My buddies Chris Clemens and Luke Myer (from the Burned Over District blog) recently shared these photos with me. Chris and Luke were on their way to Sodus on an unrelated exploration trip when they recalled stories of a nearby abandoned Girl Scout camp and decided to stop and check it out [map ].
Luke says his mother camped here when she was a little girl. In fact, many Girl Scouts earned a badge or two here over its 60+ year history. This was camp Beech-Wood and the following is an excerpt from NYfalls.com about its history…
Within the last year I have written a great deal about cities and the historic buildings they should be obligated to see maintained. Many cities cannot, will not, or do not want to penalize or fine the industrial and commercial property owners who fail to maintain the buildings within their care. Often what happens is that these neglected buildings are then demolished because they are supposedly beyond repair or structurally unsound.
It should be noted that buildings are rarely too far gone, even when roofs are missing and the “elements” have begun to reek havoc, and that often these very buildings are “structurally sound.”
“Double Jeopardy” wasn’t invented by Alex Trebek. It’s actually a procedural defense in our system of justice that forbids a defendant from being tried more than once for the same (or similar) charges. Unfortunately this rule doesn’t seem to apply with historic preservation in Rochester. Because the very same owner of this historic church at 660 West Main Street will, for a second time, ask the Zoning Board for permission to demolish the structure to make way for a discount store.
Dawn Noto is president of the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association. She was concerned about the demolition plans in March of 2013 when the Zoning Board blocked them the first time. This time Dawn says the conditions are no different and the City should be working with the owner on a plan to rehab the church building instead of entertaining his plan for a second time…
You may recall last year when Otto Vondrak told us the story of how the sole survivor of the Rochester subway fleet, Car 60, found its way home to Rochester. Since 1998 the car has been at the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum awaiting restoration. To be perfectly honest, most of the volunteers who were involved in its return to Rochester passed on, putting restoration efforts on the back burner. But now, finally, this Sunday the museum will kick off a fundraising (and awareness building) campaign to restore Rochester Subway Car 60 for the public to enjoy once again…
I have a soft spot in my heart for Juan & Maria Contreras. Their family has been serving up the tastiest (and friendliest) Spanish-American food at the Public Market for almost as long as I myself have been a Rochesterian. Their homemade empanadas have earned their place alongside the Garbage Plate and the Zwiegle’s white hot. Over 1,000 empanadas have been known to fly out of this little food stand on any given day at the market, but no matter how busy they are, Juan always has time to greet each customer with a warm, “How are YOU my friend?”
Now our friends need our help. Their daughter, Carolina (33) has been locked in a battle against a rare and deadly form of cancer known as Clear Cell Sarcoma. This Sunday at the Rochester Public Market the Contreras family will host a garage sale to help raise money for Carolina’s fight for life…
You’ve read about it. You’ve heard plenty of commentary about it. And if you’re like me, you still have plenty of questions about the Port of Rochester development. This past weekend Greg Weykamp, owner of Edgewater Resources, LLC spent an hour with me on site to answer my questions on everything from the design of the marina & proposed development, accessibility, marketability, and parking/traffic concerns.
In this six-part video series, Weykamp addresses many of the concerns expressed by Charlotte neighbors over the past few months. No doubt there will still be more questions as the project enters the design phase. But his willingness to spend time with me (and my two kids who are dancing around in the background) showed me that this may not be the monster some people have made him out to be . But you can watch for yourself, and please let me know what you think…
Reconnect Rochester is a non-profit organization I founded a few years ago to advocate for transportation alternatives in Rochester. We work for pedestrian-friendly streets, and we push for improved public transportation. These things are important to me because I’ve seen firsthand what happens to places that focus too much attention on providing spaces for automobiles, and not enough on spaces for people.
If you don’t quite get what I’m talking about, you can listen to me blabber on . But if you’re already with me, please make plans to leave your car at home this Thursday; a day we’re calling “ROC Transit Day”…
A year ago RochesterSubway.com took you UP inside Rush Rhees Library at the University of Rochester. The views from that tower are spectacular – but it’s the 6,668 pounds of bronze bells inside that are truly awe inspiring.
The bells are actually part of a massive musical instrument called a Carillon. And now, if you’ve got experience playing a keyboard, you may have a shot to go to the top of Rush Rhees and play the carillon yourself. Doris Aman of the University of Rochester Carillon Society sent in the following one-time offer…
A $500 CASH prize is up for grabs in The Great ROC Transit Day Treasure Hunt!
On June 19, FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS (U.S.) will be hiding somewhere in Rochester. The first person (or team of people) to find it will take all. There’s just one catch… no cars allowed. To claim this jackpot you’ll need to use the bus system, walk or bike. Get your first clue now at www.ROCtransitday.com .
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…
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.