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Swedish Mafia Black-Tie Rave Benefit

Swedish House Mafia will host a Black Tie Rave on February 28, 2013 for Hurricane Sandy relief.  The rave will  be at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC. 100% of the net will go to the relief efforts.  Reserve your limo now and catch this amazing supergroup as they go on their final tour before going their separate ways.

Luxor provides limos, stretch limos, and party buses to take away all of the hassle and leave you and your friends free to enjoy an amazing night out with this electronic dance music trio.
Category:NYC Fun Facts

Live Shows at the Barclays Center Rock the First Half of 2013

The Barclays Center in Brooklyn is quickly shaping up to the go-to venue for the hottest shows.  Some fantastic acts have already been lined up for the first half of 2013 that you will want to see.  Luxor Limo is the choice for anyone in New York and New Jersey who wants to sidestep the hassle and take part in these events in style and comfort.  Make your night out a party from the moment you leave your house to the moment you turn the key in the lock coming home by renting a Luxor Limousine to escort you there and back again.

FEBRUARY

Mumford & Sons - February, 6 & 12
Mumford & Sons is blazing red hot.  Their album, BABEL, had the fastest selling debut of any album in the US last year.  This band uses folk and bluegrass instruments for strong rhythmic alternative rock sound.  The song lyrics are smart and complex and makes for a satisfying blend of old-time country and high-culture literary. Rent a stretch limo, but wear your cowboy dancing boots.

Marc Anthony - February 15 & 16
Marc Anthony comes to the Barclays Center with 5 Grammy and Latin Grammy awards so far to his name.  A native New Yorker, he comes back to his home turf for a special Valentine’s weekend pair of shows.  Make it a romantic night in Brooklyn in a Luxor Limousine.

MARCH

Swedish House Mafia - March 2, 3, & 4
Swedish House Mafia brings their ONE LAST TOUR to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for three whole days in March. Foot-stomping, heart-racing electronic dance music.  This popular group is really a supergroup of DJs Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello and after rocking Europe and Asia come to the US with what they say is their farewell tour as such. It promises to be a three day party, and you could be a part of it. Call Luxor to reserve your limo for the fun.

Lady Gaga - March 7
Lady Gaga’s BORN THIS WAY BALL has already broken world records as the top grossing tour by a female artist, leaving audiences starstruck and speechless.  A native New Yorker, she is “kindly requesting the presence of all her little monsters on March 6.”
APRIL

Alicia Keys - April 5
Alicia Keys, the a fourteen-time Grammy winner, will do one show at the Barclays Center as part of her upcoming 24-city North American tour . The tour, SET THE WORLD ON FIRE, promotes her new album, GIRL ON FIRE.

Green Day - April 7
Green Day is going on the road again. Tickets for a show that was postponed will be honored. Tickets for shows that were canceled will receive a refund.  Contact your point of purchase if you have a ticket to find out which applies to you.

Rihanna - May 5
Rihanna is coming to Brooklyn and the Barclays Center is offering some exciting VIP packages with great seats and party access.  Get your special package now and then book your Luxor Limousine to take you there in style.

JUNE
The National - June 5
The indie rock band, The National, will play in their home borough of Brooklyn and you will not want to miss it.  Get the most out of your night out on the town with the local boys as they rock the night.

The second half of 2013 is already shaping up.  Justin Bieber is on the schedule for August and other blockbuster groups will be sure to join the lineup.  Check back in a few months for more on the Barclays Center event calendar for the summer and fall of 2013.
Category:NYC Fun Facts

The Classic Rides of Coney Island

Coney Island conjures up the idea of an old-time beach and amusement park. It has been a magnet for a seaside recreation since the mid-1800s when roads put it within a couple of hours of New York City.  The resort has had ups and downs over the years.  Arguably is is one of the places where American pop culture was born. Today, the island is still reeling from Hurricane Sandy. But the resorts and amusement parks have survived fires and hostile politics for almost 200 years, always coming back to charm and amuse another generation.  The Wonder Wheel, a classic ride on the National Register of Historic Places is already back in service.  Here are a number of classic rides that we hope will once again lure you out to this Brooklyn peninsula come springtime.

Wonder Wheel - This ferris wheel from 1920 is a giant steel circle that stands 150 feet high and holds 144 riders.  You can see it at night outlined by neon tubes in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park.

The Cyclone - This famous old roller coaster was built in 1927 and is still a favorite of aficionados.  It has one long 60º drop that will leave your heart trailing behind you the whole way.  The City owns the ride, but it is operated by Astroland under franchise.

Parachute Jump - This ride opened in the 1939 New York World’s Fair and was the first ride of its kind anywhere.  People were hoisted almost 200 feet in the air before dropping on guy-wired parachutes.  You can’t ride it anymore, but it is still considered a landmark, sometimes being called Brooklyn’s Eiffel Tower.

B&B Carousell - This traditional carousel, still misspelled the way its original builder did, is no longer in an amusement park, but still turns to the tunes of a traditional roll-operated fairground organ.  At the moment it has been dismantled, but there are plans to reopen it this year.

Haunted houses - There are two traditional haunted house “dark rides” on Coney Island.  These are haunted houses where you ride through specially lit areas with animations, music, sounds, and special effects.  You can try out the Spook-a-Rama at Deno’s or the Ghost Hole on 12th Street and see which one  scares you the most.

Bumper cars - Bumper cars had their heyday starting in the 1920s and there are 3 bumper car rides on Coney Island today at Deno’s, 12th Street, and Eldorado’s Arcade.
Category:NYC Fun Facts

10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT PARKING IN NEW YORK CITY

You’re planning a big sports night out in New York with friends, catching a game at the Garden or at one of the stadiums. So how do you get there?  Public transportation is great for the planet and your wallet, but it can feel ordinary and anonymous when what you want is for it to be YOUR night.  This is why, despite all the hassles, people want to drive their own car.  So that the event is more than the game, it’s the whole night.

But driving in New York has some big downsides as well.  First off, you need a designated driver.  And that can mean there’s one person who is odd-man out, while everybody else can let loose.

Then there’s parking. There are ten things that could mean you are looking at an unhappy end to an otherwise great night.

PARKING TICKETS: Finding a legal parking space on the street is never easy, and if there is a big event going on, the chances of finding a legal space are almost zero. So what do you do if you see an open space?  Should you grab it?  Maybe.  Most of the time it will be fine, but there are some rules that could surprise you.  For example, the NYC government parking rule #50 says you can’t park in a crosswalk which makes sense, but then notes “Crosswalks are not always identified by painted street markings.”  The fine:  $115.  So if you are one of those people who just refuse to pay for parking, allow tons of time and don’t push the boundaries of legal.  A parking tickets in the city costs anywhere from $65-$180.

TOWING: If you think you can park somewhere that you haven’t paid for, or want to push the envelope on street parking, you may have to find alternate transport home.  A city tow has fixed rates depending on the size of the vehicle from $185-$370. You will also have to pay the ticket, and you must pay before you can get your car. Every one night in impound costs another $20. Then there’s the private towing from parking in somebody’s space that you don’t have the rights to, and the price on that is whatever they can charge.

FINE PRINT: You might decide to drive and just park in a garage.  You see a sign that says $10 and you are interested.  But be careful of the fine print.  The city says rates must be posted, but doesn’t say how big the print has to be.  There are many exceptions and special conditions on signs in parking lots and once you are in, you owe whatever it says.  Parking lots in certain areas know this and structure their fees to get the most out of the unwary.

EVENT RATES: Even though rates must be posted, lots can get around that with a simple phrase: event rate in effect.  This allows them to hike up the price without having it posted.  Almost anything can qualify as an event.   If you’re in town with your car for something special, chances are it qualifies as an “event” and you should expect event rates near the venue.

FLAG WAVERS: Many garages employ flag wavers who sometimes look rather official.  They will direct traffic to their garage which is usually off the main path (hence the need for flag wavers to get you there) and are often hard to get out of once you are there.  These places, though off the main drag, are often more expensive, not less.

TAXES: Wherever you park, the price is not quite the whole story.  City taxes on parking garage fees add another 20% to the cost.  A $50 fee means a $60 bill in the end.

TIPS: There are fees, taxes, and then tips.  Be ready to tip your valet going in and out.  The reality of space in New York makes self-service lots less cost-effective.  Valets can park cars literally bumper to bumper within inches on either side, packing them in.  The tip going in is a request to be extra careful.  How extra careful do you want the valet to be?  You say that with the size of your tip.

BUMPER DAMAGE: Even if a valet is careful, their job is to pack the cars in.  If you don’t want your bumper scratched from the wall or your sides dinged on the side, you should make sure you have bumper protectors and car door guards.

BIG VEHICLE SURCHARGE: If you’ve got an SUV you will likely have to pay more.  It’s all about the premium of space, and if you take up more space, you have to pay for the extra real estate.  Even if the sign says one rate, you could be looking at a serious surcharge for that big vehicle .

TIME WASTED: Valet parking often means a long wait at the end of the event.  There might be a line waiting for cars, or your car might be packed in behind others and so will take a while to extract.  (Oh, and did you tip well?  Because a good tipper might just get a bit quicker service in hope of a quicker turnaround). Or if you parked on the street a good distance from the venue, you will now have to hike back to your car.  Then sit in traffic, burning gas.  If you want to go somewhere else not in the neighborhood for a post-game party, you have all the same parking problems.  Time wasted handling the hassles instead of having fun with your friends.

When you add up the hassles and the cost (not to mention the potential costs of damage or towing), you might consider going with a chauffeured car for the night.  Let the driver worry about the traffic.  You have all the privacy and control you would have in your own car.  And you and all your friends can party as much as you want.  There’s no time wasted searching for a parking space, walking back and forth from a spot a mile away, no bumper dents on your car, no worries at all.  Just a great game, a great night, and all on your own terms.

Do you have a parking “night out” horror story?  Tell us about it.  We’d love to hear from you.
Category:NYC Fun Facts

Top Ten Power Lunch Spots in New York City

Power Lunch.  Business dealings smoothed over by fine food and drink.  Everyone leaves satisfied.  According to an exhibit at the New York Public Library, “Lunch Hour NYC,” the first power lunch restaurant in New York was Delmonico’s Steak House in the 1830’s, though it wasn’t called that back then. The phrase “power lunch” comes from an Esquire magazine article in 1979, “America’s Most Powerful Lunch” about the Grill Room at the Four Seasons Hotel.

The power lunch scene is not as fickle the way it is for nightclubs and even restaurants.  The Grill Room is still shows up on just about every list of this year’s power lunch spots. The atmosphere conducive to the conduct of business is not trendy.  It is conservative and comfortable.  Some places are more about being seen than the food, perhaps, but the place should never interfere with the work being conducted in tandem with the meal. Seating at the “best” tables is reserved for patrons of some stature, and some have a mandarin hierarchy for who gets placed where.

Many have a prix fixe menu, which usually offers the quality of a la carte items not just a lower price but a shorter wait time.  Power lunch, after all, is an interlude, it isn’t the whole work day.

Michael’s New York
Michael’s New York shows up on everybody’s list.  The cuisine is California contemporary with a fair amount of seafood on the menu.  During the day, there’s plenty of natural light and the pleasant, stylish decor provides a bright backdrop without intruding.
The Grill Room at the Four Seasons

The Grill Room was the inspiration for the phrase “power lunch” and it retains top honors to this day, showing up on every list, sometimes before and sometimes after Michael’s. A mid-town modernist icon with indirect lighting, tall ceilings, and towering windows, the tone is classy all the way.

Jean-Georges
This airy, chic restaurant in the Trump Tower offers food that is a fusion of French, American, and Asian.  The colors are light and muted and the views out of the floor-to-ceiling windows of Columbus Circle and Central Park are stunning.  The food at Jean-Georges makes it the only restaurant on the top ten list with Michelin stars, and it has a whopping 3.

The Standard Grill
Located under the High Line (read article here) in the meatpacking district, the Standard Grill aims for an American Bistro feel.  Like the bistros of France, The Standard Grill has tables in their glassed-in patio with a bright, life-in-the city feel and rich leather booths inside have the weight of a plush club.

Nobu
Service is the god of the staff at Nobu. The food is Asian, with a Peruvian (yes, Peru) influence.   The decor has a timeless Japanese feel and with very modern overtones.  The subdued tones and wood tables make this the place to do a deal over a meal in TriBeCa.

Asiate
Asiate, 35 stories high overlooking Central Park in the Mandarin hotel, has arguably the best view in the city. The Asian/French fusion food is served in a dining room that is a fusion of hot and cold itself.  The warm gold tones of the upholstery and screens contrasts with the icy crystal of the ceiling light sculpture and glass partitions.

21 Club
The 21 Club in Midtown Manhattan began as a Prohibition speakeasy, the kind with levers to tip move walls and tip tables to dispose or or hide the booze whenever there was a raid.  The food is “country club classic” as is the decor.  And although the restaurant no longer requires a tie to enter, you’d never know it to look at the lunch crowd in their suits.

Casa Lever

The booths look like spaceship pods as imagined by the 60s, an era suggested by the Warhol prints on the wall as well.  Wine racks instead of walls separate the booths letting the light come through.  The little red tables in the middle give the place a friendly, intimate feeling. The food is Italian but the staff and feel is all Manhattan.

Le Cirque
With a name that means “the circus” you might expect a bright and raucous restaurant instead of a sedate bastion of old-style gravitas.  The high ceilings with cloth draping does evoke the big top tent a bit, but on the ground the restaurant is all business.

Cipriani Wall Street
For a power lunch in the Financial District, Cipriani has an expansive elegance with a 70-foot high ceiling finished with a  Wedgewood Dome.  There is also an outdoor terrace overlooking Wall Street for those interested in a mid-day cocktail as they contemplate their domain.

How about you?  Have you eaten at any of this bastions of the business deal and have your own take on them? Or is there someplace you prefer?
Category:NYC Fun Facts

Cultural Meccas of NYC -The Met and The Guggenheim

When I was a kid living in Pennsylvania, my mother would take the family to New York City and we’d spend the day in Manhattan shopping, seeing a show, maybe ice skating if it was the season (see blog post here). We’d have a meal or two at a quintessentially New York eatery and a snack from one of the sidewalk carts.  And, because New York had culture that our small town did not, we’d spend a good chunk of time in one of the New York City museums.

New York has more museums than most people have books in the house.  In Manhattan alone, there are over 60 museums.  Many world-class art museums grace the island but two dwarf the rest: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met), and the Solomon R. Guggenheim .

Both the Met and the Guggenheim are along what is called “Museum Mile,” a tree-lined stretch of 5th Avenue bordering Central Park between 82nd and 104th Streets. A half-dozen, more targeted museums can also be found there including El Museo del Barrio, the Jewish Museum, the Goethe House German Cultural Center, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design.  These smaller museums can often be more enlivening and accessible to the occasional museum goer than the goliaths nearby where you can spend the day and not see everything. The Met along has almost 2 million works of art that have been created over more than 5,000 years. To get a sense of its size, the Egyptian Art gallery includes a whole temple given to the US as a gift.

The Met owns another historical building, or rather group of buildings, transplanted stone by stone which is a museum in its own right: the Cloisters.  The Cloisters combines five medieval cloisters into one estate along the Hudson River. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. not only donated the land for the museum and contributed works from his own personal collection of medieval art (including the famous unicorn tapestries), he also donated land across the river from the museum so that the view would remain unspoiled. The Cloisters museum primarily exhibits works of art from the 12th to the 15th Century in buildings that date back to that era, creating a feeling of stepping back in time.  With the vaulted arcades and central courtyards around which monastic life was led, the Cloisters offers a real sense of how life moved at a different pace and with a different horizon than the modern world alongside the works of art that reflect the spirit of those times.

School kids and college students from the Greater New York area get in free, but everyone else is asked to pay a $20 donation for either the Met or the Cloisters.  Admission to one buys same-day admission to both, if you are planning a day of museum visits.

The other great museum born from the vision of a single philanthropist is the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The building itself is a work of art. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, this Guggenheim is the youngest building to be designated a New York City landmark.  The design is a large part of what makes a visit to the Guggenheim so enjoyable. The round building has a long spiral ramp that curls from the top to the bottom.  Even thought the art is only from the 19th and 20th centuries, the volume of works on display can easily make a day of it you wish.  Children get into the museum for free and the price for adults at $12 is nearly half that of the Met, so if you want bang for your buck, the Guggenheim is your museum.

Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
Fifth Ave at 82nd Street
New York, NY 10028

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10128

The Cloisters
Fort Tryon Park
New York, NY 10040
Category:NYC Fun Facts

The High Line Park in New York's Meatpacking District

If I asked you to imagine a park in New York City, you would probably picture the giant, sprawling Central Park. But New York City has another signature park, a recent addition to the city, that is an amazing destination that will reshape how you think of city parks.

Called The High Line, this park was created atop one of New York’s historic elevated freight rail tracks down in the city’s Meatpacking District.  Built in the 1930s to avoid the dangers of freight trains on the ground in a densely populated industrial district, the tracks were used until 1980. Since then, the elevated tracks stood idle, collecting trash and growing weeds.  It was ultimately set for demolition until local community and historic preservation groups worked with New York City Parks & Recreation to transform the eyesore into a public haven and tourist destination.

The one-and-a-half mile elevated rail structure towers 30 feet above the street. The will and money to preserve and transform it came from local citizens, private companies, non-profits, and the office of the Mayor.  Funds to preserve it come through a Federal program called rail-banking as well.  Rail-banking preserves transportation corridors, letting them be used as public trails.

The creation of a park on the old elevated track involved stripping it of everything down to the lead paint, and rebuilding it in a community-minded and environmentally-conscious design. The green space has the relaxed, informal feel of the old, self-seeded growth that evolved on the elevated over the 20-some years that the tracks stood idle. Three-fourths of the plant species used in the design are native to New York produced by local growers.

Sustainable design means that rainwater is channeled to water the green spaces (which is one reason dogs are not allowed in this park.  Their “water” would collect and in concentrated pools, killing the plants.). Some of the original rails remain alongside planking that has a smooth, boardwalk feel. There is art, a fountain of sorts, performances, video programs, and a sundeck, all for relaxation. And there are restaurants galore, making it a wonderful place to pass an outdoor afternoon.

The High Line was conceived and built as a green structure.  It turns an old industrial artifact into a environmental asset. The High Line’s “Living Roof” functions as the world’s longest “green” roof.   The planking design feeds water into the planting beds, saving on irrigation while reducing storm-water drain-off into the sewer system. The greenery mediates the “Heat Island” effect of city surfaces, increasing oxygen, shade, and habitat for birds.  The materials used were selected for sustainability, including all the wood. Sustainable practices inform all decisions about maintenance, from the use of chemicals and pesticides to composting and snow removal.
The High Line is located on Manhattan's West Side in an area called the Meatpacking District. The first section of the High Line opened  in 2009 from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street. The second section between West 20th and West 30th Streets, opened  in 2011.  The third and final section, the Rail Yards between West 30th and West 34th Streets, is still subject to negotiations with the owners of the at property.
Category:NYC Fun Facts

Holidays in New York Like in the Movies

New York holiday shopping is more than commerce. It is part of the American holiday story.   When people think of a New York holiday trip, many of their plans were inspired by scenes from beloved movies.  So with that in mind, let’s look at some quintessential New York holiday activities for folks traveling in the Big Apple.

Remember the skating scene in the movie Elf?

Rockefeller Center - The Rockerfeller Center skating rink is an extravagant display of Christmas exuberance.  The giant Christmas tree lights up the week after Thanksgiving as it has for the last 80 years.  People flock there to see the display and take in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular the famous, high-kicking Rockettes, a show that has sold out for more than 70 years straight. And if you have seen Rockerfeller Center in a film, you probably have seen people skating around the ice rink that provides outdoor winter fun from October to March.

Remember the big New York department stores in movies from Macy’s in  Miracle on 34th Street to Bloomingdale’s in Serendipity?

The idea of big department stores started in the 1800’s but it wasn’t until the 1920’s that Macy’s moved to its Herald Square location and began it’s Christmas holiday parade.  Now, the Macy’s Parade is considered the start of the Christmas season.  Department stores were a convenience essential to modern urban life in the 20th Century, where shopping had to be mostly done in person, and where holiday purchases were often done in a single, mad rush often in the last few days before the  big day.  What would you do if there is just one pair of gloves left?  Would you call it “serendipity?”

Care to dance on a Big keyboard surrounded by the most amazing toys in the world?

Fifth Avenue is home of some of the most famous names in luxury shopping.   People walk into FAO Schwartz and get wide-eyed like any kid in a toy store.  You can find just about any toy you want there, including, if you have the cash, luxury gifts like a$1500 Jeweled Classic Etch-A-Sketch.  For those with more sophisticated tastes in jeweled gifts, Tiffany & Company is another Fifth Avenue mecca for holiday gifts.

After all the shopping, how about that orgasmic sandwich you saw in When Harry Met Sally.

Holiday shopping is hard and a person wanting to load up on some hearty food. Fortunately, New York is home to more fabulous deli’s than any place in the world.  Katz’s Deli, featured in When Harry Met Sally, has been one of the best delis in town since the 1880s.  Delis are not fancy in decor, but they are fabulous on food.
Category:NYC Fun Facts

Top Ten Nightclubs in New York

Top Ten Nightclubs in New York

For those looking to have a night out on the city, the range of choices offers something for everyone. Just know that if you want into the most stylish clubs, you have to look the part at least, and preferably live it as well by being beautiful, famous, or rich.

Cielo
18 Little W. 12 St. - Meat Packing District
Absolutely the best sound in town and luxurious decor set the stage for all that is fabulous at Cielo.  Boasting, the best DJs, a strong door, and impeccable service, the club gives those who make it past the door the VIP treatment all the way.  Great music and dancing, Cielo tops most Best Club lists in the city.

S.O.B.’s
204 Varick St. - SoHo
S.O.B. stands for Sounds of Brazil, and this club opened to celebrate Afro-Latino music and dance and has become a leading venue for World Music. SOB’s is also ahead of the curve for emerging artists and trends.  A great night out to drink island concoctions and hear fantastic music till the wee hours.

Pacha New York
618 W. 46th St. - Hell’s Kitchen
A huge venue on four levels, each with its own decor, the Pacha chain has an international glam reputation that attracts clubbers around the world to the Hell’s Kitchen venue to hear some of the highest paid DJs in the world. A fantastic sound system and decent dance floor, laser lights and go-go girls make it a popular choice for partying the night away.

Santo’s Party House
96 Lafayette Street - TriBeCa
This two-level club has different music on both floors, offering a change something for all, or just a change of pace midway through the night. Little or no cover and a good vibe make it a fun club with a good mix of folks.  Early on the 18 and over crowd can party, but at some point it kicks up into a 21 and over club.

Sullivan Room
218 Sullivan St. - Greenwich Village
The opposite of glam, this unpretentious club is a great place for underground music. Low to no cover and hosting house and techno bashes that can’t be beat anywhere in the city.  Local DJ’s as well as international names, beats that hit to the bone, and you can dance till you drop.
Marquee
289 10th Ave - Chelsea
If you wanna dance the night away, Marquee not only has the over-the-top style and DJs you require, but a huge dance space as well.  Hiphop Thursday are and the hottest night in the club.  If you want to be sure to get in, you can pony up $650 for a table.

Kiss & Fly
409 W 13th St - Meatpacking District
Named for the airport drop-off, Kiss & Fly’s decor combines old-world opulence with 90’s excess.  The door policy means the crowd is beautiful and the wildly pricey tabs mean that everyone parties like there is no tomorrow.

Club Shelter
150 Varick Street - South Village
Thumping house music and bare decor make this underground dance house one of the most popular underground dance houses in New York. Decent prices, casual dress, folks show up to enjoy the enormous dance floor and the great mix of people and artists.

Beatrice Inn
285 W. 12th Street
A townhouse hotel with club, Beatrice is tiny and about as exclusive as it gets in New York. Beauty, fame, or riches get you in, and once inside you can choose between a small upstairs dance floor or a lower lounge and bar.

Naked Lunch
17 Thompson St. - SoHo
A great location and 80s music on the weekends means there are always folks dancing at Naked Lunch.  A very welcoming place, not too pricy, and an enjoyable night out for all.
Category:NYC Fun Facts

A Fun History of New York’s Bridges and Tunnels - The Brooklyn Bridge

People marvel at New York City and consider it one of the great cities of the world for a variety of reasons.  Broadway.  Wall Street. Fashion. Publishing. Tourism. Whatever your business, New York is often a leader.  But as you travel around the city, you might not notice, though you will use, one of the most visible yet invisible signs of its greatness.  The network of bridges and tunnels that connect Manhattan Island to the rest of the state and the region were each and every one of them feats of engineering and determination when built, and today they continue to serve more than a million people each day.

THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE
Completed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it opened.  It was also one of the first steel-wire suspension bridge, which means instead of a single chain (would have been impossibly heavy to pull through) or rope (nobody gonna trust that rope not to break, right?), the cable sheath is filled with multiple steel wires. This way, if one wire snaps, the whole bridge is not at risk. Which is why, although it is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the US, the Brooklyn Bridge is still sound and carries more than 120,000 cars and trucks, 3,000 bicycles, and 4,000 pedestrians every day.

PANIC AND PACHYDERMS ON THE BRIDGE
We are so used to driving over bridges and through tunnels without a second thought that it is hard to remember how people felt when they were new. Three days after it opened, a rumor started that the bridge was going to collapse.  Maybe it was caused by the fact that suspension bridges sway a bit.  Whatever the reason, people stampeded to get off the bridge, causing injuries to many and killing at least 12. Doubts lingered and a year later, P.T. Barnum did his part to dismiss those doubts with a publicity stunt where the famous elephant, Jumbo, led a 21-pachyderm parade over the bridge.

GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEPT HERE
One of the bridge anchorages is built on the site of the first Presidential Mansion. New York was the US capital for the first two years of the Union, and George Washington moved in with his family right after the inauguration.   All that remains of this notable moment in American history is a plaque attached to the anchorage.

JUMPERS
Not even a year after the Brooklyn Bridge opened, another use was found for the span beyond its intended use. The height and the unpopulated water below made it "safe: and secluded place for suicide jumpers.  Barriers were eventually built to make that jump virtually impossible to attempt. However, a little over a hundred years after that first jump, bungee jumpers “performed” by going over the side illegally and being hauled back up with electric winches.

HEY MISTER, YOU WANNA BUY A BRIDGE?
The Brooklyn Bridge cost a staggering (for the times) $15.5 million to build.   People could easily swallow a story that the city had gone bankrupt building it needed to sell shares in the bridge to remain solvent.  Con artists sold people “shares” in the bridge, promising they would receive a percentage of all the tolls collected.  No surprise when these “investors” showed up at City Hall to collect their due, they found out that their papers were worthless.
Category:NYC Fun Facts