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Bridges

How the Kosciuszko Bridge got its wonderfully bewildering name

“That sound that crashes in the tyrant’s ear – Kosciuszko!” Lord Byron was talking about Polish hero Tadeusz Kościuszko, who was (most likely) born on this date in 1746.  Tomorrow a new bridge bearing his name will open to the public,  hoping to eliminate the many grievances of those stuck upon its predecessor during rush hour. But how did the original 1939 span over […]

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Bridges The Alienist

The Construction of the Williamsburg Bridge — History Behind the Scene (The Alienist)

HISTORY BEHIND THE SCENE What’s the real story behind that historical scene from your favorite TV show or feature film? A semi-regular feature on the Bowery Boys website, I’ll be reviving this series as we follow along with TNT’s limited series The Alienist. Look for other articles here about other historically themed television shows (Mad […]

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Bridges

Visit the glorious High Bridge, New York’s tribute to the ancient world

The thirst for water has transformed New York. The Dutch were sold on the island’s placement in the harbor at the mouth of the mighty Hudson River, making it a convenient waypoint for explorers and traders. Soon its ports had built the foundation for New York’s—and later America’s—financial sector. The city’s most influential nineteenth-century businessman, […]

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Bridges

History Tidbits: Magical Jazz Tapes, GANYC Apple Award Winners

Above: The High Bridge, taken by Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao for the New York Times Here’s a fun find courtesy Open Culture — hundreds of hours of classic jazz music from the 1920-1950s, courtesy music collector David W. Niven (not the famed British actor).  Niven collected jazz music records starting in the 1920s; later in life, he transferred […]

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Bowery Boys Bridges

The High Bridge Opens! And Other Links

Harlem River Speedway Course, looking south, towards the High Bridge. Picture from Port of New York Authority, courtesy Museum of the City of New York. — A new Bowery Boys episode every Friday this summer. WHAT?! Well, sort of. On top of a brand new show every two weeks, we’ll be updating the Bowery Boys Archives […]

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Bridges

A very happy 50th birthday to the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge! Ten facts you may not know about the bridge’s origins

The new span in 1964, photographed by the Wurts Brothers (MCNY) The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge — the first land crossing between Staten Island and the rest of New York City — officially opened for traffic fifty years ago today. It is one of America’s greatest bridges and a graceful monumental presence in New York Harbor.  Below […]

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Bridges

The story of ‘Painters On The Brooklyn Bridge’, a classic photograph taken 100 years ago this month

The photograph above (officially called “Brooklyn Bridge showing painters on suspenders”) is perhaps the best-known image taken by Eugene de Salignac, a city employee who took municipal photography of most major New York structures during the early 20th century. His work had never appeared in a gallery until 2007, almost 65 years after his death. […]

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Amusements and Thrills Bridges

The ten greatest fireworks displays in New York City history

Above: One of my favorite pictures of the Williamsburg Bridge, at its opening in 1903 Nothing befits a fireworks display quite like a skyline to frame it, and no city has a skyline quite like New York City.  And so, despite the obvious dangers of setting off thousands of pounds of explosives in a crowded, […]

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Amusements and Thrills Bridges

How the cliffhanger was born 100 years ago

What does the George Washington Bridge have to do with The Perils of Pauline, the classic film serial which debuted 100 years ago this week?  They’re both cliffhangers of the literal sort — and almost the same cliffs, it turns out. Many consider the Pauline film series to be the first “movie blockbuster,” filled with […]

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Bridges Podcasts

The Bridge to Everywhere: The George Washington Bridge strangely political, unexpectedly naked, undeniably beautiful

  PODCAST  The George Washington Bridge is best known for being surprisingly graceful, darting between Washington Heights and the Palisades, a vital connection in the interstate highway system.  It’s also been part of more than a few political scandals. And we’re not even counting the current scandal involving New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Figuring out a […]

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Bridges

Over the river: Six New York bridges under construction

Manhattan Bridge, June 5, 1908 Courtesy NYC Municipal Archives Queensboro Bridge, August 8, 1907 Courtesy NYC Municipal Archives George Washington Bridge, 1927, Courtesy Life Brooklyn Bridge, late 1870s Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, 1960, photo by Matthew Proujansky Williamsburg Bridge, 1902, courtesy Shorpy

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Bridges

The patriotic story of how the Kosciuszko Bridge got its name

The approach to the Kosciuszko Bridge, photographed in 1939 by the Wurts Brothers.  Photo courtesy the Museum of the City of New York“That sound that crashes in the tyrant’s ear – Kosciuszko!” — Lord Byron Byron was talking about Polish hero Tadeusz KoÅ›ciuszko, who was (most likely) born on this date in 1746.  Hopefully, within […]

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Bridges

Traffic on the George Washington Bridge (in 1949)

Traffic on the George Washington Bridge, approaching the bridge, and leaving the bridge.  Note the unpaved exit street in the last photo, and the reflections of clouds in the polished vehicles below. Photos by Cornell Capa, 1949 (Courtesy Life Google Images)

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Bridges Uncategorized

A strange bridge over Canal Street

One of the more ornate features of the West Side Elevated Highway was the bridge constructed over Canal Street and opened to the public in February 1939. In November 1982, the bridge was ripped down and sold for scrap. I’m not sure of the exact date of the photography above (courtesy the Library of Congress) […]

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Bridges Podcasts

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge: Robert Moses, Bay Ridge, and the birth of America’s longest suspension bridge

With Fort Wadsworth to its side, the last of Othmar Ammann’s New York bridges jets out over the Narrows. PODCAST The longest suspension bridge in the United States, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was one of Robert Moses’ most ambitious projects, a commanding structure that would finally link Staten Island with Brooklyn. Today it soars above New […]