Last week I shared an interview with a local Lyft driver. A debate in the comments—and on Facebook—about the legality of rideshare services (such as Lyft) immediately ensued. After hearing from both sides of the issue, I’m just as confused as I was before.
On one hand, Lyft has responded to these challenges by saying its service is absolutely not illegal, and that their insurance has drivers and passengers covered. On the other hand, a local insurance agent, Michael Montag has reached out to RochesterSubway.com. He believes Lyft drivers are operating illegally – even if Lyft itself may not be illegal. I’ll post both responses here, and if you’re thinking of driving for Lyft or similar services, do your homework first…
Rochester has long been home to a vibrant and diverse music scene. Original music has always had room to find an audience here, a luxury most cities cannot claim, but we support our own. Even in the pre-punk days local bands like The Invictas , Soul Brothers Six and Duke Jupiter were able to make a name on a national level. But beyond those lucky few lie the stories of dozens of bands who achieved their own form of greatness. With an array of clubs and bars encouraging original voices there has never been a lack of up-and-comers (and should-have-made-its) hitting the stage on any given night.
A little over twenty years ago David Baumgartner, Sean Leahy, Will Veeder and Kris Durso joined those ranks as Muler . During their two decade career, Muler has embodied everything that makes this scene unique. They were just four guys who made loud tuneful rock and roll in the least pretentious way possible…
Have you seen one of these big pink mustaches tooling around town lately? This past April a ridesharing service called Lyft entered the Rochester market. Lyft connects people—via mobile app—who need a ride with drivers in their area. The pink facial hair is sort of the calling card of the Lyft brand.
Recently I got to talking with a local Lyft driver, Fred from Penfield, and he says from his point of view, the service has been a smashing success. “There are about 40 of us in Rochester,” says Fred. “We are similar to Uber and Sidecar, but we are much friendlier and have a much bigger focus on safety.”
Besides the pink moustaches, it’s also common for drivers and passengers to fist pump at the start of each ride. The following is a summary of our conversation about Lyft…
On Facebook last week I shared an old photo of Rochester’s iconic Mercury statue as it was being removed from its original perch atop the Kimball Tobacco Factory in 1951. The factory was demolished to make way for the War Memorial and the statue sat in storage until the Lawyers Cooperative (Aqueduct Building) became his new home in 1973.
Fast forward to June 2011; the 21 foot tall, 700 pound statue gets a thorough inspection for signs of wear and a good restoration. The following photos were taken by Wes Plant during that checkup. And they show Mercury in detail you’ve probably never seen before…
A while back, Chris Clemens called attention to Rochester’s growing collection of Little Free Libraries . Last week Deanna Varble and Ken Braley wrote in to RocSubway and asked me to share a few more they’ve been working on.
I love this grassroots effort to encourage reading. And I’m happy to share these newest additions to the greater Rochester neighborhood…
Welcome back to our three part series on Charlotte. We’ve arrived at part three. This is it, the omega. If you recall, all the way back in part one, we said this part would be broken up into three sections:
1. Residential and Commercial Development;
2. Transportation; and
So without further adieu, let’s jump right in. Ok, one quick disclaimer, Charlotte as a whole is pretty big, too big for one little three part column. With that in mind, I’m cutting off Charlotte at Denise Road, similar to the other parts. Maybe someday I can write an addendum addressing the southern portion of the neighborhood. But enough of that – Onward!
With all of the recent flooding in our area, RocSubway reader Michael Delaney wrote in and suggested, “a great idea for an article would be about the history of flooding in Rochester and the civil engineering that has gone into solving the issue. Beyond the dams, I’ve heard that there are huge storm sewer tunnels underneath the city. It would be very interesting to know more about it.”
Situated at the intersection of the Genesee River and Erie Canal, Rochester’s geography has blessed—or cursed—us with a long long history of great floods. Before the construction of the Mount Morris Dam (1948-1952) records indicate the City of Rochester had experienced severe flooding about every seven years between 1865 and 1950. Talk about a pesky problem.
Digging into all of the engineering marvels that have spared modern Rochesterians from most of these high waters could easily span many pages. And I promise to dedicate future posts on the subject. But for now, I want to show just how bad this problem was by highlighting just one flooding disaster that occurred in late March, 1913…
Dear readers, we interrupt our three part Charlotte series to give you a small morsel of something different before the grand finale. Consider this a palette cleanser, an intermezzo, if you will.
I looked up tired in the dictionary, and found this picture of 34 King Street in the Susan B. Anthony neighborhood. Seeing as the Carriage Factory lofts are being built immediately behind, I think it’s time for a major upgrade here. Allow me to present the all-new 34 King Street…
For ROC Transit Day 2013 we gave away nearly 1,000 transit fare cards and asked Rochesterians to ditch their cars for one day in support of a healthier community. 30 different forward-thinking organizations (and many intrepid individuals) pledged to ride public transit that day.
In part one of our three part Charlotte bonanza, we looked briefly at the history of Charlotte, from its formation in 1792, through its resort years and annexation in the early 20th century. In part two, we’ll look at Charlotte as it is today. Let’s start with the lay of the land. Shown above is the official definition of the city’s neighborhoods. As you know, Charlotte is the one at the top. Zooming in (and switching to Google maps) here’s what we see…
The days are getting longer, and (slowly) the air is getting warmer. Soon enough the sweet scent of Lilac will be in the air. This can only mean one thing… ROC Transit Day will soon be here!
If you drive in your car to work alone each day, you’re probably asking yourself, “Why would I want to ride public transit when I can just drive my Nissan Leaf (or whatever)?”
Well, I could list all the reasons why public transportation is healthier for our earth, healthier for our bodies, and healthier for our community. But that would be boring. Instead, watch this video and hear it straight from the mouths of your fellow Rochesterians…
First, a note from RochesterSubway.com…
A month or so ago, local realtor Rich Tyson submitted an article about Rochester’s active North Winton Village and showed a home-buying opportunity for anyone who might be looking for a great deal in a great city neighborhood.
Some people saw this as a cheap “knock-off” of what the Landmark Society does in the City Newspaper each week. To that I say, so what? This was not intended to be a knock-off. But if that’s how you feel, stop reading. On the other hand, if you’re interested in learning a bit about Rochester’s various neighborhoods and in seeing the full range of what Rochester’s real estate market has to offer, enjoy.
The homes featured by Landmark Society are fantastic architectural specimens. The homes featured by Rich Tyson are not perfect, but they are also great city homes that need good owners. And if you are a real estate agent or a homeowner looking to sell your city home, you are quite welcome to submit an article as well… firstname.lastname@example.org
Ok, enough of that. Let’s check out some other homes for sale. This time in the gorge-ous Maplewood neighborhood…
Urban greengrocers are making a comeback across the country – and in Rochester too! Late last year RocSubway was the first to tell you about a new, locally-owned grocer opening in downtown Rochester. Construction is now underway at Hart’s Local Grocers, a new independent grocery store in the East End. Founder, Glenn Kellogg announced today that Hart’s will open its doors this summer.
A new collaborative art exhibit will open Sunday, May 11, at ARTISANworks . “Rochester (& Other) Landmarks” features the work of local photographer, Jonathan White, and graffiti artist, Antonio “Chico” Garcia.
To the average viewer the work may come across as a bit of a train wreck; seemingly random doodles, awkwardly juxtaposed against a familiar urban landscape. But like any good wreck, once it catches your eye, you’ll find it impossible to look away…
Welcome, readers, to the first of a three part series on Charlotte. This first part will serve as an introduction to the series and a brief history of Charlotte. The second part will be a survey, in the engineering sense, of the current state of Charlotte. It will include the demographics of the neighborhood and the built environment, as they exist today. Finally, the third part will layout a vision for Charlotte that works to harness all of the potential of the neighborhood. This final part will be broken into recommendations for residential and commercial development, transportation, and governance.
The plans described here will be ambitious, but we shouldn’t let ourselves shy away from ambition – as you may know, Charlotte has recently been in the news over some redevelopment plans. While Filling-In believes both plans have virtues, they both have numerous weaknesses as well. Because we are unassociated with any of the plans currently in play, and will believe they are built when we see it, the plans presented here will assume they did not happen, and instead will show a different vision of Charlotte’s future.
Rochester’s beloved Hojack Swing Bridge has been gone for more than a year, but now a new exhibit at the New York Museum of Transportation will honor the history of the former Rochester landmark. The exhibit is a re-creation of the bridge’s control cabin and contains the original steam engine, control devices, and a working model of the bridge…
No, the headline isn’t in reference to the recent controversy surrounding the port development. I wanted to take a look back, at the “good ole days,” when Ontario Beach was known as the Coney Island of central and western New York. Here’s a birds eye of view of all the shiny happy fun… The Dentzel carousel. The L.A. Thompson’s Scenic Railway. The Auditorium (a.k.a. the House of Hilarity). Such good times.
Then I noticed the peculiar site of smoke and flames in the background (click the image for a larger view). Holy smokes! Charlotte is burning! Somebody call 9-1-1!!
Many of you kids will be too young to remember this – thank heavens. But five years ago on this very day, Rochester NY made national headlines when it was slammed by one of the worst food shortages in our nation’s history—possibly the world. That’s right. Popeyes up on Lake Ave ran out of chicken…
Last month we saw some pretty glitzy renderings of the Midtown Tower development with new retail stores included. Today the developer, Buckingham Properties, sent over some new renderings that show a more refined “skin” for the 17-story tower…
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.