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City Island has new video sharing project

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City Island Images, an information website created by a veteran television producer, is now offering streaming video as part of a video sharing project.

The not-for-profit City Island Images, a news and information site found online at cimages.me and run by veteran television journalist and islander Roberto Soto, launched its video sharing project with two live camera feeds at City Island Avenue near Fordham Street and Carroll Street recently. People can now view street scenes of both sidewalk and street activity along City Island Avenue at these locations from anyplace and at any time, Soto said.

Soto described street scenes that were particularly heartwarming, including a mother and daughter sharing a hug on Mother’s Day, and said that sometimes the images that are captured rise to the level of something that a Norman Rockwell of the 21st century would illustrate, Soto said.

“I am hoping to capture a slice of City Island life that is the real deal,” Soto said. “I want people to go to my webpage and say that this is a wonderful place that they wouldn’t associate with New York City. What better a way to accentuate the website’s - name City Island Images - but to give the public access to streaming video?.”

So far, two businesses have agreed to place the website’s Cisco Model 86036375 cameras and routers in their store windows: Focal Point Gallery at 321 City Island Avenue and Buddy’s Hardware & Marine at 260 City Island Avenue, Soto said. Other locations Soto expects will follow will be at Belden Point, near Bridge Street, and at a private house across the street from the landmarked historic former schoolhouse at 190 Fordham Street that houses the City Island Nautical Museum and a condominium development. That historical building was P.S. 17 and P.S. 102.

Apparently insomniacs are also taking to the site, with a dozen viewers sometimes watching the streaming video at around 3 a.m., according to software designed to monitor the site’s traffic, Soto said.

“Whether you are on cimages.me at 3 a.m. or 3 p.m., you are seeing people visiting the website and looking at the streaming video streams,” Soto said. “What I would like people to do is click onto the site to watch the video stream, and then read an article or two and visit some of the links, and then go back to the video.”

City Island Images aggregates news from many major news sources: dailies like the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and New York Times; wire services like the Associated Press and Reuters; and hyper local content about goings on around the island, the Bronx, and the city written by Soto.

The cameras, which do not record but only show in real time a street and sidewalk scene, are designed to do a public service, Soto said. City Islanders can see what is happening on the streets of their own community while not leaving the comfort of their home. Those looking to visit the island on days where they might be heavy vehicular traffic trying to reach its 33 restaurants can decide whether they want to drive, take the bus, or leave their car at Orchard Beach and walk to the island, Soto said.

The camera project is inexpensive, with the cameras running in the range of about $100 and the routers costing around $50. Soto has worked at NBC, Voice of America, and Univision; served as the first news director of News 12 The Bronx; and was New York bureau chief for Associated Press Television.

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CNG: Community Newspaper Group