The Great Gray Bridge (And The Little Red Lighthouse)

29 May

I have ridden over The George Washington Bridge countless times

I have walked over it a time or two – luckily, for fun and not out of necessity!

But yesterday was the first time Hubby and I walked under The Great Gray Bridge.

The first time, but definitely not the last.

It was a warm day, but we got started early.

First, we took the subway – the A train – to 181st Street.

Then, following internet directions, and the friendly advice of a nearby up-town New Yorker, we headed west until we saw the lovely span of gleaming metal crossing the mighty Hudson River.

We crossed the footbridge (no photos – why? I’m a doofus, that’s why.)

Then, through the arch.

across the railroad tracks

along a nicely maintained bike/walking path, until we found ourselves under the bridge

and we found ourselves at Our Destination – The Little Red Lighthouse.

This very sweet little lighthouse was reconstructed here in 1921 as part of a project to improve Hudson River navigational aids, and was in operation until 1947.

It was made famous by a 1942 children’s book called “The Little Red Lighthouse And The Great Gray Bridge” by Hildegarde Swift and Lynd Ward.

A book about a Small, Important Hero, made to feel Small and Unimportant by the Next, Big Thing – but, in the Dramatic Moment, our Hero Saves The Day, and is again Proud and Happy.

Sounds familiar?

My favorite book when I was a child was “Little Black, A Pony” by Walter Farley, from about 1961.

The names have been changed, but the story is the same. A very compelling story.

Note to self, if I ever want to write a children’s book.

This is a very compelling story to children.

It’s what saved the Little Red Lighthouse from destruction.

According to Wikepedia,

“The proposed dismantling of the lighthouse in 1951 resulted in a public outcry, largely from fans of Swift’s book, leading to the preservation of the lighthouse by the City of New York/Parks & Recreation. The lighthouse is now a New York City Landmark.”

After admiring the views, Hubby and I continued walking south.

Would you guess that we were in Manhattan? What a lovely, perfect walk!

And, as if by destiny, we wandered up to the Hudson River Cafe – right at lunch time!

We have never been there before, but we shall definitely go again! After a nice long stroll, this was the perfect place to relax, enjoy a nice brunch – including limitless sangria – for $21.00/pp.


Then, we walked further south

until we got to 125th Street. We had walked enough.

Over to the subway

and home.

Then, we watched Marathon Man, the 1976 thriller starring Dustin Hoffman, Roy Scheider and Laurence Olivier.

It was, as Lou Reed would say, A Perfect Day.

A Perfect, New York City kind of Day.




One Response to “The Great Gray Bridge (And The Little Red Lighthouse)”

  1. Johnny D May 29, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

    Lou Reed drinks sangria in “A Perfect Day” too!

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