All in a Name

A bridge idea that didn’t go over so well way back when (reported The New York Times) grew on people as time went by. And then folks talked about keeping it as a park. And took pictures last summer. To remember it. And now some (myself included) are sorta going to miss it. For different reasons. Our own reasons.

Familiar sign at the Rockland approach, and its counterpart in Westchester/Courtesy of Blair Johnson

Familiar sign at the Rockland approach, and its counterpart in Westchester/Courtesy of Blair Johnson

Meantime, here’s a mystery. If I stand corrected, please tell me. Ready?

Facts as we know them: The Tappan Zee Bridge opened for traffic on December 15, 1955, and was named on February 28, 1956. On a leap year (just saying), it honored the Tappan Indians of the Lenape tribe, and was called Zee for “sea” in Dutch.

What happened in those 75 days between opening and naming?

♪ ♫ I drove on the Thruway o’er a bridge with no name ♪ ♫

More likely, it was my parents who drove upstate for vacations long before I was an eye twinkle.

Did people call it the bridge? That bridge? It? And then Governor Malcolm Wilson’s name was added in 1994. Suppose someone asked for directions across the river. “Take the Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge to exit . . . ” Did you ever say that?

Seventy-five anonymous days. Meantime, people are suggesting names for a new bridge that hasn’t been built yet. Go figure. And while no one’s making replicas of the Tappan Zee Bridge, the New NY Bridge’s design is getting lots of attention.

As will today’s final transit task force meeting at 9:30 a.m. Details here.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

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