Bob Harper showcases portraits of heart
attack survivors in Flatiron District
BY NYCKOLE MAREE
Bob Harper is a fi tness expert and
heart attack survivor who used his
photography skills to showcase his
Survivors Have Heart Second Chance
Portraits exhibit at the Flatiron Plaza.
The photos were displayed for thousands
of New Yorkers to see and learn about the
survivors raising awareness about heart
attacks, community, and second chances.
Survivors Have Heart is a national program
to help communities across the United
States in creating a supportive environment
for survivors and their loved ones to overcome
physical and emotional aspects of their
post-heart attack journey. Their mission is to
“empower survivors, their families, and their
friends every step of the way.”
Harper survived a shocking heart attack
that occurred while he was at the gym in
2017. Ever since joining the program, he
committed to helping his fellow survivors
to fi nd purpose in their journey and live
their healthiest lives.
“I decided to lean into this and see what
I can do to help people during this challenging
time,” said Harper. “For myself,
my job has always been to help people and
I decided, this could be a way that I help
people in a completely different way.”
Harper reunited with heart attack survivors
from all over the country who he
has helped throughout the years. Survivors
Have Heart, helped them create a special
bond as they went through the program
PHOTO BY NYCKOLE MAREE
together. “We all kind of involved together,
we laugh together, and we cry together,”
said Harper. “This special photoshoot was
a chance to tell their heart attack story
and how this program helped them move
forward in life.”
The black and white portraits include
survivors and a self-portrait of Harper.
Along with their portraits, it showcases
each individual survivor’s story and a small
portrait with Harper. Behind the camera,
Harper captured each individual showing
characteristics of strength, confi dence, and
ambition. People can look at these portraits
like Tamikia (one of the survivors), and see
a strong African American woman, who
is ready to take on any life challenges that
may come her way.
“I have been working on it for four years
because I have been working with Survivors
Have Heart, for this time really built this
whole community with heart attack survivors,”
said Harper. “What we decided to
do this year was put me behind the camera
because I am also a photographer and take
these portraits of fellow heart attack survivors.
To show people that if you do survive a
heart attack that there is life after that. You
can actually not only survive but thrive.”
The purpose to have a photography
exhibit in showcasing the survivor’s portraits
is to help challenge the traditional
perceptions of heart attack survivors. It is
important for the survivors to share their
stories to give hope to other survivors or the
people around them that suffering a heart
attack doesn’t mean their lives have to stop.
For more information about Survivors
Have Heart visit Survivorshaveheart.
com or follow their Instagram page @
Mayor’s Queensboro Bridge bike lane project stalled by roadway rehab
BY KEVIN DUGGAN
The overhaul of the Ed Koch-Queensboro Bridge’s
tight pedestrian and bike lanes is being held up
because city transportation offi cials are worried
about causing congestion amid an ongoing rehabilitation
of the span’s upper-level roadway.
The Department of Transportation will start work by
year end to redesign the shared path on the bridge’s outer
roadways, but the agency won’t complete the project until
they fi nish replacing the upper deck of the 119-year-old
span in late 2022.
DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman told reporters during
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daily press briefi ng on Nov. 2 that
the new lanes would open as soon as early 2022.
“We’re committed to getting Queensboro Bridge done,”
Gutman said. “The construction is proceeding and we will
get as far as the weather permits us this year before winter
weather slows us down, but we’re looking to have it done
early next year.”
DOT’s press offi ce later followed up to say their boss
“misspoke” and that, while the agency will begin work
this year and provide an updated schedule in the spring,
offi cials want to wrap up the roadwork above fi rst.
“Work will start this year, but the commissioner misspoke
– it will not be complete in early 2022, due to the
work that must be completed on the road decks. We will
Cyclists and pedestrians on the Queensboro
Bridge shared path.
provide an updated completion date once work recommences
in the spring,” said spokesman Scott Gastel in
Gastel did not detail what kind of work will start in the
coming weeks or when exactly it would begin.
Mayor Bill de Blasio fi rst announced his plans to give
more space to cyclists and pedestrians on the Queensboro
and Brooklyn bridges in his State of the City address in
While the Brooklyn Bridge’s new bike lane opened in
September to much fanfare from the city and praise from
bike advocates, the Queens project has been slower to get
The existing lane is a notorious squeeze for both pedal
pushers and pedestrians who have to fend for space.
The city’s plan would make the northern outer roadway
bike-only and ban cars from the southern outer roadway
to turn it into a walkway, mimicking the set up on the
But DOT wants to keep the southern lane open for vehicles
for as long as it works to renovate the upper roadway,
in order to keep car traffi c moving.
“South outer roadway must be available for traffi c
at key times during upper deck construction to reduce
local traffi c issues, based on fi ndings from traffi c study
and analysis,” according to a DOT presentation from May.
The agency targeted late 2022 for the walkway’s
implementation, the slides read, coinciding with the above
roadway’s fi x.
The repair project aims to extend the old bridge’s lifespan
by up to 75 years by replacing the upper deck, rehabbing
both approaches and its structural steel, and replace
joints and barriers, according to an April presentation.
One car lane is closed at all times for the work, but
sometimes the city takes two out of service. That still leaves
six or seven lanes open for vehicles.
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