The folk singing duo of Simon and Garfunkel put “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” in country’s consciousness in their 1966 album “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” The colloquial name for the Queensboro Bridge had remained there until last week.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans to rename the Queensboro after iconic former mayor Edward Koch, who celebrated his 86th birthday on Sunday, December 12. He served three terms as mayor of the city from 1978 to 1989 during times of both prosperity and struggles with crime and homelessness.
As the iconic song says, “Slow down, you move too fast.”
We say nobody asked anyone in Queens if they were “Feelin’ Groovy” about the renaming of the 101-year-old bridge – which crosses the East River from Long Island City to 59th Street in Manhattan – to the Ed Koch Bridge.
We wuz robbed!
And even Borough President Helen Marshall said, “I haven’t found one person who thinks this is a good idea. I think a lot of people have good feelings about the former mayor, but renaming a bridge is another story. We are going to watch this.”
We call on City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who must approve the idea to “slow down” and not “move so fast.” Bloomberg even had signs last week to show to Koch at a press conference.
Our soon-to-be-presidential candidate of a mayor has been known for rushing his agenda items into being – the Cathie Black appointment as the next Schools Chancellor is one he admitted he should not have keep so secret.
Even though the city plans to raise the money privately – the renaming of the Triborough Bridge to the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge in 2008 cost the city and state nearly $4 million for new signage – to pay for road signs, let us rethink this money wasting tribute to a living legend from Manhattan.
There are plenty of Queens natives who might deserve the honor far more than Ed Koch. One living legend that comes to mind is Tony Bennett.
Now that would be “Groovy,” or better still that would be “Cool.”