February 5th, 2013

_Tunneling to the Future_, Peter Derrick

I bought this used, back when I was reading about rail.

Derrick is "Archivist for the Bronx County Historical Society". Well, or was when this was published in 2001 by New York University Press. Copyright appears to be held by "The History of New York City Project, Inc."

A little over 250 pages of text in an over 400 page volume (the balance in bibliography AND notes and an index), Derrick's focus is on _policy_, and how the Dual System came to create the rapid transit system that continues to serve NYC well. Derrick ignores the larger financial background (does the 1907 panic merit even a passing mention? No, it does not. Which is pretty incredible, all things considered) and quite a lot of other things as well. However, I think he is justified in doing so, because otherwise this thing would have gotten way out of control.

In a lot of ways, this is the story of McAneny engaging in a deliberate negotiation with various newspaper interests, the IRT (the company which ran the first subway), Brooklyn Rapid Transit and the various NYC commissions attempting to create a big enough rapid transit system to empty out the overpacked communities of lower Manhattan and just-over-the-bridges. The goal was a virtuous one, and by no means inevitable in its success, which makes this a very suspenseful read even if you know how it turns out.

If you find long-running, seemingly fruitless, multi-way negotiations exasperating, this book might help teach you the benefits of persistence. Alternatively, it might make you want to destroy the book. Hard to say.

I enjoyed it, but I think it might have made more sense if I knew more about Tammany Hall. I have a book upstairs about that, too. I'll get to it, but first, I'll read _Down the Asphalt Path_.

Today's Activities Include: Uploading More Photos

I _think_ I'm about halfway through the 59 rolls of APS film that were digitized onto an unknown number of discs. I had to stop because something is flaking out in the upload process, and I can't tell if it's on my side, Flickr's side, in the middle, and whether it's a real problem or a throttling issue that will Go Away if I take a break in using up all that upload bandwidth. *shrug*

It's been an interesting process. So far there was only one roll where I didn't bother to upload a single photo. Some of the rolls I've uploaded everything; most of the rolls are running 60-75% or thereabouts. The one I didn't upload involved a social event that I'd just as soon never think about again; there will likely be some more rolls like that later on. I'm preferentially doing the pictures I actually enjoy looking at first, but I'm being a completist, so when a roll I don't like is on a disc with stuff I do like, I suck it up and go through it.

Other than that, it was T.'s half day so he finally went to gymnastics again, because we are both not deathly ill. Amazing! It's always hard to get him moving, but he really seems to enjoy it and works hard when he goes so at least for now I'm persisting. We've taken a break on his swimming lessons for a couple months.

Today and Monday I went for abbreviated walks, but I wasn't the one who wussed out -- the dog wanted to turn around, probably because she was done with her business and was too cold to want to continue.

Monday I had breakfast with my friend A., which was lovely. I hadn't seen her in a while and she is a complete joy to talk to about anything and everything. On the way home I stopped and picked up Valentine's cards for the kids' classes. A couple more bins of kids' clothes have exited the house to go to friends' kids who will (someday) use them, so my closet no longer looks like a complete disaster.

We are doing much better, now that we are no longer quite so sick.