Yesterday's big local story was President Obama's appearance at the Tappan Zee Bridge to discuss the need for spending billions of dollars to repair our crumbling infrastructure. I've discussed the Tappan Zee before. While I applaud the new bridge construction, I maintain that the proposed new bridge is, basically, crippleware because it will lack a light rail component. Back in 2011, I wrote:
The very idea of nickel-and-diming infrastructure projects until they are "built broken" is asinine. The whole disposable culture has got to end. Remember when things were built to last, and one paid a fairly high price for durable goods? Now, we buy cheap crap that we have to continually replace, which is wasteful and stupid. It's wasteful and stupid when such items as shoes, clothing, and small appliances are concerned, it's tragic and suicidal when major infrastructure is concerned.
Here's the video of the president's speech, which took place in an area I know very well, the beautiful Tarrytown waterfront:
In the opening to his Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving described Tarrytown in terms which would be accurate today:
In the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town. This name was given, we are told, in former days, by the good housewives of the adjacent country, from the inveterate propensity of their husbands to linger about the village tavern on market days. Be that as it may, I do not vouch for the fact, but merely advert to it, for the sake of being precise and authentic.
While Tarrytown is a lovely place in which to... uh... tarry, the I-287 corridor, with the Tappan Zee Bridge bottleneck, is not the place to do so. I imagine the president's visit snarled traffic even more than is typical for the already congested area, but his theme of improving infrastructure and creating jobs is one of importance. I don't know how long he tarried in the area, but I sincerely hope he made a side trip to Lefteris Gyro, my favorite restaurant in the area.
I also appreciate his shout-out to the NY congressional delegation- I am a huge fan of Nita Lowey, a former representative of mine, and Eliot Engel, my current rep. I was glad that he excoriated congress as a whole, however. Hopefully, the president will campaign for Democratic congressional candidates in the crucial upcoming mid-term election.