The five year funding plan for the Metropolitan Transportation Agency has been released, and the unfunded part if a record: $15.2 billion of the $32 billion plan. At a time when the metro region is growing, and we need to get more people off the highways and onto mass transit, we can only hope that the governor will work to get this funded.
Emma Fitzsimmons, In M.T.A. Capital Budget, a Reappearing Cash Gap
The spending plan calls for $22 billion to buy new subway cars and buses and to make improvements to tracks and signals in the system, which serves more than eight million passengers a day. An additional $4.3 billion would pay for new technology like countdown clocks and a more advanced fare payment system. And $5.5 billion would pay for expansions, like the second phase of the Second Avenue subway and the East Side Access project, which is to bring the Long Island Rail Road into Grand Central Terminal. It also includes the first request for financing to bring the Metro-North Railroad’s New Haven line into Pennsylvania Station and to build four new stations on the line in the Bronx, a proposal Mr. Cuomo has expressed support for.
From the construction of a new Tappan Zee Bridge to the rebuilding of the storm-damaged Montague subway tunnel, which connects Brooklyn to Manhattan, the governor has recently focused on transportation and infrastructure issues. But transportation advocates and experts said that Albany would have to do far more if the region’s subways, buses and railroads are to cope with their advancing age and increasing ridership.
Mr. Prendergast said the new capital plan was the start of a campaign to convince riders and state and city leaders that the system needed a lot of money — and a sustainable way to finance its capital needs. The authority has not done enough to show riders how important the system is for the region’s economy, and making that case will be part of the campaign, Mr. [Thomas] Prendergast [chairman of the MTA] said.
Obvious improvements would include a better fare management system for subways, so that people would pay more for longer rides instead of a flat rate to enter the system. I hope the MTA will improve the train lines so that the travel time to NYC would drop. I — for one — would be willing to pay more for a faster ride.
Gwenno James: With An Artist’s Touch.
A few weeks ago I was walking down the end of East Main Street when I realized that I had yet to interview Ms. Gwenno James or even step into her Beacon clothing boutique for a quick hello. This would have to be remedied I thought to myself.
The first thing I noticed when I entered Ms. James store was the vibrancy of the colors of her clothes. Playful woodland greens and deep floral blues seemed to inhabit every usable inch of space within the studio creating, giving the impression of being lost outside, perhaps in a Welsh meadow which Ms. James used to delight in as a child. The entire space just exudes a wonderfully inviting and enticing aura; and the clothes ain’t half bad either. But I digress.
After a lengthy discussion about silk screening Ms. James was gracious enough to let me interview her. The interview follows below.
Return of the Mack: Chade Summerset Talks about his Yellow Room/Cold Winter EP, and the Future of Change Prism.
Over the past few months I have come to know and a love the members of Beacon’s local hip-hop collective, Change Prism. Their music is intangible and deeply moving as it is irreverent and decidedly millennial. In many ways they embody and adeptly employ all the best aspects of modern, production-heavy styles of electronic music. In laymen’s terms: Shit’s good. Real good.
A full stream of the album can be heard for free at this link: https://soundcloud.com/chadesummerset/cold-winter-full-album-stream
To many music fans, myself included, these kinds of projects, and the artists that make them, are a true godsend. These are the types of albums that strike through the heartless banality of modern popular music and touch upon why we love music in the first place. Heartfelt and alluring, haunting and painful at times, Chade Summerset’s Yellow Room/Cold Winter EP, Change Prism’s latest major release is such a project.
The album lingers and lumbers along like a cloud in the blackest hue of midnight, a spiderweb lost somewhere in a dream. Throughout the tracks ambient downtempo piano chords splash into trappy high-hat grunge; juxtaposing and highlighting spacious echoes and cymbal crashes. Occasionally the sound of lazer will resound with deafening crack while other entities mix and beguile the listener deeper into Mr. Summerset’s highly orchestrated trance.
On August 20th I met up with Chade Summerset of Change Prism to talk to him about the feverish pace of the group, their last few performances in NYC, their upcoming projects, and what the future holds for this very talented and dynamic group of young artists.
I slowed my pace here at Beacon Streets in August for a number of proximate causes, but the largest reason is the most prosaic: we are in the midst of — simultaneously — a kitchen renovation at our home and the renovation of a new investment property we’ve acquired, a block away.
The good news is that we actually have access to a kitchen at the South Brett property while the kitchen in our South Cedar home is unusable. So we haven’t been eating take-out every night.
Other reasons for the radio silence include too much work in my primary occupation as a tech analyst/futurist working for Gigaom Research, which is a high class problem to have.
I will be getting back into my normal garrulous writing groove in the next few weeks, once the dust settles on the various renovations.
The Beacon Planning Board is meeting tonight to consider various proposals, including a planned brewery/restaurant at 1 East Main Street, a food truck on the empty lot at the corner of Main St and Schenck next to Ella’s Bellas, and the continued discussion around the 248 Tioronda Ave development.