Below the MLK Expressway, Staten Island

Monday, January 26, 2015

Bridge for Bess - Winner!

(Photo courtesy: MTA)
It's the Henry Hudson Bridge, which carries the Henry Hudson Parkway over the Spuyten Duyvil Creek, with a magnificent view of the Hudson River to the west, and beyond it, the shores of Hudson County*. That's an awful lot of "Hudson's" in one sentence. I don't think anyone should mind giving up one to honor Bess Myerson. (Here and here for runners up.)
(Photo courtesy: My Inwood)
The bridge opened in 1936, when Bess was 12. (According to the fine My Inwood site, the ribbon-cutting was overshadowed by the abdication of King Edward). When it opened it was the longest plate girder arch and fixed arch bridge in the world. A kind of Miss America of plate girder arch and fixed arch bridges! Soaring 143 feet above the waterway, there is definitely something glamorous about it. From the span, it provides a beautiful view not only of the river and New Jersey but of the southern Bronx where Bess grew up. I think she would like it.

(Courtesy: Associated Press)
As a longtime consumer advocate, I think she'd appreciate the automated (no-stopping) toll system. Yes, I think we have a winner. I look forward to my first drive across the Bess Myerson Bridge. I'll stop off at Liebman's in Riverdale for a pastrami on rye and a Cel-Ray to celebrate.


(*Poetic license: It's actually looking Bergen Co., but Hudson Co. is just below it.)

At Least It Wasn't a Snowplow

Missed the turn at Roosevelt Avenue and Baxter Avenue, I guess. Doesn't appear that anybody was hurt.
Good thing he didn't take out the stairway at 82nd St., or we'd be down to two. Again

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Secaucus X

New Jersey Transit. Penn Station, New York, to Penn Station, Newark. First stop: Secaucus Junction.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Branches, Bags, and Bayonets

Something in the air. Actually, there's quite a lot going on in the airwaves between 65th St. and the BQE.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bridge for Bess - Option 2

(Photo: Wikipedia)
The closest Bridge to where Bess Myerson grew up in the Sholem Aleichem Houses is the Broadway Bridge. A pretty undistinguished structure but a fascinating history. It connects the far northern end of Manhattan to Marble Hill, just a few minutes walk to Bess's childhood home on Sedgewick Avenue in Kingsbridge. The bridge not only carries Broadway across the Harlem River, on its long and winding journey to Albany, but three IRT subway tracks. It has narrow sidewalks on either side. And it's a lift bridge. It's multitasking suits Bess's own.

The first bridge at this site was built in 1693. The King's Bridge was so named because it was the property of the King of England. If you weren't a British soldier or representative of the Crown, you paid a toll to use it. Which led to the construction of the so-called Free Bridge by merchants and farmers in 1758. According to the DOT's Harlem River Bridge site, this constituted a revolutionary act--it seems building bridges does not always build bridges.

The current bridge was opened in 1962, the year of Bess's second marriage (to Arnold Grant), and just after completing her appearances on Allen Sherman's I've Got a Secret celebrity quiz show. Here she is (second from right, as if you needed to ask) with other cast members announcing a move to Monday night.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Toll House Crooked

A lane closure on the Whitestone Bridge on Monday held up traffic through the EZ Pass gates. I had the rare chance to photograph (possibly illegally) the interior of one of the observation stations at the toll plaza. The small American flag in the window facing the bridge, alas, did not come out, thanks to some icy water on the windshield.

(Note: We are not proposing the Whitestone Bridge for renaming to honor Bess Myerson.  Myerson had no special link to Queens. Except that it was Donald Manes, the crooked Queens BP, who introduced her to Carl "Andy" Capasso, a key step on the road to the "Bess Mess"! Well, I don't think anyone will be renaming any bridges after Donald Manes anytime soon.)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Bridge for Bess - Option 1

The Research Bureau has been hard at work developing candidates for a bridge to be named to honor Bess Myerson: Miss America (famously the first Jewish one), Commissioner of the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (first), Commissioner of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, candidate for U.S. Senate (failed), the list goes on.
This drawbridge carries the Hutchinson River Parkway across the upper reaches of Eastchester Bay in the Bronx. It's not too far from where Myerson grew up in the Sholem Aleichem project in Kingsbridge Heights. It's a modest bridge, not very high of the water, with a nice view of the Pelham Bridge and Pelham Park. One advantage: It does not appear to already have a name. It might work poetically as well: like Bess's career, it goes up and down.

More candidates to follow. Submit your own! For readers who tweet: #BridgeForBeth.