It became nationally famous when Simon and Garfunkel recorded “The 59th Street Bridge Song.” Somehow, “The Queensboro Bridge Song” didn’t seem to have the same cache. To fans of the great Manhattan skyline, there are few structures as important and as majestic. As the New York Times says today, the structure is “More Steel Swan Than Ugly Duckling.”
When I was growing up, each time I traveled the 3,724 foot span of stone and steel, designed by Henry Hornbostel and Gustav Lindenthal, I would feel a sense of excitement as I crossed from my quiet Long Island suburb into the pounding excitement of Manhattan, hoping that one day I might work and live closer to this magnificent part of the universe. Upper roadway, lower roadway, those twists and turns added to the promise and wonder about what would lie ahead.
F. Scott Fitzgerald rhapsodized about the view in the other direction in “The Great Gatsby”: “The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.”
Happy 100th birthday Monday to one of the word’s great gateways.
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Copyright 2009 Liberaland