Gondola plans pushing forward in Albany, New York


Detailed ridership, economic impact assessment being prepared.

Just over a year after the concept was first floated to wide publicity, backers are quietly planning construction of an aerial gondola over the Hudson River between the Rensselaer Amtrak station and downtown Albany.

“We have continued our work on the project, developing plans, meeting with stakeholders and raising private investment capital,” said Peter Melewski, project manager for the proposed Capital District Gondola and national director of strategic planning for McLaren Engineering Group of West Nyack, Rockland County.

A detailed ridership and economic impact assessment for the project is being prepared, he said. In addition to providing a scenic option for people arriving at the Rensselaer Amtrak station on business, a feasibility study completed last November concluded an aerial tram would have significant tourism potential. More information is expected after Labor Day, he said.

“The gondola, combined with other visitor attractions, will enhance…

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DAVE DOUGLAS » Dark Territory

Jazz You Too

Dave Douglas – trumpet
Shigeto – electronics
Jonathan Maron – bass
Mark Guiliana – drums

 The title was suggested by the writer Fred Kaplan, whose new book Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War, talks about the similarly mysterious, murky waters of underground activity. In a way, we’re playing through a similar territory without rules where the dangers and challenges of technology are much greater than normal.

Dave Douglas

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CVS Move Into Former Upper East Side Grocery Store Space


The Upper East Side will be getting another CVS pharmacy, as the retailer reportedly signed a lease to occupy space formerly home to a grocery store on the corner of East 86th Street and Second Avenue.

CVS plans to open a 15,649-square-foot location on the ground floor of the Yorkshire Towers building by the first quarter of 201, a CVS spokeswoman told Patch. The retail space was most recently home to a Food Emporium

The pharmacy company finalized a 15-year lease to rent the space, Commercial Observer first reported. One of the landlord’s representatives told Commercial Observer that CVS was eager to rent the space due to its proximity to the Second Avenue Subway.

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Restoring Gulf Coast Passenger service and current Atlantic Coast Florida service


Commentary by Anthony Lee and Photos by the author

The Florida state capitol city, Tallahassee, has not seen Amtrak train service since 2005, but the train station remains ready for train and/or bus passengers. It is located near the capitol building and the university

Upgrading the Current Gulf Coast service 

After reviewing the Gulf Commission’s report, some growth things should have been considered, or were not mentioned or discussed:

1)  New thruway bus services and/or extending Amtrak’s Sunset Limited to Miami and the Palmetto to Jacksonville or Miami.

2)  Adding Thruway bus service on the former Floridian route from Nashville (1.8 million),  Birmingham (1.1 million),  Dothan, (68,000), and Montgomery, (200,000) in Alabama, and Valdosta (56,000), Georgia.  The new Amtrak/Greyhound station in Birmingham could be used to connect with the Sunset Ltd at Tallahassee.

3)  Add Thruway buses connecting Jacksonville,FL (1.6 million) and Atlanta,GA (5.7 million) with  the Silver Service at Jacksonville,FL, using…

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Do Subway Problems Go Back To Robert Moses?


New Yorkers now use a transit system in a state of emergency. The past few months have laid bare the enormity of the problems currently facing the century-old subways, from aging infrastructure to a lack of federal dollars available to help make things better.

Much has also been said about how the world’s largest public transportation system has gotten so bad—the lack of funding, of course, but also Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s penchant for prioritizing flashy projects over system maintenance, along with years of mismanagement within the MTA, an agency that’s admitted to misspent funding that doesn’t go toward maintenance.

But start looking at the decline of, and disinvestment in, New York’s rail lines—from the subway to commuter rails like the Long Island Rail Road—and you’ll find that those problems go back much, much further. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, they seem to lead to one man in particular: Robert Moses.

I have…

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Intermission Story (10) – George Watson

Pacific Paratrooper

George Watson

During the course of a war gallant actions are not bound by race, nationality, or cause. Wherever men fight, some will distinguish themselves from the others. In WWII, when the Allies were engaged in battle against the Axis powers it could be assumed that on both sides men were heroes.

In the case of George Watson, it was his race that limited him from achieving his country’s highest military honor. When his ship was sunk by enemy bombers he assisted several of his wounded comrades to reach life rafts. However, it would be over 50 years before the story of George Watson finally received its due honor and its rightful place in military history.

George Watson was born in 1915 Birmingham, Alabama.  Apart from his birth, little is known about his early life. He attended school in Colorado and graduated in 1942. Like many men that year, Watson then accepted the call…

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Jazz You Too

Marcus Strickland is one of my favourite saxophone players – his tone, pace and inspiration are exciting.

(Do you see yourself then as a storyteller like Coltrane in terms of having a message behind the music?)

I don’t think of myself in comparison to Coltrane but yes, I think of myself as a griot too. But I think we’ve lost the storytelling aspect and have institutionalised music to the point where people are just talking about the notes. Like okay, here’s a B-flat scale and you’ve got all the notes in the scale and you just learn it and cool, now you’re playing music. But no, there’s so much more to it than that – much more, and it comes from living and also comes from being able to express yourself and how you’re feeling. The more ability that you have on the instrument the more you can express yourself…

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