A Very New York-style Tale
A new name for the Williamsburg Bridge
By lucas compan
Connecting the Lower East Side of Manhattan with Brooklyn, The Williamsburg Bridge is one of New York City's many architectural gems. It stretches over the East River and carries the J, M and Z subway lines, a bike path and a walkway, in addition to its eight lanes of vehicle capacity. Opened in 1903, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time. Currently the bridge transports about 140,000 motorists, 92,000 transit riders, 600 bikers and 500 pedestrians between the two boroughs – according to nycGO. The bridge is toll free.
Since april 2017, there is a new campaign could give the 114-year-old marvel a new name: the Sonny Rollins Bridge. Now, many may find themselves wondering, “Who is Sonny Rollins?”
clayson guse, from timeout magazine new york, found out that one New Yorker is on a mission to answer that question. Since last spring, Jeff Caltabiano has been campaigning to rename the bridge after Rollins, one of the most influential jazz saxophonists of the 20th century.
In “Who Is Sonny Rollins,” a short BBC documentary from 1968 (click on the image to watch), he speaks a little about the atmosphere: “Usually, I don’t pay too much attention to the trains—I’m usually absorbed in what I’m doing,” he said. “I’m sure subconsciously I change what I’m playing to blend with the sound of the train,” he admitted. “It all has its effect.” He also spoke about solitude—what it offered him. “Eventually I want to communicate, but it might take being alone to communicate.”
Sonny rollins is the bridge between miles davis (left) and the rolling stones (right).