Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Perfect Bridge Walk on George's Birthday

George Washington's wealth primarily came from making and selling whiskey. Yesterday, on his birthday (people of certain age remember such things) I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge to a storytelling event at a senior center. I thought about our first President as I strolled and felt high from the beauty of all around, the bridge, the city, the bay and the river.

Looking around I drifted away and imagined seeing George and Martha after his 1789 inauguration denying a ride in their royal coach in order to walk from City Hall on Wall Street up Broadway to St. Paul's Chapel. As they walked and stiffly acknowledged the crowd, I saw George looking around at the semi-rebuilt, burnt-out Broadway and thinking to himself about a mysterious fire on Sept 19, 1776 that destroyed 500 houses from Broadway to the Hudson.

ps the reason the pix of 100 Gold Street's north side facing the bridge is here ~ the fifth window from the right on the top floor was my affordable housing office for seven years. That view mentally saved me from probable work-site violence a few times.

More photos here.

"City Boy," Thomas Pryor's play in progress is a love letter to long gone street life and Yorkville, the Upper Eastside New York neighborhood. The show's timing coincides with the opening of the Second Avenue Subway - an event that's triggered a surge of tenement demolition and hi-rise construction not seen since the Third Avenue El came down in 1955. The area's character is slipping away (along with its street light). Sharing our memories for posterity in photographs, voice and on paper reinforces Yorkville's rich history. (Thank you, Joe Dettmore, for creating this film)

Check out my 1960s memoir, "I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." at Logos Book Store, or purchase the book online at Amazon (114 five-star reviews out of 114 posted) or Barnes & Noble ~ and buy "River to River ~ New York Scenes From a Bicycle" my photography portfolio online.

Street life seen through 53 stories and 90 photos

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