Saturday, August 22, 2009

Give It A More Deserving Name

The other day I was on the Triborough Bridge, and it occurred to me: its not the Triborough Bridge anymore. Last year, in a very pompous ceremony, the TBTA renamed the Triborough Bridge after Robert F. Kennedy.

This is a real head -scratcher for me. You see, most public works are named after people who had something to do with their creation, or helped promote that particular field. Thus, I understand naming a Space Program after John Kennedy or an Airport after Fiorello LaGuardia.

Hell, I would even support naming a whorehouse after Elliot Spitzer.

But renaming the Triborough bridge after Robert Kennedy? What is the connection between RFK and the Triborough bridge? Or more generally, what is the connection between RFK and public works?

There is no connection.

The Triborough bridge is yet another one of Robert Moses' public works. It is a engineering marvel that connects Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx. It opened in July, 1936- 28 years before RFK became a NY Senator and 25 years before RFK as Attorney General, began illegally wiretapping Martin Luther King.

Wouldn't an illegal phone monitoring device be a more appropriate thing to name after RFK?

As for the Kennedy family, you would think they would have a little humility about bridges, after Uncle Teddy "The Swimmer" and his history with bridges.

It's like a knife manufacturer coming out with the "O.J. Simpson Steak Knife Collection."

Finally, in all seriousness, if you want to rename the Triborough Bridge, why not name it after one of the great engineers or architects that worked under Robert Moses and had a pivotal role in its creation? These men have been lost to history, something that the Kennedy family does not have to worry about.

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