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Photo via Flickr Commons/Jay Reed.

The Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, which connects Queens to Manhattan, rarely gets the attention that it merits. Many New Yorkers drive or bike across the bridge on a daily basis and it is also a popular running spot because it provides magnificent views of the East RiverRoosevelt Island and Manhattan from high above.

Designed by engineer Gustav Lindenthal and architect Henry Hornbostel, it is the “longest of the East River Bridges, with an overall length of 7,449 feet,” according to the New York City Department of Transportation. The construction of the Queensboro Bridge began in 1901, and the bridge officially opened on June 18, 1909. To better appreciate its history and significance, here are our top ten secrets of New York City’s Queensboro Bridge.


Secret of the FDR Drive-South Street-NYCPhoto via Wikimedia Commons/Ryan Vaarsi

The FDR Drive is a 9.44-mile freeway-standard parkway that runs along the East River and is one of the most important routes in New York City. It starts north of the Battery Park Underpass located at South and Broad Streets and extends all the way uptown to the 125th street interchange. Thus, it isn’t surprising that such a significant and extensive parkway also has some interesting facts and history. When the FDR Drive was first conceptualized it was known as the “East River Drive.” After it was built, the parkway was renamed for former president Franklin Delano Roosevelt following his death in April 1945. Here are the top 10 secrets of the FDR Drive, including red lights on dead end streets, 27 seal statues in East River Park and an abandoned art installation under the Queensboro Bridge.


Macy's Fireworks over the East River on Friday, July 4, 2014. Credit: Diana Robinson/Mayoral Photography OfficePhoto via Flickr|Diana Robinson

The famous Macy’s 4th of July fireworks will be celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. The display will begin around 9 pm (after dark) on the East River, making them the most visible from Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Even though fireworks will be displayed over the East River, residents of the Bronx, Staten Island and Jersey City shouldn’t be alarmed, as they will still have access to local Independence Day celebrations. So if you’re staying in or around New York City this July 4th, have no fear. There are still plenty of ways to get a clear view of the sky.


1-Mika Tajima Meridian Gold Untapped Cities copyA new art installation in Long Island City. Image via SculptureCenter

July is arriving with a splash, literally, in the form of an 8,000-square-foot mural on a pool and mists of water vapor giving off golden fluctuations every two seconds. When visiting New York City’s best art installations this July, viewers may also go bird-watching at the Winter Garden and enjoy colorful new Essex Street Market murals. Our parks unfold a whole host of installations this month, including a two-headed goddess enlightening us with The Language of Things at City Hall Park and showing us how Art in Public Spaces should enhance our lives.

We will go back in time to view the early works of a famous New York City street photographer and honor what was once the Greenwich Village studio of an iconic artist. Finally, we will have a new and engaging Midnight Moment through the end of the month. Here are 11 installations and exhibits you might enjoy during the month of July.


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On an Open House New York boat tour, Stuart Miller and Sharon Seitz, authors of the book The Other Islands of New York talked guests through the history of New York City’s other islands, of which there are many.

Miller describes on the tour how the islands reflect the story of the city as its priorities have shifted over time. Some were originally purposed as military protection from the British during the War of 1812, named later for the families that owned them, and transformed over time into places of leisure, of isolation, of residence, and often of heterotopia. We’ve compiled here other islands of New York City. (more…)

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Things are certainly moving forward with New York City’s Citywide Ferry, scheduled to open in Summer 2017. First, a new web portal was released last week and today the NYCEDC released renderings for the new ferry landings. Although some of the stops will be familiar to those that know the East River Ferry or Water Taxi services, there will be new stops like Soundview in the Bronx, along the east side of Manhattan at 90th Street, 62nd Street, and Grand Street, in the Rockaways, in Bay Ridge, and two in Brooklyn Bridge Park.