Planes Trains & Automobiles
One of the more unusual sides of the city’s response to Superstorm Sandy has been the ingenuity of the transportation and planning wonks that help us get around this giant metropolis. It is not only the speed with which the MTA recovered, but also what it and the city’s Department of Transportation did in between. Creating bus bridges to replace flooded subways, launching new ferry lines, creating special subway shuttles.
Today, Mayor Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced yet another innovation, a second ferry for Staten Island. The Rockaways already has one, and now the city is looking for an operator to serve the hardest-hit sections of Staten Island’s south shore. With widespread destruction, many locals’ lives have been interrupted, forcing them to leave behind their homes and cars. The new ferry service is seen as a lifeline between Great Kills and Manhattan, for those struggling to get to work and beyond.
Hurricane Sandy has been something of a catastrophe for New Yorkers, but opportunistic celebrities (who, like, totally LOVE charity) have been popping up all over the state to get involved with the relief efforts. It would appear that other causes are very much out this season now that superstorm victims are in, so take a Read More
Among the thousands of images taken of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction, showing mangled houses and weeping children, photographs of floating family albums and framed memories lost to the storm have been particularly poignant.
For these families, there is no way to rebuild a photograph of a baby’s first step, a great-grandfather’s smile, a son’s lost tooth Read More
According to a volunteer helping to distribute resources to victims of Hurricane Sandy last Friday, Drita D’Avanzo of VH1′s reality show Mob Wives, and her camera crew made a surprise appearance at a place where volunteers were distributing supplies to victims of Hurricane Sandy on Staten Island. According to a volunteer with the relief effort who spoke to The Observer, her arrival was “not well received.”
“So she walked up and volunteers thought it was another news crew filming people helping out. ” the volunteer said, providing a photo of the occasion. “But then a boom mike lurked over our heads. Notice in the picture everyone turning their backs on her and walking away. She was not well received and was able to clear a hot coffee stand on a cold day in 2 seconds.”
One of the few bright spots to Hurricane Sandy, besides a new found appreciation for a subway system we too often loathe, is that crime is down, and according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, there have been no homicides since the storm hit the city Monday night.
“We’ve had no murders for three days,” Commissioner Kelly told reporters today inside the portico of City Hall, following the mayor’s afternoon press briefing. ”And we’ve also had a reduction in domestic violence.”
Mayor Bloomberg has gotten his fair share of criticism for deciding to go ahead with the annual New York City Marathon, given the devastation throughout the city following Hurricane Sandy, including not far from the starting line in Staten Island. But the mayor is sticking to his previous promise to have the race run, to send a message of New York’s recovery and to help buoy an economy that has been battered by the storm.
“As Rudy Giuliani said to me this morning, he said, ‘You know, right after 9/11 people said the same thing,’” Mayor Bloomberg said. Being Mike Bloomberg, he then launched into an economic defense for his decision. “New York has to show that we’re here, we are going to recover, and that while we help people we can still help companies that need the business, still generate the tax base so that we have the resources to help people. We can give people something to cheer about in what’s been a very dismal week for some people.”
Steve Stanulis was about ready to wrap production on his independent feature Long Shot Louie; the last day of shooting was set for last Monday.
His final scenes were set to be filmed on the boardwalk at Staten Island’s Midland Beach.
For New Yorkers interested in getting closer, but not too close to Staten Island, the Museum of the City of New York and the Working Harbor Committee is hosting a boat tour to compliment the museum’s current exhibit: “From Farm to City: Staten Island 1661-2012.″
The tour, which circumnavigates the Island, will look at the past, present and future of the waterfront and its relationship to the city’s marine history. It also provides a nice chance for New Yorkers keen to learn more about the forgotten borough, but wary of setting foot on Staten Island soil (or the nautically inclined).
Rich Marin is big. For more than three decades, he dominated Wall Street, creating some of the industry’s most exotic investments, making billions for his clients, and millions for himself. One of his minions blew a hole in the side of Bankers Trust, a firm Mr. Marin helped transform into a derivatives powerhouse, and still he held on for the ride, becoming the youngest managing director ever at the bank. It all came crashing down five years ago, when the hedge funds he oversaw at Bear Stearns imploded. The rest of the world followed within the year. But there was Mr. Marin, standing amid the wreckage, helping rescue an overzealous Israeli diamond magnate who had plowed $3 billion into prime U.S. real estate just as the frothing market froze over. He rescued the firm, only to be unceremoniously fired two years to the day after he joined.
Now Rich Marin wants to build the world’s largest ferris wheel—in Staten Island, naturally—and the mayor just gave him his blessing.
Did we mention he is big? At the announcement of the project last Thursday, Mr. Marin absolutely dwarfed Mayor Bloomberg and Senator Chuck Schumer, along with the other dignitaries gathered at the ferry terminal. But despite his imposing size—he stands 6-foot-5 and is built like an offensive lineman—Mr. Marin is probably one of the gentlest people on the Street. Were he a real bear, rather than having worked for one, Mr. Marin would be not a grizzly but a teddy. This may help explain his turbulent career.
Finally, a reason for tourists to get off the Staten Island Ferry after taking their free site-seeing cruise. Today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg will travel to St. George to finalized plans to construct the world’s largest ferris wheel at the northern tip of Richmond County. The oversized amusement is part of a larger hotel and retail complex to be developed by BFC Partners, a local real estate concern.
Mayor Bloomberg touted the new ferris wheel as yet another investment by his administration in the North Shore of Staten Island.