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Dan “Donuts” Delite and the Milkmaid?

February 14th, 2014
Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images | 5 Comments »

An Art-Deco style milkmaid is depicted in the floor of Donuts Delite, Rochester NY. [PHOTO: RochesterSubway.com]
If you’re a true Rochesterian you’ve probably taken many trips to Donuts Delite. And if you’ve sat in the dining room (and looked down past your doughnut-filled belly) you may have noticed a cute little milkmaid hauling her yoke and buckets full of milk across the floor.

I was curious to know how she got there and what her significance was. Of course I know milk is an ingredient in doughnuts, but it just seemed like an odd symbol to be used to represent doughnuts. There must be a story behind it…

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The VERY Tall Tale of Jack & His Beanstalk… Now at the Sibley Building

February 4th, 2014
Posted in Art + Culture, Events, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Video | 3 Comments »

'Balloon Manor: The Very Tall Tale of Jack & His Beanstalk' at the Sibley Building, Rochester, NY. [PHOTO: RochesterSubway.com]
Local balloon artists Larry Moss and Kelly Cheatle are hard at work right now constructing an enormous, 5-story tall beanstalk entirely out of balloons in the atrium of Rochester’s landmark Sibley Building.

Unlike previous haunted “Balloon Manors” you may remember at area shopping malls, admission is completely free for the public to come and enjoy this one. Balloon Manor: The VERY Tall Tale of Jack and his Beanstalk is due to be completed today, and open for viewing thru Sunday, February 9…

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Meet Walter, Rochester’s Accordion Man

January 29th, 2014
Posted in Art + Culture, Interviews, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Video | 10 Comments »

Walter, Rochester's accordion man, performing underneath the Freddie-Sue bridge in Corn Hill as a crowd gathers for the Eddie Money 'Party in the Park' concert [PHOTO: Jeff Gerew, C7Photo.com]
Walter has been a fixture at local sporting events and concerts for decades. Known to most Rochesterians as “The Accordion Man,” Walter plays his squeezebox (and sings) outside most hockey, basketball and lacrosse games… at music events all around the city… and of course, a Redwings game would not be the same without Walter’s rendition of Take Me Out To The Ballgame playing in the background as fans line up at the turnstiles.

In a recent phone conversation with him, Walter told me he’s been playing around Rochester for three decades. He’s missed only one game in the past 15 years. And he’s gone through 83 accordions. His latest one is currently out of commission with broken keys and a worn strap…

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It’s Dead

January 22nd, 2014
Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure | 26 Comments »

Lake Avenue Improvement Project
Sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you with the alarming headline, but the traffic-calming project that was proposed for Lake Avenue (at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery) is dead. I received word yesterday from a friend in Charlotte that Mayor Lovely Warren has ordered City engineers to kill the planned lane reduction. Warren caved in to pressure from Charlotte residents & merchants who feared the lane reduction would cause traffic jams and hurt businesses in Charlotte.

In addition to reconstructing the 1 mile section of Lake Avenue, the plan would have reduced the lanes from four to three – with one lane in each direction plus a center turn lane. Why would the City take away traffic lanes?! Relax, you don’t have to worry about it anymore…

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Rochester’s Lakeshore Drive-in Theatre May Get New Life

January 15th, 2014
Posted in Interviews, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Urban Development, Urban Exploration | 13 Comments »

The marquee sign at the former Lakeshore Drive-in Theatre in Greece, NY. [PHOTO: NewYorkDriveIns.com]
Last month RocSubway Facebook fans brought us rumors of a new grocery store for downtown Rochester (those rumors turned out to be true). Now comes an equally exciting rumor from RocSubway that has also checked out. John Tachin, owner of Mr. Dominic’s restaurant in Charlotte has purchased the former Lakeshore Drive-In site and is considering plans to reopen it as a drive in movie theater…

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RGRTA Digs Up More Buried Treasure: Seven Masonic Stone Carvings

January 9th, 2014
Posted in Art + Culture, Rochester History, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 9 Comments »

A stone from the Masonic Temple that once stood at Clinton Avenue and Mortimer Street. [IMAGE: RGRTA via Democrat & Chronicle]
In 2012 we were surprised to learn that RGRTA had dug up the foundation of the RKO Palace Theater while excavating for the new transit terminal. This week, Jim Memmott reported on some more fantastic treasures external link that were unearthed at the same site. Some time last year seven heavy stones (some weighing a ton) were pulled up from depths of up to 30 feet below street level. Each stone bore a symbol of the Freemasons…

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1964 Rochester Transit Terminal Concept

January 6th, 2014
Posted in Rochester History, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 6 Comments »

A concept by RTC president William Lang for a central transit terminal at Main & Clinton, Rochester NY. [IMAGE: Democrat & Chronicle, January 29, 1967]
Like, WOW! I stumbled upon this concept for an elevated transit terminal in a 1967 D&C article. The drawing shows how Rochester Transit Corporation president William Lang envisioned passengers would wait for their bus – suspended above the intersection of Main & Clinton. This view is looking east toward Clinton Avenue with Sibley’s in the background…

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Tell Senator Robach We Actually WANT Safer Streets…

January 2nd, 2014
Posted in Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure | 19 Comments »

Lake Avenue Improvement Project
Drivers who like to speed their cars down Lake Avenue between Charlotte and the city have found a new enemy in the Lake Avenue Improvement Project external link. The plan aims to reduce automobile speeds to better match the posted speed limit of 35 mph by reducing the number lanes. It would also add safety features for pedestrians, cyclists and transit users. But some drivers in the Charlotte neighborhood say the plan will only serve to cause traffic jams and they’ve called on Senator Joe Robach to block it.

If you are a pedestrian… a cyclist… someone who’s ever walked to a bus stop… or a driver who likes the idea of making our streets safer for everyone, you might want to sign this petition external link in support of the project. And please go ahead and share the link with a few friends.

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ROC City Skatepark Has New Location(s)

December 26th, 2013
Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 8 Comments »

The Roc City Skatepark was planned to be built under the I-490 Freddie-Sue Bridge. [PHOTO: RocCitySkatepark.org]
Roc City Skatepark, originally planned to be built under the interstate 490 Frederick Douglass–Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge, now has a new location… maybe even several new locationS…

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New Grocery Store Rumored for Downtown

December 22nd, 2013
Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 44 Comments »

A new independent grocer may be coming to downtown in 2014. [PHOTO: benchilada, Flickr]
RocSubway was informed over the weekend by two separate and anonymous sources that a new independent grocer may be coming to downtown Rochester in 2014. Admittedly, this may be unsubstantiated and premature. But these sources have been very reliable in the past. And if true, this would be wildly good news for downtown.

And what the hell, this is a blog, not the Associate Press. I think I have the right to circulate some juicy gossip once in a while…

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Rochester Center City Master Plan: Q&A

December 9th, 2013
Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Urban Development | 5 Comments »

Rochester Center City [PHOTO: RocPx.com]
The City of Rochester Bureau of Planning and Zoning is in the process of updating Center City Master Plan. From the City’s website, “The intent is for this document to be a strategic plan [to] help the city measure and celebrate downtown progress, prioritize further research and analysis, prioritize projects, and help secure funding.”

A draft plan can be viewed online external link, and in a series of open houses the City is now gathering public input on that draft. The last open house is this Wednesday evening (details at the end of this story).

I had a chance to catch up with Jason Haremza, senior planner with the City of Rochester, to ask a few questions about the update…

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1920′s Photo of Rochester Subway Construction

December 6th, 2013
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester Subway, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 2 Comments »

Rochester Subway, Broad Street tunnel construction. c.1925. [IMAGE: Rochester Municipal Archives]
Today’s Fun Foto Friday is this 1920′s view of the Erie Canal aqueduct looking east. You’re looking at the covering over the old canal which would soon become Broad Street and the Rochester Subway beneath. In the background (center) is the Osburn House hotel. Eventually Broad Street would be extended eastward, right through that hotel. The stairwell to the City Hall subway station can be seen at the street corner. And next to the stairs, notice the construction site…

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Hide Your Kids, Krampus is Coming to Rochester

December 3rd, 2013
Posted in Art + Culture, Events, Rochester News | 1 Comment »

A FREE community event, 'Breakfast with Krampus' will bring subversive holiday humor to Rochester. [PHOTO: Provided by Eric Rezsnyak]
Are you sick of the crass commercialism of Christmas? Looking to add a little edge to your holiday festivities? Here’s a free event you won’t want to miss. On Saturday, December 7, at MuCCC (142 Atlantic Ave.) snag breakfast with everyone’s favorite holiday demon, Krampus, and help some needy kids at the same time.

Who the hell is Krampus? I’m glad you asked…

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Historic Rochester in 3D Stereoscope

November 25th, 2013
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | 4 Comments »

3D Stereogram of High Falls (c.1885) [PHOTO: Rochester Public Library]
From the 1850′s to the 1930′s stereograms were considered cutting edge home entertainment technology. Two photos taken at the same time from slightly different angles would be view together using a special set of lenses called a stereoscope. The result would be an ever so subtle (yet mind-tingling) simulated 3D view…

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Happy Holidays! Save on Rochester Subway Posters and Framing

November 24th, 2013
Posted in Art + Culture, Rochester Gifts | No Comments »

Get 20% off the Rochester Subway or Rochester Neighborhoods maps, then take it to Black Radish Studio for 25% off a custom framing job! Happy Holidays! [PHOTO: Black Radish Studio]
If you’re camping outside some big box store in the freezing cold waiting to get trampled in an attempt to grab a “Black Friday deal,” here’s something that may just save your life.

Now thru next Saturday, you can take 20% off the 24×36 Rochester Subway Map, 1928 Rochester Subway Map or the Rochester Neighborhoods Map. But wait, there’s more…

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Elusive Memories of Iola, Part 2

November 22nd, 2013
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | 3 Comments »

Children (patients) on the roof of Iola Tuberculosis Sanatorium (c.1939). That's Marilyn Casserino in the center. [PHOTO COURTESY OF: Marilyn Murphree]
Here’s an update to last Friday’s story about Marilyn Casserino, 79. Marilyn is the girl in the dark dress in the center of the photo above. This picture was taken c.1939 on the roof of the Children’s Building at Iola Tuberculosis Sanitorium where Marilyn was a patient, along with her mother Vivian.

Unfortunately, Marilyn’s mom passed away while at the hospital. Marilyn was just 6 at the time. Looking back at those days, she now wishes she could remember more – about her mom, and about this place where they were treated for well over a year.

For starters, she wanted to try and find out who the other girls in the photo were. Would you believe in less than one week we’ve now identified two of those girls…

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