Generally Speaking: Not a golden anniversary event for the Verrazano Bridge!

We don’t like to sound like the male equivalent of a “Debbie Downer,” but the MTA-coordinated recent 50th anniversary birthday celebration of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was far from a golden occasion!

Talk about chutzpah. Two days before the span turned 50, the MTA said the toll will probably go up to $16, making it the highest bridge or tunnel toll in the nation.

Earlier, the MTA reportedly bought $34 million worth of Chinese-made steel for V-N Bridge repairs. There’s still no walkway or bike lane but the MTA claims it is studying the possibility. The bridge’s vehicular roadways were not open to pedestrians, like they were for the 25th anniversary bash.

Nonetheless, we celebrated informally by driving over the bridge and while we have an E-Z Pass, grudgingly paying the $15 toll so that we could have a cash receipt with the 11/21/2014 date and the high toll as a memento for our family scrapbook.

It was also very apparent that elected officials including Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and his Staten Island counterpart Jim Oddo were very upset and boycotted the formal commemorative ceremonies held on Staten Island with MTA Chair Tom Prendergast and the Bridges and Tunnels President Jim Ferrara.

While the late John N. LaCorte (see his monument in John Paul Jones Park) and the Italian Historical Society are credited with naming the bridge after Italian explorer Giovanni Verrazzano, it was the now deceased Bay Ridgeite Theresa Capece Rosen, LaCorte’s executive secretary, who typed, help research and made hundreds of phone calls to elected and local officials.


Aldo Mancusi, founder and curator of the Enrico Caruso Museum of America, was the guest speaker at the November monthly meeting of the Bay Ridge Historical Society, held in the Shore Hill Neighborhood Center.

Enrico Caruso sang at the opening of Brooklyn’s opera house, today more commonly known as BAM or the Brooklyn Academy of Music. To this day, Caruso is often referred to as the World’s Greatest Tenor. In addition to showing a video about Caruso and the Brooklyn-based museum, Mancusi brought along some artifacts and played some of Caruso’s famous recordings on large vinyl records.


New York State Conservative Party Chair Michael Long was the guest speaker for the November monthly meeting of the Brooklyn Young Republican Club at Hunter’s Steak and Ale House in Bay Ridge.

Long discussed how he got started in politics and stressed the importance of both Republicans and Conservatives fielding candidates against Democrats in all election districts. Among the attendees was new AM radio talk show host Frankie Russo whose show — which focuses on politics, music and sports — airs on WABC 77 Radio on Saturdays at 1 a.m.

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