Today’s route — 12.2 milesNovember 10th, 2014
Portals of the dayNovember 10th, 2014
Lucy and Desi? Turns out they're discreetly labeled bathrooms!
On locationNovember 10th, 2014
Various signs in the area let me know that Law & Order: SVU was shooting here in Bay Terrace today, which explains the trailer in the previous photo (and which gives the Lucy/Desi labels a little extra resonance, since one of the actors on the show, Danny Pino, played Desi Arnaz in a TV movie about Lucille Ball).
Down the block from the filming, I passed by a woman in her 40s camped out on her stoop, smoking a cigarette. "I wanna see Ice-T!" she informed me. "Ice-T? I thought he was on some other cop show," I replied. "Well I wanna see someone famous!" she shot back. I'm not sure how deep her devotion to the cause was, however. With a slight amount of effort, she could have dramatically increased her odds by standing up and walking over toward the action, where any famous people in the vicinity would surely be found (and where a small group of curious neighbors had already congregated).
She was right about Ice-T, though, as I found out a minute later. That's him about to cross the street above (zoom in).
Flippable directional signNovember 10th, 2014
Beneath the Cross Island ParkwayNovember 10th, 2014
In grateful recognition of the gift by Sara Willets Meyer of the land on which this bridge and a portion of the Belt Parkway have been built — Anno Domini MCMXXXIX
Sara(h) Willets Meyer was the last member of the Willets clan to live in the grand mansion, no longer standing, that her grandfather built here in Bayside around 1850. The plaque above indicates that she donated a strip of land from the family estate for the construction of a piece of the Cross Island Parkway, which was being built as part of the larger Belt Parkway project when she died in 1939.
At about 36 miles in length, the Belt extends more than halfway around the perimeter of Brooklyn and Queens. It comprises four different sections, each with a different name: Shore Parkway, Southern Parkway, Laurelton Parkway, and Cross Island Parkway. On road signs, for whatever reason, the Cross Island is labeled as a separate entity, while the other three sections all get lumped together under the Belt moniker.
During its planning stages, the Belt was known as the Circumferential Parkway. Its present name was selected from among a wealth of options near the end of 1938, according to a Brooklyn Daily Eagle article from December 20, 1938:
At least one of the two major puzzles baffling the public has been solved.Pshhh. Tortuosity would have never stopped Henry Stern!
Nobody knows yet who's going to be Scarlett O'Hara in the film version of "Gone With the Wind" but Park Commissioner Robert Moses has settled the controversy raging over the renaming of the Circumferential Parkway . . .
From now on, he said yesterday, the $28,000,000 project will be known as the Belt Parkway, largely as a concession to those who, like Queens Borough President Harvey, asserted their inability to spell or pronounce its temporary title.
Commissioner Moses decided to act after numerous suggestions had poured into his office, among them Ringstrasse Parkway, submitted by Mayor LaGuardia. One suggestion which Moses cherished until the last was Lynque Parkway, which combined the last three letters of Brooklyn with the first three of Queens. He finally decided it sounded too tortuous.
A lone fishermanNovember 10th, 2014
Compare to the fishin' scene on the west side of the Throgs Neck Bridge (the bridge you see above).
Throgs Neck, or Throggs Neck, is the section of the Bronx at the other end of the bridge. According to the NY Times: "The name derives from John Throckmorton, an Anabaptist from England who had lived in Rhode Island before he established a small settlement in 1642 in what is now the southeastern corner of the Bronx."
RobinwoodNovember 10th, 2014
This sign stands at the western edge of Little Bay Park, across from the wealthy residential section of Whitestone known as Robinwood. The neighborhood's name comes from the real estate development of Robinwood/Robin Wood/Robinswood, which began taking shape in the 1920s on a piece of waterfront property that was supposedly once owned by Francis Lewis, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Banana plants in QueensNovember 10th, 2014
Musa basjoo, perhaps.