Saturday, September 26, 2009

How Close to Manhattan?

Outside the New York metro area, many people have never heard of New Rochelle (I guess they weren't Dick Van Dyke-Mary Tyler Moore fans), and even many of those who have--vaguely, sort of--have no clue where "The Queen City of the Sound" (Long Island Sound) is located. Well, from that remark you can tell it's on Long Island Sound!

On a sunny summer weekend (such as this one, Sept. 19), Long Island Sound fills up with sailboats. Too bad I can't shoot panoramically with my camera, because the whole horizon was full of sails (plus the occasional freighter, kayak, and paddle boat). This was shot from the east end of Pine Island, New Rochelle.

In 1906 George M. Cohan produced a musical called Forty-five Minutes from Broadway that was set in our fair city. Later in the century many of the country's top illustrators lived here because of its proximity to Manhattan, including Norman Rockwell (24 Lord Kitchener Rd.). So did baseball's greatest-ever first baseman, Lou Gehrig (4 Meadow La./Lou Gehrig Way), across the street from the College of New Rochelle. So did TV producer Carl Reiner, whose home at 48 Bonnie Meadow Rd. in the city's far north end was the setting for fictitious Rob and Laura Petry's fictitious address of 448 Bonnie Meadow Rd.

Nowadays MetroNorth, the commuter railroad, will get you to Grand Central Terminal in half an hour. If it takes you 15 minutes to get out of the terminal and walk to Broadway, there's your 45 minutes!

How's this for visual evidence of how close New Rochelle is to Manhattan?
This shot was taken on Pine Island, just outside our city's harbor, looking toward Glen Island, where Glenn Miller used to play in the late '30s, tho not in that building at the left, which is much more recent. But the tall, spiked building in the center of the photo isn't in New Rochelle or even in Westchester County. It's the Empire State Building. That's how close we are to Manhattan. (It's even better if you click on the pic and enlarge it.)

Another stunner is this, shot from the same spot at the west end of Pine Island, just turning slightly southward, relative to the previous shot:
It's the Whitestone Bridge, which crosses the East River and connects the borough of The Bronx with the borough of Queens. The East River is wide enuf at that point that it's on the verge of becoming the Sound.

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