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.
Lots of stories about Grand Central Station have been flying around the internet these past few weeks. The station first opened its doors on Feb. 2, 1913. And no matter how grand it may be, 100 years is nothing to take lightly. Especially considering how many “grand” stations have fallen to the wrecking ball before. In 1968, the New York City’s Landmarks Commission denied a developer permission to demolish much of the upper level concourse and the Vanderbilt Room. A 55-story tower was planned to take its place. That Landmark Commission was formed in 1965 after the demolition of Penn Station – which was equally as beautiful. The photo above was taken just after the morning rush hour, on January 9, 1968…
Every so often I like to post true tales of subway heroism… A boy who lived in the NYC subway system… A drunk woman pulled out of the way of an oncoming train in the Boston “T”… No pants subway riders… uh… hem hem.
Anyway, here comes the story of one woman who truly deserves to be called an underground super hero…
9/11 destroyed the lives of thousands of innocent people and had a profound impact on countless others. But 9/11 didn’t end on that September morning ten years ago.
RochesterSubway.com’s home page went dark today — honoring the people who lost their lives that morning. Also listed are the thousands of coalition causalities from the Iraq and Afghanstan wars.
Not listed are the families, husbands, wives, and children who have been left behind. Not listed are the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghani civilian casualties or their families. Not listed are the people who will be lost tomorrow or the next day; on the battle field, or in acts of terror.
We will never forget 9/11. And we continue to wait for 9/12.
This recent ad on the NYC Subway caught my attention. I grew up riding the L.I.R.R. between Manhattan and my home town of Valley Stream on the south shore. Far Rockaway is the eastern terminus of my line, and where I suspect many LIRR and Subway riders over the years have found themselves after a little in-transit catnap. So to me, this McDonald’s ad is pretty funny. Residents of Far Rockaway didn’t see the humor and demanded that the ad be pulled. Mickey D’s gave in. I still find the ad funny.
Hey, is it just me, or does anyone else think there are far too many McDonald’s ads on mass transit? I’ll have to do a post on that.
The latest subway performance making the rounds actually has a tech-angle. A band known as Atomic Tom recently staged an “impromptu” show on the B train, but played one of their songs using only iPhones. The video was uploaded to YouTube and has since logged more than 633K views.
One of the wonderful things about living in New York City for an artist is having the opportunity to share your work with any number of people at a moment’s notice. No matter the time of day, whether you’re in the park, strolling along the sidewalk or traveling via mass transit, there’s always someone around, always a captive audience…
The West Village artist behind these subway etiquette signs, Jason Shelowitz (aka jayshells ), is being embraced by the masses for his good deed/public art project. He’s created around 400 of the posters, all calling out straphanger’s on their unsavory underground habits. So far only 50 are up, and the NY Post notes that he used double-sided tape that won’t leave a mess once the sign is removed (he is the etiquette artist after all!).
Yet another reason to bring back the Rochester Subway… We’re missing out on No Pants Day! Hundreds of New Yorkers stripped down to their skivvies on Sunday for the ninth annual No Pants Subway Ride. The event, organized by a Guerilla group called Improv Everywhere, has grown from 7 or 8 people riding the NY Subway in 2002 to over 3,000 people taking part in 44 cities and 16 countries around the world.
Until now I’ve tried to keep the subway stories I post limited to those out of the abandoned Rochester Subway. But recently there have been a rash of great stories from the underground I’ve just had to share. There was the drunken lady who fell onto the tracks in the Boston Subway. Then the unfortunate murder on the “D” train in Manhattan. And here’s another one. We’ve all heard stories of people living in New York’s subway tunnels. And you might immediately conjure up an image in your head of what such a person would look like. But how about a mild mannered 13 year old boy? Watch the video…
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.