Archive for August 24, 2010

Defeat Her on September 14th

August 24, 2010 4 comments

I love it when people who strive to deny rights to others then turn around and claim that they are the victim. It’s a commonly used tactic of the most intolerant in our society. Turn the most powerless and persecuted of our society, the victims, into the one’s we all should fear. Such gross distortions of reality have led people to commit some of the most despicable acts in history.

This woman seems to devote an inordinate amount of her time trying to deny the right of our fellow gay and lesbian citizens to marry. And she goes even further, distorting and hijacking religion to support such bigotry. She should be defeated. Such intolerance is disgraceful, especially in a Democrat.

This blog supports the election of this woman’s opponent, Lynn Nunes, as our State Senator.

NY State Senatorial candidate Lynn Nunes.

Derailed – Part 2

August 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Image via Wikipedia

This is so sad. How anyone can think we have our priorities right as a country with a situation like this is beyond me. When are people going to learn that what’s good for some of us, is good for all of us. We’re all in this together. Maybe those business owners whose employees have not been able to make it to work from this will finally realize that yes, you have to pay into the pool if you want our economy to keeping running. Trains relying on century-old equipment = trains that don’t run = businesses that don’t run. From The NY Times:

The electrical travel chaos on the Long Island Rail Road on Monday offered a frustrating reminder of the fragility of a rail network still dependent on antiquated equipment.

Embedded along the railroad tracks by Jamaica Station, and soaked by rain from the night before, two or more cables shorted out around 11 a.m., the authorities said, sending a pulse of electricity into a nearby train control tower and setting fire to the century-old equipment inside.

It seems improbable that a piece of ancient machinery, a contraption of levers and pulleys designed in 1913, would be critical to the successful operation of one of the nation’s largest commuter railroads.

But the machinery, which remained on fire for about an hour, controls the 155 track switches at a crucial choke point: Jamaica Station, which 10 of the railroad’s 11 branches must travel through to get in and out of New York City.

With no way to direct trains onto their proper routes, railroad workers scrambled onto the tracks, spikes and mallets in hand, to lock the switches into place manually so that trains could travel by, a practice known in railroad parlance as “block and spike.”

Read the entire article here:
Published: August 24, 2010
Delays continued on the Long Island Rail Road Tuesday, and Amtrak suspended service on the Northeast Corridor.


August 24, 2010 Leave a comment

What a transit nightmare! In case you were not aware, trains along New Jersey Transit’s Northeast Corridor line were also put out of commission this morning due to an electrical fire, further adding to the travel woes.

My thinking is it’s amazing these transit system breakdowns don’t happen more often. The same people who shoot down every attempt to find additional sources of sustainable funding for our transit system — remember congestion pricing? — are the first one’s you hear blaming our deteriorating public transit system on the MTA itself.

Yes, I’m sure there is some mismanagement in the MTA. But isn’t there mismanagement to some extent in most organizations?

I’ve always thought the City should take over control of its subways. Why should outsiders have a say in our system? That is crazy. And this photo on the right, of our deteriorating Forest Hills station, is what you get as a result.

But really, you have to fund it to run it.

What Makes Us Unique

August 24, 2010 4 comments

I recently ran across this very interesting article in New York magazine which revealed how the City has been changing over the past couple of decades. We all probably know it already, but it was still interesting to sift through the data in the article about the changing demographics.

Basically, it says that the “white flight” of the 70’s and 80’s, which saw the city’s white population flee the city to the suburbs, has begun to reverse itself. For the first time since those years, whites comprise the majority of the population of Manhattan.

As a child of the suburbs, who moved to Manhattan in my early 20’s, and then out to Brooklyn, and then Queens, my reaction to this is “What took them so long to figure out that the City is a better place to live than the suburbs?” The suburbia where I grew up was a cultural wasteland. The city was just a short LIRR ride away, but it might as well have been a world away. There was so much more to see and do, and so much more energy. The City was alive.  The suburbs, where I grew up anyway, were pretty dead.

What does Manhattan’s changing demographics mean for Forest Hills and our part of Queens? Well, it’s already happening — with Manhattan and other areas of the City already gentrified, more and more people priced out of these areas are looking for the few affordable areas left, and Forest Hills is one of them.

But while Manhattan is now becoming increasingly homogeneous — it’s amazing to think that is possible, but it is — we here in Forest Hills and the rest of Queens have a great, special advantage: our diversity.

As many have been forced out of the Manhattan market because of the high rents, we have begun to benefit. It’s no coincidence that Forest Hills has suddenly begun to see some great new restaurants and shops open in the past couple of years, and with the current trends this will only continue, and yes, I think so even despite the economy. New York City is a unique place and its resurgence continues unabated. Forest Hills is feeling the effects of that.

We are also lucky in another way — there are entire swaths of the area that await redevelopment, or at least improvement. Both sides of Queens Blvd. east towards Kew Gardens is one example. It’s not surprising that one of the best new restaurants to open in the past couple of years, Tuscan Hills, chose a location there to do so. I don’t know for sure, but I would guess the proprietors got a pretty sweet deal. And other fine restaurants have begun to open near it.

As Forest Hills, like Manhattan, continues to change, I only hope we are able to harness the one thing that really makes us special — our diversity. If Manhattan’s fate is to be an urbanized, upper class Disney World, then hopefully we can corner the market on what makes New York City really special: its amazing mix of cultures.

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