CLARENCE PENN: Dali In Cobble Hill

Jazz You Too

Clarence Penn drums, percussion

Chris Potter tenor, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet

Adam Rogers guitar

Ben Street bass

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The 3 Essential Ingredients for Cooking Up Transit That People Want to Ride

Streetsblog USA via California Rail News

Speed. Routes should be direct, instead of cutting labyrinthine paths across a city. Fare payment needs to be fast and easy, via off-board fare collection or tap-and-go entry at every door. Transit can’t get bogged down in traffic, either, so features like dedicated space on the street and priority at traffic lights are needed to keep things moving.
Frequency and Reliability. People won’t ride transit if they can’t depend on it…
Walkability and Accessibility. Transit works best when people can walk to it. That means both concentrating transit in compact, walkable places, and making it easier to walk to transit in places where pedestrian infrastructure is lacking…
On the Dublin buses you can pay your fare with a tap card. Passengers can walk past the farebox next to the driver to tap the card reader and not wait behind cash paying riders to dig out their money.

Public-Private Partnerships Will Not Save U.S. Infrastructure


Streetsblog USA via California Rail News

Although the White House has been talking up private infrastructure investment as a replacement for public funding, a panel of experts told Congress that, even with perfectly executed public-private partnerships, the federal government still needs to provide its own support — especially for projects, like transit lines, that aren’t guaranteed to generate toll revenue for profit-seeking investors.

This morning, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao appeared before the Senate’s Environment and Public Works committee. Chao didn’t reveal much, but she did say that the White House will release a statement of “principles” about infrastructure later this month before handing off an actual infrastructure plan to Congress sometime later this summer.

Whether that’s actually going to happen is anybody’s guess. So far, the administration has given two substantive clues about its infrastructure agenda. One is a budget proposal that guts transit programs. The other is a campaign…

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Perspectives on Life, the Universe and Everything

The sun called the day
Evening shadows getting longer
Dark night just appearing
Gradually opening its clutches
To grab everything around it
Consuming it
Assuming it
Will be swallowed
Agreeable to the hymns
Of solitude
And I miss you
The whole house
dear home
seat right next to me
Your feet right next to me
Playing toe to toe
I want to know
When will you come
When will the sun
Be shining around us
And the dawn will
Be there to greet us

AB 2 January, 2014
Photo AB Dec 2013

20140102-112830 pm.jpg

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How to Rent an Apartment in New York City: Where to Look and What You’ll Need

Mary in Manhattan

Renting an apartment is hard anywhere, but in New York City it’s worse. Guaranteed. Ok maybe not because San Francisco is pretty bad, but NYC is the second worse place to go apartment hunting.

So, you’re moving here. How do you find an apartment? Listen, I’ve been through it all so I’ll let you know what you’re in for, and which apps, websites and other creative means there are to find and get one. Don’t worry though, it’s all worth it. New York City is the best city in the world, and this is its way to weed out the undedicated people!

new york apartments

Apartment hunting websites and apps


Yes. Tried and true, Craigslist. I was looking for a New York City apartment while I was still living in Boston, and this is how I ultimately found my first one. You can search for apartment listings specifically, but what I did…

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High-speed rail in Ontario, finally? Not so fast


This is in response to a blog from May 25

From CBC-CA via California Rail News

The proposed plan is a massive and expensive infrastructure program and politicians have preferred in the past to get elected by promising to expand highways in their ridings, rather than rail routes.

Paul Langan, from an advocacy group called High Speed Rail Canada, told CBC News that a lack of political will is a major reason why high-speed rail has never been built in Ontario.

In his report, Collenette also cites “political willingness to support the huge investment over more than one election cycle” as a factor in limiting high-speed rail development

Calls for high-speed rail in one of Canada’s busiest corridors have been made before and went unanswered. Will it be any different this time?

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An Older Rail “Chicago Bypass”


If you have been following us for a while, we ALWAYS keep talking about a “mythological” Chicago Bypass.

As late as 1964 there was a great one: The Kankakee Belt Route is the nickname for the Illinois Division of the New York Central Railroad, which extended from South Bend, Indiana, through Kankakee, Illinois, and westward to Zearing, Illinois. It was marketed as the “Kankakee Belt” route to connect with western railroads and avoid the congestion of the Chicago area.

Today, the Norfolk Southern operates the Kankakee Belt Route (ex-Conrail, ex-NYC, Kankakee Belt Line). Sections at the east end (to South Bend) and West End (Zearing area) have been removed. The Kankakee Belt Route sees around eight to ten trains daily, from the BNSF (old AT&SF main line) at Streator, Illinois to Norfolk Southern Railway interchanges and facilities in Indiana. It still serves as a Chicago bypass.

It’s gone now…

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