New Yorkers are no stranger to the stress that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on our shoulders. It’s officially been five months since Governor Cuomo enacted the “New York State On Pause” executive order and social distancing guidelines are still in place. As such, many workers are still performing the ins and outs of the daily grind from the comfort — and stress — of their own home.
As we enter the sixth month of quarantine measures, some businesses have allowed employees to reenter the office. Regardless, countless small offices have refused to let their employees bump elbows for the time being. Even though many people have begun to accept the trials and tribulations of remote work, that doesn’t mean that staying focused has become any easier.
Why has it been so hard to stay focused as we continue to work remotely?
Day by day, technology grows. Back in 2016, there were over 3.5 billion internet users. Over just three years, that number has increased to 4.33 billion. Not only is technological growth shown in internet usage, but in vehicles as well. In recent years, more and more consumer electric vehicles have been introduced and developed. With more than two dozen models now commercially available, some 800,000 Americans have made the switch to driving electric. These unique vehicles will supposedly help reduce fossil fuel consumption and curb carbon emissions over time. Keep in mind, if you plan on going off-roading, you’re going to need certain tires. There are four main types of off-road tires: all-terrain, mud-terrain, snow/winter, and sand. However, is this really the case? What are the benefits of driving electric? Like any vehicle choice, electric cars come with a series of pros and cons.
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.
If you spend any amount of time looking at real estate in Rochester, you might discover that there are a non-zero number of vacant properties (although not as many as you might think). Others have noticed too, and a report on them has been written by Monroe County. While some of their solutions are laudable, it seems that access to capital for renovations isn’t there. This is one of the biggest problems, whether it’s for home owners themselves or investors.
Today’s Filling in is just a little bit different than usual. Instead of looking at one building or one site, we’re going to take a look at a whole block. Namely, Main Street from Clinton to St. Paul. If you hadn’t already heard, there is a huge event called The re:Main Social taking place there on October 1st. I hope all of you are able to make it. In the lead up to it, let’s discuss some short to long term visions for the area.
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…
Welcome back, readers! In this edition of Filling In, let’s take another look at Parcel 5. Before we get started, quickly refresh by scouting the last time we discussed this site. I apologize in advance that this article probably isn’t going to cover much more about what I think should be done with the site, rather, what should probably not be done, and why…
Every once in a while we like to share fun stuff from the Rochester Subway mailbag. Here’s an email from a Rochester expatriate now living in New England. John Zicari is keeping tabs on his old home town by following sites like ours, while longing for some of the finer things in life. John writes…
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…
The fate of the largest herd of white white-tailed deer in the world is at stake. But you can do something to help.
Although these deer are not albino, they are extremely rare. Their very presence is a small miracle. The Seneca white deer have thrived for decades within a 10,000-acre fenced former military munitions supply base called the Seneca Army Depot, about an hour-long drive from Rochester, which provided munitions for all U.S. wars between World War II and the first Gulf War…
Let us save a great amount of time and money, for once. If the Rochester City School District school board truly wants a “foot soldier,” as board President Van White stated in a recent City Newspaper article , I strongly encourage the board to select Bill Cala, former superintendent of Fairport Central School District, as Rochester’s next superintendent. As a former Spanish language teacher, whose first student teaching assignment was at East High School, Cala will likely garner the support of parents and the union…
In 1867 Gustav Dentzel founded the Dentzel Carouse Company in Philadelphia, PA. In 1905, Gustav’s “Duchess” menagerie carousel opened at Ontario Beach Park where it has since entertained many generations of Rochesterians.
Recently, a debate has erupted concerning one of the ride’s painted panels; two black children—or more accurately, picaninnies—being harassed by a rooster. Stereotypical depictions of black children such as these were intended to dehumanize blacks and provide entertainment for whites at their expense. There’s no debate here. It is what it is. The question is what do to with the panel…
Some have called for it to be removed or replaced with something different. Others believe it should be preserved – either in place, or in another setting where it can be used to educate future generations about America’s history and the pitfalls of racism and bigotry.
Bill Dentzel is the great-grandson of Gustav Dentzel. In a letter to Rochester’s Preservation Board dated August 4, 2015, Bill suggests that the panel may be moved, but should not be discarded as “garbage”…
For those in the Rochester community who have a hard time understanding why the Dentzel carousel painted picaninny panel disallows African-American families and children from a carefree experience at Ontario Beach Park, I encourage you consider that you are not the butt of the joke…
Howard Nielsen, owner of Sticky Lips BBQ, is currently in the process of renovating the 33,000 square foot building at the corner of Culver and Atlantic. He plans to rebrand the complex into a neighborhood entertainment district called “Photo City Junction” (derived from Rochester’s history in film and camera manufacturing).
Last week Nielsen went to New York City to speak at the NY State Wage Board hearings. He says his concerns for New York State’s proposed minimum wage increase led him to represent business owners like himself. Nielsen sent a copy of his speech from June 15 to RochesterSubway.com. Here it is in its entirety…
Density of people is good for cities. Density of cars is not . More people create more demand for local shops and services, which, in return, attract more people. Businesses seeking talent are attracted as well, and the city benefits from increased sales and property tax revenue and by increased utilization of its existing infrastructure. On the other hand when a lot of people are living in a small area, and all of those people own cars, we run out of places to put them. A winter like this one just makes us feel the pain a little more…
I’ve been writing Filling in Columns for over 2 years now (starting with this one on Exchange Street), and I’ve realized that it’s high time to have a discussion about my vision for the column, what I write, and why I write it…
Protected bike lanes for the full length of Main Street. This was the request from local cycling advocate Harvey Botzman in an email late last week to City officials and other cycling advocates. The east end of Main Street in downtown Rochester is about to undergo a complete reconstruction, but bike lanes aren’t part of the plan. Additionally, the City is working on a plan to improve pedestrian connections and enhance the stretch of East Main Street between the Public Market and Neighborhood Of The Arts.
So with Main Street under the microscope, now is the time for all of us to demand, not ask, for a healthier mix of transportation options and amenities for Main Street. Harvey is leaving no gray area. He’s calling for “protected bike lanes for the full length of Main St. from Winton Rd. to Mt. Read Blvd.” and here’s why…
I just returned from a trip to Strong Memorial Hospital to visit Debbie, a cyclist who was seriously injured and taken by Mercy Flight to Strong after being hit and left to die by a drunk driver near Palmyra last week.
Debbie is recovering satisfactorily, but is badly hurt and clearly in pain. Her nurse says she asks if she will be able to ride a bicycle again. The answer is “yes, but not tomorrow.” She was clearly touched and pleased to have a visitor and to know that we care…
As someone who can’t sit still and loves hanging out with his friends, I’ve found I’m a bit of an anomaly in Rochester, NY. I eat out every night for dinner and I believe in mixing up the locale often. I try not to eat at the same place within 6 months. I will travel anywhere from Spencerport to Henrietta to Victor to Webster and everywhere in between for a great meal. I will eat at the greasiest spoons to the finest in dining that Rochester has to offer, as long as the food is decent. I give every restaurant 3 chances, if they can make it that long. And I try to keep my dollars local, keeping my money in the hands of local entrepreneurs. But sometimes I can’t resist stopping into Chipotle…
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.