Greetings ladies and gents and welcome to a new season of Where and When! No, it wasn’t a dream or a passing fancy of some lunatic minds, it was and is a rather fun puzzle game for our readers to utilize their deductive skills in tracking down the answers to life’s important questions… well, trivial maybe, but all games involve a certain amount of seemingly useless knowledge. Back by popular demand (and a moment to spare in a busy work schedule), I’ve brought to you something new to disseminate and ponder. But before we get down to the nitty-gritty, a little background for the newcomers to Bronx Banter and/or this game we play…
Earlier in the year, Alex posted an interesting picture here from another site of a New York City landscape from the early part of the 20th century (so near, and yet so far) in which the writer asked help in identifying the location depicted in the picture. After some pondering and sharing of our observations within the picture, several of our loyal readers (myself included) concluded that the picture was an early photo of Manhattan’s West Side along the Hudson River; facing north from the busy piers near Midtown and peering far into the distance where the George Washington Bridge was just under construction. By this we were also able to determine the probable date the photo was taken. Riverside Drive was the dominant roadway, but the Henry Hudson Parkway was also under construction at the moment the picture was taken.
It was a fun undertaking, as I later wrote to Alex, and I suggested making a game out of it. “You’re hired” he responded, and I’ve been the administrator of this effort ever since. I’ve experimented with rules and formats throughout, trying to make it fair and more involving for everyone as our readers are so widely dispersed that some miss out on the game due to the difference in time from here to there part of the globe, but I’ve compensated in creative ways to involve them as well. In the end, I settled for a free exchange of ideas and suggestions with the stipulation that whoever answers he questions fully explain the process they used to find the answers (the journey can be equally as, if not more entertaining than the destination itself). The winners (the first person to answer the questions correctly) would receive a theoretical root beer; a Banter tradition that began with the jinxing of anyone who posted an identical comment to the comment prior to his or her own. The rest of the players were given cream sodas as a consolation prize for playing. I had something special in mind for the person who tabulated the most wins in a year, but because my work schedule began to interfere with regularly scheduled postings, I tabled that idea for the time being (but it’s still under consideration).
About the scheduling; I tried to adhere to a two or three-a-week schedule of games, but I ran into two big problems: life (big problem, supersedes everything fun) and supply. I am a bit of a perfectionist, so I try to find interesting challenges for these games and generally avoid stock footage of standard New York City easy-to-identify landmarks. There are many sites with different photos of many places around the city, but even some of those are nondescript and would not provide a fair amount of clues to present as a challenge. So with those limitations, I’ve often found myself painted into a corner concerning what to present. Alex and I have discussed this at length and he has encouraged me to open my definition of what I consider interesting challenges as it were, bearing in mind that some people may be seeing these locales for the first time. With that in mind, I am being more open minded about what to present so that I don’t run out of material and also to allow one of my main goals to come into fruition: to educate and enlighten our readers and players about the history and appreciation of our great city and its region of influence. The most important thing to remember is that it is a game and was born from and meant for fun.
So let’s have some fun, shall we?
Here we have an aerial photo of a region within the city that you may or may not recognize from certain features within the picture. I think this is an easy one, but I’m sure that those of you not native to the region will want to look up some of the details in whatever manner you use to research. I can say this much, the features in this picture give a good indication of the time period of this photo, so I don’t have to drop many hints. If you get it within the correct decade, you’ll get credit for the when answer. So, if you answer Where this picture dipicts and When it was likely taken, you will win our traditional first prize, a frosty mug of high-quality root beer (which is always up for discussion). As a bonus, if you can identify at least two major features within this photo with proper names from the time it was taken, you will get a scoop of ice cream to add to your root beer, making it a root beer float of course. All players who participate in the discussion will receive a cold mug of cream soda for your efforts. I will try to return during the latter part of the day to reveal the answers and discuss any trivia or history that’s associated. You are all free to discuss whatever you like about it, but please avoid using the direct link in the photo credit (unless you find it during your research) and also as discussed before, show your math.
So ladies and gents, welcome back and have fun!
photo credit: Wired New York