Polsky said that the neighboring park benches around theirs were all adopted—as if their bench was the waiting for them.
Since then, thousands of husbands and wives, celebrities and politicians, and lovers and families have adopted their own park bench in the massive acre park. With 9, benches total in the park, 4, are still available for adoption, meaning there are still thousands of messages yet-to-be-installed throughout the park.
When you imagine life in the early to mid-nineteenth century, you probably picture log cabins found in Little House on the Prairie. Similarly, the original benches in Central Park were rustic wooden benches crafted out of logs from the Adirondacks, with Frederick Olmsted and Calvert Vaux leading the design.
The pair of landscapers and architects won a design competition in with their Greensward Plan, which laid out designs to strategically improve and expand Central Park. Its design provided seating for the high demand of visitors heading to the park in the late s. The New York Times reported in a article that the invention of very hot furnaces led to these cast-iron settees, which served as an inexpensive, but sturdy seating option.
With homeless people sleeping on benches, Moses wanted to create a bench that was very sturdy or at least looked sturdy. Moses and Lynch hired unemployed workers to construct the benches.
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Built from cast iron with an Art Deco flair true to the time period, you can still find Moses Benches around the park today, with their hooped arms and legs serving as a visual reminder of design at the turn of the century. The design stood the test of time and has only seen a few changes over the years, with prominent placement near some park entrances and similar benches found throughout the United States.
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It was also at Princeton that Caro met his wife, Ina, who would also become the only assistant and researcher he has ever trusted. She was 16 at the time, a high-school student from nearby Trenton, double-dating at a Hillel mixer. In order to marry, Caro needed a job. Another mistake, except that it led to an early lesson in power politics. When he became ill, Caro took his place.
He wrote speeches and did P. On Election Day he rode around with this man to the polling places, and at one point they came upon the police loading some black people into a patrol wagon. I just wanted to get out of that car, and as soon as he stopped, I did.
Robert Caro’s Big Dig - The New York Times
He never called me again. He must have known how I felt. View all New York Times newsletters. He had moved on to Newsday by then, where he discovered that he had a knack for investigative reporting, and was assigned to look into a plan by Robert Moses to build a bridge from Rye, N. That was one of the transformational moments of my life.
The lesson was repeated in , when Caro had a Nieman fellowship at Harvard and took a class in land use and urban planning. Highways get built because Robert Moses wants them built there. Caro has a bold, grand style — sometimes grandiose, his critics would say.
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It owes something to old-fashioned historians like Gibbon and Macaulay, even to Homer and Milton, and something to hard-hitting newspaperese. He is not averse to repeating a theme or an image for dramatic effect. Instead of merely lifting some excerpts from the book manuscript, as was usually done, Whitworth tried to condense the whole thing, and this entailed squeezing out great chunks of writing, running the beginning of one paragraph into the end of another, pages away.
A description of the situation in vigorous Caro-ese might read something like this:. He wielded it quietly, softly, almost in a whisper, but he wielded it nonetheless. Not for nothing did some of his staff members privately call him the Iron Mouse.
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The negotiations became so fraught that between the second and third installments there was a weeklong gap, unthinkable in those days, while the two sides stared each other down and it seemed that the next two parts might be scuttled. Everyone at the magazine was aghast. Caro, it turned out, was as stubborn as Shawn. Moreover, he was broke, hardly in a position to turn his back on the biggest payday of his life so far, but alone among New Yorker contributors at the time, he dared to become a Bartleby and turn his powerlessness into a point of principle.
Whitworth, undaunted, excerpted the first volume of the Johnson biography in The Atlantic after he became editor there in In college he was such a quick and facile writer, and so speedy a typist, that one of his teachers, the critic R. And then he rewrites the typescript.
Caro is an equally obsessive researcher. No one had ever seen anything like it. It was a monument not to industry, because lots of people have industry, but to something else. Caro once spent several nights alone in a sleeping bag in the Texas Hill Country so he could understand what rural isolation felt like there.
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He has spent literally several years at the Johnson Library, in Austin , Tex. His notes, typed on long legal sheets, often with urgent directions to himself in capital letters, fill his cabinets, and before he begins writing, he indexes the relevant files in big loose-leaf notebooks that resemble the ones behind the counter at auto-parts stores. There is no computer, no Google , no Wikipedia.
Yet, after standing there dumbly for a time, I was gratified and grew calm. Life took me by the shoulder and its wonderful gaze rested on mine. The world was as living as ever and beautiful as at the most beautiful time. I quietly left the room and went out into the street. Recommended Stories.
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