"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Where & When: Game 8

Welcome back to Where & When, the game in which you try to figure out where and when the heck this picture was taken.  It is getting a little harder to find challenges that aren’t obvious or harder to look for on the net, but I try. I’m also open to suggestions, so if you have a challenge of your own you would like your fellow Banterers to play, send me a high res pic with notes and I’ll try to slide it into the queue.

Meanwhile, here is today’s challenge:

Where & When 08

I’m not sure if this is a photo or a realistic painting.  I did have to erase some info from the pic, so if the clouds look a little funny, it’s my fault.  What I’m looking for here is when this bridge was built and one of two names it went by.

Hint: This bridge was replaced by another bridge.  Bonus if you know the name of the new bridge and when it replaced this one.

Send your answers to cixposse at gmail dot com and feel free to discuss your thoughts on the thread (no spoilers!).  If you come across the actual site, don’t post it, but you can use it with your answer as long as you give a thorough response.

A Route 66 for the first person with the right answers, and cream sodas for the rest.  Enjoy, I’ll try to get back to you in the evening!

[Photo Credit: Atlas Obscura]


1 RIYank   ~  Oct 10, 2013 8:45 am

Wow, this is hard.
I thought I had a clue, but when I try to follow it I keep hitting dead ends.

2 rbj   ~  Oct 10, 2013 8:57 am

OK, not the High (aka Aqueduct) Bridge. Busy day here.

3 RIYank   ~  Oct 10, 2013 9:04 am

I've just sent in my guess.

I'd love to say a few things here that are clues, but I think that's not allowed in this round.

4 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 10, 2013 9:32 am

Will with a stumper.

5 RIYank   ~  Oct 10, 2013 9:55 am

The bridge is a bascule bridge -- that's the kind of draw bridge it is. I think it's okay to post this fact, because it didn't actually help me.

The Pelham Bay Bridge is a bascule bridge, and there's a nice one in Mystic... but this is a different one.

6 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Oct 10, 2013 10:21 am

Just sent in my guess. Wanted to thank Chyll here in public for finding such an entertaining stumper.

If I'm right, it's not because I know anything -- just had a nice romp around the web chasing guesses.

7 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 10, 2013 11:15 am

[4] Ha! At last, right?

8 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 10, 2013 11:24 am

Okay, whomever has sent answers, I did not get them so try again.

9 rbj   ~  Oct 10, 2013 11:32 am

Wow, definitely a tough one, finally got it.

10 Ben   ~  Oct 10, 2013 11:40 am

That's a very narrow stretch of water. I can't think of anyplace on the east river that is so narrow except Inwood. I'm gonna see if there was an old...bascule bridge... going into Kinsbridge...

11 RIYank   ~  Oct 10, 2013 11:44 am

Tried again.

12 TheGreenMan   ~  Oct 10, 2013 12:07 pm

Isn't that the bridge in Bedford Falls that George Bailey was going to throw himself off of after Uncle Billy lost the $8,000 deposit for the Building and Loan?

No...clearly I have no idea.

13 BobbyB   ~  Oct 10, 2013 2:35 pm

Way too tough. Metropolitan Avenue Bridge?

14 rbj   ~  Oct 10, 2013 4:23 pm

[13] Nope, but good guess. I was thinking that for a while too.

15 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 10, 2013 8:36 pm

Answer: Vernon Avenue Bridge, aka Hunterspoint Bridge, c. 1905.

This bridge was the connector between Greenpoint in Brooklyn and what is now Long Island City in Queens over the Newtown Creek, an inlet that led to the East River. There is another picture showing what is likely the Graham Avenue Trolley during the 1930s, but I liked this picture both because of it's obscurity and the fact that it shows a great view of the entire bridge. The bridge was eventually closed and taken down, replaced by the present day Pulaski Bridge in 1954. A waterfront park now sits on the Brooklyn side of where the Vernon Avenue Bridge once was (and I believe Vernon Avenue has since been renamed Vernon Boulevard on the Queens side.)

Both RIYank and rbj chimed in with answers, using the following techniques to uncover the truth:

RIYank - Well, as I hinted in the comment, I first tried googling up 'bascule bridge' with various other terms, but didn't get it.

So then I started thinking kind of the way Ben B. is thinking in his comment: this is a very narrow body of water to have a serious bridge in New York, so what could that be? (Much too narrow for the East or Hudson or Harlem, even for Inwood -> Bronx, of course.) I had a false start by looking in Staten Island, but eventually I thought of the Newtown Creek, only I didn't know what it was called but only thought of 'that rivulet that divides Brooklyn from Queens'. From there it was actually pretty easy!

rbj - Lots of trial and error searching for bridges around NYC. Finally used RIYank's clue about the type of bridge, bascule, which brought me to the similar looking Pulaski Bridge. Searching for images of that brought up Vernon Avenue one as well.

Well that says it all, Congrats to both of you for simultaneously submitting the right answers (how often does that happen?) and winning a draft of today's Obscure Root Beer. I know a couple of you submitted answers earlier and they did not get to my box, so sorry about that. Cream soda for the trouble...

The rest of you, thanks for playing and keep a lookout for the next challenge on Monday. Maybe you'll win some weird brand of root beer next time. And I promise to keep making it interesting!

16 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Oct 11, 2013 12:49 am

Hi Chyll - All glory to RIYank and rbj, who probably beat me to the punch anyhow. But let me ask here: Are you getting my emails? I tried twice today and have answered several of the others.


17 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 11, 2013 11:28 am

[16] Hey Jim; I was hoping you'd respond and was holding out for you, but I'm not getting any. Do me a favor and send Alex an email so he could possibly forward it to me, I can put it in a filter to make sure future emails get through. There are a few spam bots patrolling this site, so I spell out the email to thwart them (if you want to post it on the thread and then I can adjust the filters that way). Sorry about that!

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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