Morning Bulletin: Central Park Tragedy, E-Bikes Reconsidered, Abbey Pub’s Last Day

Photo by Amy at 67th and Columbus.

April 30, 2018 Weather: Rainy at times, with a high of 54 degrees.

Readings, music and more local events this week are on our calendar.

A 22-year-old man from Rochester was found dead in Central Park on Sunday in what is suspected to be a suicide.

Gothamist explains the importance of e-bikes to immigrant delivery bicyclists, and explains how delivery cyclists tend to pay their own fines despite de Blasio’s attempt to shift the burden to business owners. “But according to Lee and the e-bike delivery cyclists interviewed for this story, they are all essentially independent contractors: they own their e-bikes and pay their own fines.”

A new book looks at NYC history by examining the development of one avenue, Broadway. “Longtime residents of the Upper West Side may recall a barbecue place on the southeast corner of Broadway and 88th Street called The Boulevard, which was succeeded by a fancier establishment called Bloomingdale Road. The restaurants were like their namesakes. Neither of them made it in the long run.”

Reminder: tonight’s the last night of the Abbey Pub after 49 years.

And here’s a fun photo by Rebecca Soffer of children learning about what we used to do in the olden days…

NEWS | 30 comments | permalink
    1. Wendy says:

      I miss the dial telephone, landline, without the war tax; &, the telephone directory was only, maybe, in our ENGLISH language. n.b. movie “Jumping Jack FLASH “; CORRECT TITLE / re W.G. IN THE TELEPHONE BOOTH. SAW someone sleeping in such a t.b., NW corner of 42nd ST. X 5th AVE., Decades ago. AH, Girl Scout cookies sans palm oil ? FIX those sidewalks.

      • dannyboy says:

        The landline is very reliable. Won’t give mine up. Remember cell phone performance on 9/11?

    2. Felicia says:

      A stream of thoughts tossed
      together with little care.
      Tasty word salad!

      A haiku

      • dannyboy says:

        no thought
        be nice

        • Felicia says:

          Writing prose is hard.
          Poetry is harder still.
          Try to learn just one.

          A haiku

          • dannyboy says:

            Felicia, why would I Comment in either poetry or haiku, I am not hiding either my thoughts or my feelings.

            My thought was that your Comment was rude and made me sad.

            • Felicia says:

              Boo hoo wipe your tears.
              It’s time you get over it.
              Go get a tissue.

              A haiku

            • dannyboy says:

              Felicia, do you even read the WSR articles?

              Or do you jump right in with replies like: “Tasty word salad!” and “Go get a tissue.”?

              This is a neighborhood blog, with community commentariat. Find yourself a literary magazine to reject your ‘haikus’.

            • Felicia says:

              Why use vocabulary
              you don’t understand?

              A haiku

            • dannyboy says:

              I understand that you have criticism, snark, and a disassociation from the WSR commenters on offer.

              No one’s interested. Pity is on offer.

    3. Etan Frankel says:

      ew don’t let your children touch pay phones, there are germs!

      • Ignaz Semmelweiss says:

        Not to worry. The phones have developed an immunity.

      • Joey says:

        Put the kids in a bubble

      • MQue says:

        Kids need to be exposed to germs or else they will grow up with a weak immune system and have to live in a bubble.

      • EricaC says:

        It seems that our collective paranoia about germs may be feeding worse problems, like the boom in allergies. And our use of disinfectants like trickosan seems to be destroying various species. I let my kids be exposed to germs. So far, it seems to be working – they are healthy and robust. Obviously, for some (those with compromised immune systems, for example), there is a need to be careful. The rest of us have to be careful not to fall for the paranoia.

    4. Cyrus says:

      Wendy really seems to care. About what, I have no idea.

    5. Deborah says:

      Coincidentally, just saw 2 little boys playing with the phone at the phone booth on Columbus & 68th.Glad it’s getting some use….

    6. Janet Wasserman says:

      I understand the tenor of Gothamist’s comment. We live in a city and nation founded by immigrants whose numbers are constantly replenished. We would NOT be the nation we are without immigrants, including my parents and grandparents. I not only respect, admire and champion immigrants but I’ve researched immigration history and written a 123-page scholarly article on the life and career of a notable pediatrician, who arrived as an 8-year-old in the US in 1904 not speaking English and achieved national prominence. I published the article online.

      My admiration for immigrants and my devotion to immigration history does not extend to e-bike riders who break the law, and endanger me on the streets and sidewalks where I live.
      It is fallacious logic to maintain that immigrants doing fast restaurant delivery service should be excused as law breakers because they have to make a living. Once they’ve paid their fines they can return to the same practice of ignoring traffic laws.

      It would be a far better use of money from their fines for the city or a consortium of restaurant owners to require mandatory training of e-bike use on the city streets and training of the riders in the NYS Motor Vehicle Laws so that they understand the danger they put themselves and pedestrians in. High school kids have Driver Education not because they’re immigrants or children of immigrants but because the safety factor is paramount. I walk daily on the UWS and see e-bike delivers riding in the wrong direction in bike lanes, not signaling, speeding, and using the sidewalk with no warning to pedestrians (no bell or horn on e-bikes?). The immigrant excuse for law-breaking – just making a living – is a poor one and gives everyone else who observes the traffic laws the same bad name. It besmirches the intelligence of people who came here, work here and want to stay here. The defense of the immigrant cited in Gothamist is at bottom anti-immigrant. If you respect your fellow immigrant citizens, you have the same expectations of them as you have for anyone else without the label.

      • Alive By Six Inches says:

        Do the immigrant delivery persons, as independent contractors, provide their own liability insurance as well?

        I have wondered about this point with accute interest ever since the immigrant delivery person on an “e-bike” passed within six inches of my face going ~20mph against traffic and against the light.

        Immigrants or not, I would like to see much stricter enforcement of laws prohibiting riding through traffic lights, riding against traffic, riding on the sidewalk, operating a bicycle at unsafe speeds, operating a bicycle without a helmet, all of which can be observed on any day of the week, within an hour’s time on the UWS.

        Verily, the drug dealers recently arrested at 82nd/Columbus were just…….”tryin’ to make a livin’.”

        No one should be allowed to ‘make a living’ at the expense of other persons’ lives.

      • Capt. Malin says:


        We find your comment incredibly thoughtful and well written. We wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment you expressed. This is why our efforts to address e-bikes go beyond enforcement. Yes, we write summonses and confiscate e-bikes. But our Community Affairs Officers and Crime Prevention Officer have also been walking the streets of the 20th Precinct and educating businesses and delivery workers about the illegality of e-bikes. Ideally, we could address this issue and make the UWS a safer place for pedestrians without ever having to write a summons…

        • dannyboy says:

          educating businesses and delivery workers about the illegality of e-bikes…
          Ideally, we could address this issue and make the UWS a safer place for pedestrians without ever having to write a summons…”

          Capt. Malin, let’s not get too soft on this.

          Community relations can COMPLEMENT your police work.

      • End the traffic violence says:

        Hi Janet,

        You make an excellent point. People who break the law and put others in danger should expect some sort of consequence.the only issue I have with your scholarly post is that that you only mention ebike riders who don’t follow the rules. You fail to mention the thousands of ebike delivery folks that follow the rules and yet still get swept up in this contradictory response by the Mayor. The problem is that an other wise legitamit form of transportation,the ebike, is arbitrarily deemed to not be allowed on the road. This inexplicable catch-22 then gives over eager POs the chance to cite an immigrant who may be breaking no other law than not being on the right type of bike, which I’m sorry is ridiculous. We have people commiting car violence in this city everyday, people in multi ton vehicles who speed through intersections just to wait at the next red light. Any attention taken away from these people is a waste of resources and ignores the largest source or dangerous road users. Eliminating this ebike gray zone would be a good start, and would allow enforcement to focus on the dangerous riders, while allowing everyone else to go about their day.

    7. EG says:

      Gothamist is back?? Thanks for the info!

    8. Joey says:

      Get rid of the Ebikes!

    9. Mark Moore says:

      There must be more pay phone density on Columbus from 93rd to 97th than anywhere in the western world.