Elsewhere on the monument-news beat, New York’s City Council voted yesterday to change the name of the Queensboro Bridge, which connects Manhattan to the borough of Queens, to the
. Council members representing Queens took this to be an insult to Queens, which it is, in that it it accurately represents the rest of the city’s attitude toward the borough. (So did the bridge’s prewar name, the 59th Street Bridge.)
Koch, the city’s former mayor, told the New York Times he liked to use the bridge “to go to Telly’s Taverna in Astoria for Greek food.” This echoed the New York Sun’s logic in 2008, when after 72 years of connecting three boroughs, the Triborough Bridge was
: it “serves as a pathway to the airport named after RFK’s older brother.” Queens: the one you have to go through sometimes to get somewhere.
Besides the loss of simplicity and the injury to borough pride, the naming of the Koch Bridge pulls the horizon for naming things after mayors one step closer to current events. Now people have to decide what to do with all the other living ex-mayors. Just give David Dinkins the Brooklyn Bridge—every borough gets a turn, right, Brooklyn?
After that, it’s time to move beyond bridges or tunnels. “Rudy Giuliani” can be the official name for a standard-issue New York police baton. And “Bloomberg” will be the name for the subdermal transponder that automatically ejects people from the island of Manhattan after 72 hours if their net worth is below $500,000. That won’t be a mayoral tribute, though; it will just be called that because the devices will be manufactured and administered by Bloomberg L.P.