On the George Washington Bridge Project: Special Winter Night Edition

09Jan09

In which The Gay Recluse becomes increasingly obsessed with the George Washington Bridge.

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In Europe, it often happens that we stand in front of an ornate building and think: “whoas, that would be a lot of work!” but we can still basically imagine how it was done, even if it took centuries. It’s like one of those houses made out of bottle caps.

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But in a twentieth-century city like New York, many structures are simply beyond our comprehension. It almost seems as if some alien species came down and filled the landscape with these grand but improbable gestures.

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Let’s say you were given the task of building a 100-story building, or a bridge across the Hudson. Would you even know where to begin? Where would you go shopping for the parts?

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You might as well ask us to light the moon, which is why to see both — i.e., the bridge and the moon — in the middle of the quiet but brittle night delivers us for a second into a state of subdued reverence. Although we’re exhausted, we dread going back to sleep, knowing that the next time we wake up, it will be the sullen day.

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4 Responses to “On the George Washington Bridge Project: Special Winter Night Edition”

  1. how many times have you walked on it?

  2. 2 orinink

    scale is the american thing isnt it …not necessarily beauty or depth but size here really matters.there are so many new buildings in the city but beyond scale they do not impress me.I often think of the new york skyline as huge rows of filing cabinets occaisonaly interrupted by one or two hyperdermic needles..albeit some lovely ones like the chrysler.In classic photo’s of new york ,it allways comes down to the photographer taking a different angle.. or reducing it to planes of light..to make it impressive or even just human .It is all about a show of how much we have and how much more we desire..yes it is alien-like.I get the same feeling when i look at the pyramids of Egypt or Mexico .

  3. I stumbled upon your blog because I was just cruising around looking for interesting reading.

    I used to live right across the street from the GWB in Fort Lee when I was a kid. We were the supers and lived in the basement of a highrise. My best friend lived in the penthouse. Her father was a pilot for Pan Am. We played with our dolls on the covered radiator beneath a large window that looked out on the bridge. I remember it made me feel like there was an infinite, powerful world out there and it was full of possibilities, (I mean, look at that bridge!) even for a girl who lived in a basement.

    To the other person who commented, when my mischievious brother was about five-years-old, he took our sister, a toddler, for a walk across the bridge around dawn. He was in his pajamas. My sister was in a diaper. The cops returned them.

    http://www.GreenerPastures–ACityGirlGoesCountry.blogspot.com

    • Greener Pastures! That’s a great story, thanks for sharing. I often think about the folks in Jersey who are looking across at us over in Wahi…


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