Queensboro Bridge

The costruction rush of Manhattan began with the opening of new iron age of mass production.
Iron and steel industry became the pronoun of the building of new era, and Industrial Revolution and its products helped support the new civilization. While the image of Manhattan utopia is illustrated by those skyscrapers, the iron and steel supported such image under the surface, and also helped building infrastructure such as railroad and bridges to bring products and people into the city.

Queensboro Bridge over East River was completed in 1909 after many incidents and accidents to postpone its completion. It took about 30 years since the modern bridge was planned in 1881. During that time span, its main developer Manhattan Bridge Company bankruped, and because of that Rhode Island Railroad was not allowed to use the new bridge. Compared to Brooklyn Bridge that utilized the most advanced technology at that time, or Manhattan Bridge that was completed around the same time of Queensboro Bridge, this bridge became the most restrained one by receiving various changes and reduction from its original plan.


It's true to say that Queensboro Bridge is completely different from Brooklyn Bridge with bold contrast between the massive neo-Gothic construction and the hundreds of fine wire cables, or Manhattan Bridge that expressed the boldness of Brooklyn Bridge in iron and steel. Queensboro Bridge could not utilize a suspension bridge system, and it was restricted to build as an iron bridge with technical difficulties. Behind its dlicate and somewhat feminin appearance, its construction was a technological challenge. The life of more than 50 people were lost during the construction.


Along with the Queensboro Bridge that goes over Roosevelt Island on East River, Roosevelt Island Trumway is connecting Manhattan midtown and Roosevelt Island. It is a hidden sightseeing treasure, that visitors can see Manhattan views and Queensboro Bridge from the birdeye level in the air. Manhattan skylines that see through the iron structure of Queensboro Bridge begin to look nostalgic.



It might be those two rivers that defines the image of Manhattan. Looking across the skylines of Manhattan over the river, it makes me feel that the notion of its distance is also the distance that I feel toward what Manhattan is.
I used to live in Hoboken, New Jersey across Hudson River, and I remember leaving to school seeing the floating, hazy Manhattan view over the river fog in a cold winter morning as if it were a mirage and an illusion. For many of us, Manhattan stays in our mind like that image. Because of that, I cann't help feeling a nostalgy for crossing the river and reaching to Manhattan. Probably because it makes us remember those countless people who came to New York with their own dreams and hopes.


One day I was crossing Manhattan Bridge in sunset. The car traffic was slow in rush hour, and then a piano ballade by Sarah McLachlan was played on the radio--later I learned the title was named "Angel"--seeing the glisten of the setting sunlight over the river water, the time has stopped in a daydream.





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