Sunday, July 13, 2008

Coney Rides Thrill But Can They Kill?

Walter Reiss, an amusement-safety consultant hired by the New York Post, thinks that several rides are so dangerously unsafe, he'd immediately padlock the fairground owned by Joseph Sitt. In particular, he mentioned the Swingout ride, the Ring of Fire and the Scrambler. Glen Geren who owns these rides says his rides were recently inspected and approved twice by NYC inspectors and once by his insurance company. A spokesman for Sitt claims all of the permits are in place. It's hard to say who's right and who's wrong when there are "experts" on both sides. The question now is, will YOU be daring enough to go on these Coney rides as someone’s “Coney Island Baby” and will you become someone's “Coney Island Body?”

Transit Becoming A Sub-Way To Commute

NYC Transit defines a delayed train as one that’s more than 6 minutes late to its terminal. In April, there were 4,117 officially reported delays. That’s up 44% compared to April 2007. The reasons for delay include 1. Track work 4,117 2. Riders holding doors 918 3. Guard-light trouble 833 4. Unruly passengers 819 5. Fire/smoke 695 6. Signal trouble 600 7. Sick riders 591. It should be noted that ridership is up from last year. Admittedly, the system will never run 100% on time. Nevertheless, service can and should improve. Significant deterioration of New York’s trains means that NYCTA President Howard Roberts has some explaining to do … and not of the fast-talking or passing-the-blame variety either.

Eating Out Is A Bit Healthier – This Year

The Greenwich Village KFC/Taco Bell “rats running around the store” video caused quite a stir last year. In February 2007, the New York Health Department began cracking down on eatery violators. 678 food establishments were closed between February and April 2007. This year during the same period, only 291 were closed; a 57% decrease. At this point, it’s unknown whether it was the restaurant owners or the rats that wised up.

Waterfalls In New York Waters

Whether in February, 2005 you felt that “The Gates (saffron colored fences throughout Central Park designed by Christo and Jean-Claude)” was public art or litter, it was a resounding success with NYC residents, tourists and local business. Encouraged by the money and financial impact of that cultural event, the city unveiled Olafur Eliasson’s, “The New York City Waterfalls” project almost three weeks ago. There are actually four sites varying in height from 90 to 120 feet. They’ll be on display only until October 18th. These waterfalls will likely inspire awe and art appreciation from the masses once again. Being that this is New York City, couldn't arrangements be made to maintain even just one water tower beyond the scheduled closing date? After all, we squeezed the Wall Street Bull into downtown Manhattan. Can’t we make some arrangements for a New York Niagara year-round? It's beautiful enough to consider the thought.

Lofty Hopes For The High Line

Abandoned and elevated railroad tracks stretch 1.5 miles from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street on the west side of Manhattan. Where some looked and saw only urban decay and neglect, others, like the Friends of the High Line, envisioned a park in the sky. What beauty can come from empty train tracks, you say? Well, the High Line park will include lawns, a forest-like canopy of trees, wildflowers, a metal catwalk to permit strolls above and beneath trees and an open-air viewing frame enabling pedestrians on the sidewalk below to see New York’s newest “green” project above. An unique floating oasis in a city of steel and stone. Later this year, the first part of their $170 million dream becomes reality. The balance of the park will be completed in 2009. Judging from the architect’s drawings, this will be a unique and welcome improvement to the neighborhoods beneath it.

West Side Waste Plant Plan Passed

Mayor Bloomberg finally got state approval to build an $80 million trash-transfer facility near Gansevoort Street on the Hudson River in Manhattan. Construction is slated to begin in 2010. The station will process 128,000 tons of metal, paper, plastic and glass for shipment to the recycling plant in Red Hook, Brooklyn. This is the final piece to Bloomberg’s overhaul of New York City’s Solid Waste Management Plan. Mayor Rudy Giuliani initiated the city’s trash mess when he closed the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island. To his credit, Mayor Bloomberg has intelligently dug us out of the garbage around us. City residents can all breathe a bit easier once again.