Recently in The Uptown Backwater

"Bustling Gardens" Launches Website

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After more than fifteen years in existence, Hudson Heights, and The Hudson Heights Owners Coalition, will now be sharing their territory with another owners coalition in the sub-section of Washington Heights.

The Uptown Current was sent a press release yesterday by Jusky Ding, who is the Co-op Board President of 753 West 178th Street, and the co-founder of newly formed, 5-building strong, Bustling Gardens Owners Coalition. Ding is "thrilled to announce the formation of the coalition," and says it took "nearly a year of planning." 

The new website can be viewed here

Ding, also of the "Friends of the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal" group, is a regular and outspoken member of the community at the monthly CB12 Traffic & Transportation Committee meetings, and said in a phone call that the coalition would attract "prospective home owners who understand that they are separate from the rest of Hudson Heights."

"These blocks are unique," insists Ding, "and we are hoping people will see that." Fifty years ago, before the Trans-Manhattan Expressway was built, "this area looked just like the rest of Hudson Heights, but now we have a bus station and no one can argue that the station and I-95 don't set us apart." 

In the conversation with Ding, concerns that the owners coalition could be trying to separate itself from Hudson Heights, were raised. 

The Uptown Current called a representative of the Hudson Heights Owners Coalition, who wished to remain anonymous, "[this] is just their way of trying to disassociate themselves from Hudson Heights. It's like what we did with Washington Heights." 

Elaborating, the source said, "It was the 90s! Back then we had real reasons to not want to be associated with our associations."

And the trend may be continuing. 16 Pinehurst Avenue is apparently starting a movement to rename the 4th-6th floors in their apartment building as 'The Bustling-Hudson-Washington Shareholders Association.'" Apparently the group is aiming to market apartments with better light than others within their cooperative as being of higher value, compared to apartments on lower floors. 

None of the shareholders could be reached for comment, though apparently owners on the third floor are arguing with shareholders on the upper floors about being considered for inclusion in the coalition. 

With a push mentioned on their website to have recognize the area as "Busting Gardens," Hudson Heights' sub-map of Washington Heights could soon see a sub-map of its own. 

"Vote For Me (Because I'm Latino)"

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YouTube user ArtForStrangers put together this video in response to ads by Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat (and his press conference with David Dinkins last week) and other local candidates vying for various seats in Albany. The YouTube description for the video reads:

Since our local politicians, like Espaillat, his co-hort Dinkins, and custom Merengue song-wielding Gabriela Rosa (and wanna-be politicians, etc) have been not-so-subtly implying that we should vote for them because of their latino racial makeup, I figured I'd join the race and get right to the point.

Vote for me cuz I'm more latino that all them mofos!

Many of the ads ArtForStrangers is parodying have been running on Dominican TV shows based in Northern Manhattan including Contacto and Hechos y Gente, which are broadcast on Queens Public Television and produced at DBS on 181st street. 


Via YouTube & thanks to Nicole for sending this in.

UPDATE 9/16/10:

Here is another one from ArtForStrangers:


In the next few days we will have a post that features several of the ads that were run during the primary election campaign season.

Shuttle Bus Riders Protest Sudden Lack Of Free Service

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Last Saturday The Uptown Current spotted a group of local bus riders mounting a protest on Broadway and 168th street. The group was angered by the sudden lack of free bus service in the area.

For over a year many weekends had consistently seen free service offered by the MTA, taking riders to their destinations on Fort Washington Avenue and Broadway. Despite the service being quietly pulled by the MTA, many of the riders have noticed and are upset.

Dr. Ted Daniels, an Inwood resident and emergency room physician at the New York Presbyterian Hospital on 168th street was leading the pack of protesters. "I'm on call for emergencies every weekend" said Dr. Daniels. "Two years ago I was forced to pay for a subway ride down to work whenever I got paged for an emergency. If I was lucky I would use the transfer swipe to take the bus back uptown after I had dealt with the patient... as long as the patient died or got moved to surgery within 2 hours." Then, to Dr. Daniels's delight, the MTA began offering free weekend bus service for Washington Heights and Inwood residents. "It was a dream come true. I was saving money on MetroCards and simply hopping on and off the free shuttle bus as I pleased. I was in heaven."

A source within the MTA, wishing to remain anonymous, gave The Uptown Current some insight as to why they began offering free weekend bus service. "When we set up the free shuttle bus line uptown we thought it would be a great way to showcase our bus system and encourage people to pay for bus rides once our 'subway repairs' [the source chuckled, while using air quotes] ended... we felt too many people were using the subway, and we weren't seeing enough revenue coming in from our bus services."

Unfortunately for the MTA, the plan backfired. Many riders are now refusing to pay for bus, and even subway fares, in many cases choosing to walk to their north-of-168th-street destinations. Our source at the MTA added "We never saw it coming, we assumed people would be so upset over the lack of consistent weekend 'A' train service that they would slowly fall in love with the buses, and continue to spend money on buses once the subway service... 'resumed' [again using air quotes]."

What's next for the angry shuttle bus riders? "Straight to the mayor!" says Dr. Daniels. "He's forced to shell out hard earned cash every day to get to work [Mayor Bloomberg is known for riding the subway to City Hall]. He will sympathize with our effort to make weekend bus service uptown completely free of charge again." While the MTA had no official comment, it is clear through their sudden "completion of repairs" to the uptown 'A' line that they are backing away from their policy of offering free transport as a way of advertising their bus system.

Backwater: Surge Implemented In Greening Of New York City

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Mayor Bloomberg's plans to make New York City greener by increasing the number of trees in the city will have a surge implemented this month. The mayor's office has indicated that many thousands of trees are being added to the city's current population, promptly raising awareness about the environment and an increase in good will to all men.

The trees used for the surge are all evergreens averaging between four and seven feet in height, with a few exceptions like one observed in Rockefeller Center. The evergreens have been arriving by the truck load, and set up on sidewalks throughout the city as mini-forests.

Some environmentalists have raised concerns about conduct of the surge. Inwood resident and veteran park ranger, Stan Grinch, explained his opposition to the execution of the surge. "It isn't going to work, it's a publicity stunt taking attention away from the growing crisis with the environment." said Mr. Grinch.

The Society for a Deciduous Future supports the surge because of its clear timeline and negative life cycle for the evergreens involved. Group president Holly Matthews explains: "When we heard about Bloomberg's plan to implement a surge of evergreens in the city we decided to back it 100% after we realized the trees are all dead on arrival." The Society for a Deciduous Future hopes to see surges like this one in the future. "It'd be great if the city could turn this into an annual event."

The surge is expected to wrap up by late December, and the evergreens will be completely expired in time for an early January withdrawal.


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This is The Uptown Current. The blog has been created to provide northern Manhattan residents with a wide range of stories and information about our area of New York City.

In the coming weeks expect to see a variety of content covering news, local politics, real estate, food, arts & events and much more. Besides myself several other bloggers have already volunteered to help me out with the project, and our web developer, Vincent Hamilton, has been working non-stop getting the website ready for everyone (thanks Vincent!)

Make sure to track our progress. We are planning on covering a lot of events, happenings, and much more down the line.

Thanks for stopping by,