December 28, 2010

Mayor Bloomberg's Block Doesn't have Snow!

The image to the left - Mike Bloomberg's block

The image to the left - a block in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

Image courtesy of Sheepshead Bites. I like their attitude.

In Staten Island, the street in front of the Sanitation Commissioner's house is in great shape The rest of Staten Island, not so much. ( NY Daily News )

NYC, its mayor, and its Sanitation Department have performed horribly over the past few days. This has been a collapse of management, and there are reports of large numbers of Sanitation Dept employees calling in " sick "

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A bunch of good Bay Ridge snow pictures here in Bay Ridge Journal. ( click photos to enlarge )

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More good pictures here at Bay Ridge Talk

December 27, 2010

Snow Day In Bay Ridge

Man walking up 68th Street towards Fourth Avenue, 1030 this morning

This reminds me of the major snowstorm in 1996. A storm that wasn’t noticed by most snuck up on us on a Sunday evening into the night, enveloping the Northeast in a massive blanket of white.

In 1996, I was visiting family in Mountain Top, PA. I didn’t have a car then, and took the bus back into Manhattan from Wilkes Barre PA. We barely made it in to Gotham City, as the snow got heavier and heavier along the route. Our excellent bus driver was able to barely make it into the Bus Terminal, passing stranded cars all along the way.

Once there it was cake. The underground portions of the subway system were running great, and I made it home without any problem.

This weekend, I was in suburban Philadelphia, again with family. Though I have a car now, I decided not to take it, and went down by mass transit instead ( Boltbus down, Septa / NJ Transit trains back )

There was no sizable snow on the way home yesterday – the serious snow came upon upon us later in the evening. But there was vicious winds and whiteout conditions at times, which made me happy that I wasn’t driving anywhere.

Overnight, heavy soft snow everywhere, with big drifts of over two feet in many places. There are cars stranded on many sidestreets.

But all night long, I heard the rumble of the R subway line. While major snowstorms wreck havoc on the outdoor train lines, this entirely underground line remains unaffected by any snow condition. Its a great service for us.

Stranded vehicle in the middle of 68th Street, just east of Fourth Avenue

December 15, 2010

Take the N or R Train to All NYC Airports!

I've passed through the Jay Street Metrotech ( formerly Lawrence Street ) connection a few times. Its easy as pie.

It now makes it easy for Bay Ridge / Sunset Park / other Brooklyn residents to take the subway to JFK Airport. But there are surprisingly easy mass transit options to each of the three area airports. Here's how you do it.

To JFK Airport
  • Take Manhattan bound R train to Jay Street / Metrotech. Take the escalator by the second car.
  • Transfer to the Far Rockaway or Rockaway Park bound A train to Howard Beach / JFK station. ( second or third car )
  • Take the JFK Airtrain ( $5 fare, paid with MetroCard ) right to your terminal.
To LaGuardia Airport
  • Take N train through Manhattan and into Astoria. Get off at Astoria Boulevard and take the stairs by the second or third car
  • Follow the sign to LaGuardia bound M60 bus and take the bus to your terminal. Free transfer with MetroCard.
N/M60 to LaGuardia not recommended if you have heavy luggage as the bus gets crowded.

To Newark Airport
  • Take R train to Cortlandt Street. Exit by the front of the train
  • Walk 2-3 blocks to the PATH train. Use your MetroCard to pay $1.75 fare. Take PATH to last stop at Newark Penn Station.
  • Walk down " Westbound trains " ramp. Using the NJ Transit ticket machine on the platform, use debit / credit card or cash to buy NJ Transit ticket to Newark Airport Station ( $8.25 each way ) . Take the next westbound NJ Transit train that will stop at " EWR ". ( Some, not all Northeast Corridor or North Jersey Coast Line trains stop at EWR - ask the conductor to make sure you are on the right train ) Hold on to your ticket
  • Exit at Newark Airport station. Take the escalator up to the gate where you use your ticket to pass to the Newark Airtrain.
  • Take Airtrain to your terminal
I travel, and have taken the train to the airports many times.

I personally find the N/M60 route to LaGuardia the easiest, since the trains and buses run frequently at all hours. The R /A/ Airtrain to JFK may now be just as easy. The connection to Newark is slower and more involved, and is not recommended at past the night rush hour when there can be long gaps between NJT trains. But when the stars are right it works fine- especially during rush hour, when cars run slow.

Save a few bucks, and give 'em a try. Your next trip to Honolulu or London begins with the N or R train!

December 08, 2010

R Train to Have New Lawrence St Connection this Friday at 1pm

NY1 reports that the new direct tunnel connection between Lawrence St ( R train ) and Jay St / Borough Hall ( A, C, F trains ) will open Friday, Dec 10.

This will allow free transfers between the stations. Each station will be renamed " Jay Street Metrotech " ( since they will henceforth be a single station )

This will be a handy connection for Bay Ridge commuters heading to destinations on on Eighth Avenue or near the South St Seaport ( A, C) or to the lower East Side or Sixth Avenue, or 63rd St / East Side( F )

There of course has always been a connection with the F at Ninth St, but this connection will involve far fewer stairs.

I will try to take a photo of the new connection this Friday.


Friday reportage from NY Daily News

Photos from Gothamist