eliminate” traffic jams on the city’s west side…
Letchworth Bridge in southern Letchworth State Park celebrates its 141st birthday this year (built 1875) and will be replaced by a new steel arch bridge about 75 feet to the south. The new bridge will take approximately 3 years to complete. During that time efforts will be made to turn the original bridge into a pedestrian walkway similar to the hugely successful Poughkeepsie NY bridge crossing the Hudson River and gorge—now a New York State Park…
Last week Justin Schmidt sent us this incredible old illustration of Rochester Savings Bank. Justin writes, “I thought you would enjoy this; in my collection of Rochester ephemera, I came across this page in The American Architect (Sept. 20, 1928 issue) that shows the ‘complete’ design for the old Rochester Savings and Loan building. I never knew it was incomplete!”
Every so often we’re contacted by a lucky homeowner who discovers a neat little historical treasure hidden away in their basement or roof rafters – usually an old book or a subway token. Then there’s Bill Schmidt. When Bill purchased his home on Lake View Park this summer, he became the lucky owner of an old bell tower from the long-demolished School #7 in northwest Rochester…
I am SUPER excited to be working with the volunteers at Reconnect Rochester to organize Rochester’s first ever Street Films event at The Little Theatre on November 19. If you follow this blog, you clearly have a passion for Rochester and the infrastructure that makes our city run. And I think you’ll enjoy the thought-provoking film clips and live discussion that will take place at this event. Don’t wait to reserve your seat. Here are the details…
After the Erie Canal was rerouted south of downtown Rochester, the Rochester
Industrial & Rapid Transit Railway (the subway) was built in
its place as a link between the five different railroads and interurban trolley
lines that served the Rochester area. As the industrial landscape of Rochester
changed, and highways replaced the railroads, the Rochester subway gradually
became a relic of a bygone era. In 1956 the subway was abandoned and much of
its route was converted into Interstate 490 built to connect Rochester
with the New York State Thruway (I-90). Read more about the history of the Rochester Subway.
RochesterSubway.com exists to help spark
public dialogue around how we can better connect the neighborhoods of Rochester
NY, surrounding communities, and their cultural offerings. Rochesters
future is written in her past. Let's rediscover it.