Tag Archives: Bridges

New Bridge Over the Hudson

By Johna Till Johnson

As many of our readers know, I’m a huge fan of bridges. To me, they’re beautiful both physically and metaphorically—lovely structures that bring two sides together. Although my favorite bridge is the Hell Gate Bridge, I’m passionate about all the New York waterway bridges.

So it’s a big deal to me that New York will be replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge—and the new structure will be complete relatively soon (supposedly, by 2018).

Here’s what the Tappan Zee Bridge looks like today:

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And here’s what it’s supposed to look like in future:

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I’m not crazy about the outward-reaching “harp” towers… but it is a bridge, and I love bridges… What do you think?

How Many Bridges Circumnavigating Manhattan?

By Vladimir Brezina

Some of the Manhattan bridgesIt’s interesting to look occasionally through the search terms that people have entered to reach your blog. And recently, quite a few people have been arriving at Wind Against Current with the query “how many bridges circumnavigating Manhattan”. They’ll have been disappointed in not finding an answer—until now!

Another popular query is “how many islands in New York City”. Unfortunately, that question does not have a definite answer—it depends on what you consider an island, and on the state of the tide.

But “how many bridges circumnavigating Manhattan” does have a very definite answer. And the answer is…

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Travel Theme: Bridges

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Bridges.

Ailsa asks, “Are you ready to cross the bridge when you come to it?” But we follow quite another set of routes through the city, which were there before the first bridge was ever built over them…

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Travel Theme: Curves

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa‘s Travel-Themed Photo Challenge this week is Curves.

Here are some of the curves of New York Harbor.

Beauty and Censorship

By Johna Till Johnson (with Vladimir Brezina)

Shortly after I landed in Cleveland this morning, I drove by a sight that made me gasp with excitement: The Detroit Superior Bridge. Despite the name, it’s actually in Cleveland, and was built in 1914-1918.

Why am I so excited? Regular readers of this blog might recall that I love the shape of the Hell Gate Bridge, and its sister the Bayonne Bridge. And the Detroit Superior Bridge has the identical double arches, although it’s more than a decade older than the other two.

It’s like discovering an older half-sibling you never knew existed—and learning she’s not only beautiful, but graceful and accomplished, and living in a city you’d never have expected.

You might also notice that the above link is to About.com, rather than Wikipedia. Why? Today (Wednesday, January 18), Wikipedia has joined other sites around the Web in a blackout protesting the proposed SOPA /PIPA antipiracy bills currently in front of the U.S. Congress.

If you’ve somehow missed the controversy, here it is in a nutshell: SOPA/PIPA (the acronyms stand for Stop Online Piracy Act, the House version, and Protect IP Act, the Senate version) is intended to protect against online piracy by granting broad new powers to the U.S. Government when it comes to blocking access to sites that deliver pirated content.

That all sounds good, and you’d expect that I, as a founder of a business based on intellectual property, not to mention a regular recreational blogger, would be strongly in favor of strengthening protections against  piracy—as, in fact, I am.

But SOPA/PIPA goes too far—way, way too far. There is plenty to hate about these two proposals, but the main issue is that, should they pass, the government could shut down sites that have not been proven to deliver pirated content.

Instead, all that’s required is an allegation.

That’s wrong for all sorts of reasons, starting with the fact that in a free country, I shouldn’t be able to stop you from exercising your rights by alleging that mine have been violated. A court of law has to agree with me that my assessment of the situation is, in fact, accurate.

Moreover, consider the potential for abuse: How long before, say, Americans United for Life and the National Abortion Rights League begin accusing each other of posting pirated content? About a New York nanosecond.

Sure, the bills’ drafters say that the laws aren’t intended to be used that way, that they’re primarily focused on offshore sites, yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah.

The reality is that, regardless of intention, the  proposed legislation can easily be abused. And even if used properly, it’s far too broad and needs to be re-thought from the ground up.

By all means, let’s protect intellectual property. But doing it with vague laws that introduce worrying new powers is the wrong way to go about it.

If you agree with us, please write your Congresscritters and advise them to do the right thing when it comes to SOPA/PIPA: Vote ‘em down.

Questionable Facelift for a Beauty

By Johna Till Johnson
(Additional material contributed by Vladimir Brezina)

Yesterday, I wrote about the Bayonne Bridge’s 80th birthday. The Bayonne Bridge is one of the loveliest—possibly even the loveliest—bridge in New York Harbor.

But I neglected to mention something in that post. Not because I’d forgotten, but because I don’t like to think about it: Current plans are for the Bayonne Bridge to undergo a structural makeover.

The roadbed of the bridge is being raised from 151 feet at high tide to 215 feet to accommodate the new generation of post-Panamax container ships.

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Happy Birthday Bayonne Bridge!

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

This past week marked the 80th birthday of the Bayonne Bridge, prompting me to muse about my lifelong love affair with bridges—some in particular.

I love bridges. I’m not entirely sure why. Partly it’s the look of them: They seem almost alive, taking off in a leap of concrete, stone, or steel,  somehow infinitely optimistic and everlastingly hopeful. Partly it’s their function: Bringing things together, connecting people and places that were previously divided. And of course, bridges often cross moving water—another of my favorite things.

But though I love them all, some bridges in particular hold a special place in my heart.

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