Posts Tagged ‘Whitestone’

The Italian Job

August 3, 2017

Over the last six months or so, I’ve become an expert on national politics. This is, in no small measure, the result of a very unhealthy obsession with the disturbing activities of you-know-who.  So if I didn’t know how “a bill becomes a law” before, I certainly do now.

Interestingly (to me), as much as I know about the political landscape in Washington, I know next to nothing about New York State politics.  Sure I know that Andrew Cuomo is the governor . . .but truthfully, I don’t think I know who the Lieutenant Governor is.  My guess is that it probably doesn’t matter.  As for Mr. Cuomo, the only things I really know about him is that he screams a lot when he’s just talking; he’s not nearly as smart as his father nor as good-looking as his brother, and he hates Bill de Blasio.  Oh yes, and he has a girlfriend whose name is somehow related to a frozen cake brand.  I think I have that right.

As far as the rest of my knowledge of State politics I’m aware that there is a State Senate and a State Assembly.  But now that Sheldon Silver is gone, I don’t think I could name even two of those politicians.  Of course, I could easily find out who most of those Senators and Assembly(wo)men are—just by doing a Google search of white-collar indictments in New York State.

Here’s some more information to use at your next cocktail party:  the State legislature is only in session six months a year (January-June). During that time there are about 17 days that our representatives are actually physically present.  This sounds like it would have been the perfect job for me before my  reti…retire…retirement.  (Now, there’s not even one day that I have to be present!)  Although, as I think about it, being in Albany during January and February is no great shakes.  Who knows . . . maybe there could have been a part-time, part-time job for me.  But that’s all water under the bridge.

Speaking of bridges, this brings me to what this blog is about. According to an article in The Times a few weeks ago, as this year’s State legislative session was wrapping up, there was some unfinished business regarding a proposal to name the new Tappan-Zee Bridge after the Governor’s father, Mario.  This effort failed.  But an item that really interested me was proposed legislation to add a second “z” to the Verrazano Bridge. The bridge which connects Brooklyn and Staten Island, is named for the Italian explorer, Giovanni da Verrazzano, but it has only a single “z” and it seems that the single “z” has long been taken as a slight by Italian-Americans.

Which I already knew.  I have a fair number of Italian friends and I have to tell you, whenever I see them, after a few pleasantries about the weather and the family, it’s not uncommon for them to launch into a tirade about feeling dissed about the missing “z”. Which I totally get. Because, although I try to not let it bother me, I feel exactly the same way whenever I think about how they screwed around with the spelling of the Bronx- Whitestein bridge.