Archive for the LIC Gnomon category

November 2nd, 2008

Marathon 2008

New York Marathon at mile 15 around 11am – Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil, who later won, is at right in yellow. Runners just came from gnomon along Crescent Street, which will be the path of the shadow later in the day at 2pm.

November 4th, 2007

New York City Marathon – today

Posted in EVENTS, eyewitness, LIC Gnomon, NYC by Heidi

The path of the New York City Marathon passes through the Long Island City Sundial at about miles 14 and 15, just before the Queensborough Bridge.

Marathon path through LIC Sundial

Lead Men approach gnomon

Leading men approach the LIC sundial gnomon.

Lead Women at gnomon

Leading women, Paula Radcliffe and Gete Wami, emerge from the sundial shadow as the pass the gnomon.

August 28th, 2007

Wind Tunnel

Posted in digressions, LIC Gnomon, tour by Heidi


Published: February 6, 1994, The New York Times

Citicorp’s tower, an impressive skyscraper, sometimes sweeps people off their feet — literally. Powerful winds sporadically swirling around it actually lift unwary pedestrians off the ground, neighbors say.

“I know it’s hard to believe, but people get blown into midair,” said Susan P. Chetwin, general manager of the Muzak office across the street on Jackson Avenue. Her workers regularly use the tower for its Citibank branch and basement subway stop.

Jean McIntyre, describing a daily bank errand for Muzak, said, “the wind picked me up completely off the sidewalk — this is no exaggeration — and I was just flying through the air.” She was lifted several inches off the ground and flung about 20 feet away, she estimates.

“It felt like I was going 30 miles an hour. I was headed for a glass window, so I managed to throw myself to the ground to prevent that. I hurt my shoulder, hip and head. I was dazed for a while. I could have been killed there.”

Just what is causing the turbulence is unclear. A Citicorp spokesman said, however, that the company took precautions recently by temporarily closing one entrance, posting warnings and putting up a rope railing; further measures are being studied.

Speaking without specific knowledge of the Citicorp situation, experts noted that wind striking skyscrapers can create strong drafts. Irwin G. Cantor, a structural engineer specializing in tall buildings, said that scientists can make a model of a building and its surroundings, then measure air flow in a wind tunnel “to learn where the hot spots are.” Installing planters or trees might help buffer the wind, he said.

Writing to Citicorp on Jan. 4 about turbulence that day, Ms. Chetwin said three workers were swept off their feet, including one who “was blown into a pole and slightly injured and has gone home for the day.” An earlier letter described a woman being hurled beneath a standing car.

Citicorp should erect a covered walkway or handrail, she wrote the company. Citicorp wrote back that the matter was being reviewed.

Although Muzak’s office is only a few hundred feet from the tower, on windy days its staff often ferries people back and forth by car. “Maybe if I had fatter employees,” Ms. Chetwin said, “this wouldn’t be such a problem.” B.L.

July 18th, 2007

Before the gnomon

Posted in LIC Gnomon by Heidi

The Citibank tower (finished in January 1989) replaced a parking lot, and the parking lot replaced St. John’s Hospital:

St. John’s Hospital

From the Long Island Star-Journal, January 1900, via the Greater Astoria Historical Society’s website:

St. John’s Hospital at Jackson Avenue and 12th Street in Hunters Point was formally opened on January 7, 1900. Bishop Charles E. McDonald delivered the blessing. In the Long Island Star’s words “The formal opening was…one of the most intensely impressive events in the history, not alone of the community in which the noble edifice has been raised, but also of the entire Borough of Queens and the whole of Long Island. The hospital is the culmination of years of arduous labor and earnest, persistent, devotion on the part of the Sisters of St. Joseph, led by the sister superior in charge, Sister Mary David.”

Long before the hour for opening the doors of the new building, immense throngs, blocking thoroughfares for some distance, gathered in front of the building. A parade featuring about 1,000 marchers proceeded up Jackson Avenue to the hospital. At precisely 3:30 PM, the doors of St. John’s were thrown open, and the parade, preceded by police officers, marched into the building. Those in the waiting crowd followed until “every passageway was filled and vantage ground secured from which to view the ceremonies, which consisted of Bishop MacDonald and a small procession walking through every portion of the building , while “blessing and consecrating it forever to the work of the Lord.”

The hospital’s interior consisted mainly of five floors of wards, but there were 22 private rooms. While patients could be admitted immediately, the facility would not be fully operational until February.

The Star’s final comment on the hospital was noting that provision had been made for emergency cases of insanity. Two rooms in the basement had been set aside for lunatics (mainly female) awaiting examining. The only other facility available for this was the county jail.

June 25th, 2007

Gnomon distance views

Posted in LIC Gnomon, NYC by Heidi

Views of LIC Sundial gnomon from 53rd street at 5th Ave in Manhattan, looking East, and the Brooklyn Bridge, looking North.

Gnomon from 53rd St x 5th Ave in Manhattan

Gnomon from Brooklyn Bridge