Sometimes, mysterious things happen on the Upper West Side and no one sends out a memo about why. So we investigate.

Mystery 1: The Con Ed Ball
con ed ball wrapped

The Con Edison space capsule in the median on 79th street and Broadway is now covered in a gray tarp with caution tape wrapped around it, and a sign saying “Please Pardon Our Appearance. Installation in Progress.” We contacted the press people for the organizers, but it was news to them and they haven’t responded to our questions. The artist also hasn’t responded to our query. So, mystery unsolved.

It’s been like this for several days, maybe even a week several weeks. Could it be a political statement about how Con Ed projects never seem to be complete?

Mystery 2: A Slightly Terrifying Dangling Thingamajob
strange device

This strange device showed up at 109th street and Broadway, and Adam Fields asked us what exactly was going on. The Department of Transportation initially responded: “That is a camera that DOT is using to collect data as part of a project. It will be removed by next week,” which frankly didn’t tell us much.

Nothing to see here, just a “data-collecting” camera device looking vaguely like a gun or a probe!

After some more prodding they said “Data = traffic counts to study signal priority for buses on M60 SBS route, plus improvements to signals for all traffic.” Much less exciting/terrifying than a probe.

Have any mysteries you’d like solved? Email us at info at westsiderag dot com and we’ll do our best, which may not be very good.

In the meantime, check out our last mystery story about a backyard chicken and a drone.

ABSURDITY, NEWS | 10 comments | permalink
    1. Sally Martell says:

      That Con Ed ball has been wrapped for at least three weeks (I live 3 blocks away)–I have been wondering the same thing!

      • uwsmom says:

        The Con Edison ball art installation was unfortunately vandalized- so sad that someone would smash one of the windows on it.

    2. Gideon Avrahami says:

      There’s a data-collection device at 111th & Broadway, too (SW corner).

      Thanks for the info!

    3. Shawn says:

      I walked by the ball a few weeks ago. Windows had been smashed and glass was on the ground. I suspect it will some time before the ball is unveiled.

      • UWS-er says:

        Clearly no one’s working on it. It’s just been sitting wrapped up for weeks. Amazing the press people didn’t know.

    4. Susan Straub says:

      A similar weird probe was also inside Central Park near W 77th Street. So whatever info you received isn’t exactly all there is to know about such a device.

    5. Andrea H.L. says:

      “Data Collection Device”?? Sure, of course! Big brother is everywhere it seems.

    6. Priscilla says:

      The ball is unwrapped and restored again, saw it on Friday 11/7.

    7. Peter Salwen says:

      The Con Ed “ball” actually is a sculpture, nothing more, one of a series of recently installed public art pieces — a sort of impressionistic take on Con Ed’s vehicles etc. Being on the street and being partly made of glass, naturally it got vandalized, & the artist wrapped & taped it prior to repairs, which now have been made.