I never had a car when I attended the University at Albany. That meant the only way to get from my home in Long Island to Albany was by either jumping on the Amtrak or hitching a ride with somebody heading back upstate. I preferred the latter because the two instances where I did decide to take the train, I once sat next to a lady who woke up from night terrors every 20 minutes and once had a dude with some serious body odor stinking up the whole cart.
So driving upstate while sitting shotgun was always my ‘go to’ move. I was the ultimate right-hand man. Well, at least for the first hour into the ride. A three fold combination of the heat pumping at full blast, Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ on repeat, and the smooth ride of my buddy’s Ford Fusion Sport, I was put into a deep sleep. Every. Single. Time.
It’s one of those naps where you feel like your conscious is floating above your body watching yourself sleep. Even talking about it is making want to doze off for a few minutes. If you’ve had one of those naps I don’t need to continue for you to know what I’m talking about…
Now, why am I sharing this? Well, to be honest, I have never once seen the Tappan Zee Bridge in my life despite how many times I have crossed it. Once I hit the Bronx, my eyes would shut. It may not seem like a big deal, but with the new bridge on the verge of completion, I don’t think that I will ever be able to say that I have experienced crossing the famed bridge that crosses the Hudson River.
If you’re a college student who lives in the five boroughs or Long Island and attends a SUNY university, I am 100% positive you have taken the Tappan Zee Bridge at least once in your life. And more than likely, I’m guessing that you are stronger than me and have kept your eyes open while crossing over the bridge.
Construction of the new bridge has been ongoing since the tail-end of 2013 and it looks more likely that the bridge will be fully completed by mid-August. It contains over 220,000,000 pounds of steel, stand 139 above the water, and stretches over 3.1 miles and runs NY taxpayers nearly $4 billion dollars. The job of the Tappan Zee Constructors has been nothing short of remarkable.
With a few weeks left until commuters make this new gateway a part of everyday life, there is one thing left to do, which may be the most notable part of this gateway to the city.
What the hell are we going to call this thing?!
As it stands right now, Governor Andrew Cuomo decided to rename the bridge, choosing to christen the new overpass, after his father, Mario Cuomo. “The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.”
This decision has New Yorkers up in arms, with a disapproval rate of over 50%. Westchester and Rockland residents have other thoughts, throwing out names that include, folk singer Pete Seeger and Nyack police Sgt. Edward O’Grady.
However, none of those names are really popping out in solidarity, so we here at two buttons deep came up with a few better options to propose just in time for the name to be sealed in ink and thrown into the Goblet of Fire.
The Clinton Bridge: Whether you want to name it the bridge for Bill or Hillary, it is a very practical name considering the fact that they live about 20 minutes away in Chappaqua. Historically reppin’ as a Blue State, especially in the Westchester and Rockland counties, a Clinton bridge could be a name residents stick behind. With the cloud of a presidential loss still looming over Hillary, this would be a small win for her symbolizing her work as the Senator of New York from 2001-2009.
Fallon Bridge: As a boy who grew up upstate in Saugerties New York, Jimmy Fallon would be an awesome choice to name this bridge. Nobody doesn’t like Jimmy, which I’m sure would translate to nobody hating this bridge during rush hour. But as unorthodox it may seem, Jimmy is as New York as it gets, especially for those going to and from upstate to the city. From his childhood in Saugerties to studying at Saint Rose in Albany, to Saturday Night Live, to The Tonight Show in the city, he lives and breathes the entirety of this state. I mean he’s already got a name on an amusement ride in Universal Studios, why not add a bridge to his resume?
The Is This Upstate? Bridge: If you do stay awake during the car ride, it’s inevitable to get into discussion of where upstate NY begins. If you’re from the city, one can assume as soon as you cross this bridge you are upstate. However if you’re from Albany, you’ll get a good laugh as you dive into why upstate doesn’t begin until at least Poughkeepsie. And if you’re from the north, well, you probably aren’t ever driving on this bridge.
2BD Bridge: The Two Buttons Deep Bridge. How could’ve Cuomo overlooked this one? Tappan Zee and 2BD share the same syllable count, and are practically interchangeable insignias of New York culture. Two Buttons Deep is out here putting upstate NY on the map so it only makes sense to have us reigning over the bridge that connects upstate to the place everybody thinks we’re talking about when we say we’re from New York…I’ll be sure to bring this to the floor the next time a bridge gets undertaken.
Whatever they choose for the bridge name, which will most likely be The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, I just hope it’s exciting enough to keep my eyes open for my next trip upstate.
Two Buttons Deep is a news & entertainment website based in upstate New York.
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