New York's Bridge-Climbing Subculture Is Fighting Over Those White Flags on the Brooklyn Bridge

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Image via City Council Member Mark Weprin's office
The infamous white flags.
Maybe you heard: on Tuesday morning, or maybe very late Monday night, someone swapped out the American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge and put some bleached white ones in their place. New York's public officials have been competing to see who can be more outraged and appalled over the stunt: Public Advocate Letitia James said the incident "raised serious concerns about our safety as a city," while Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams offered called the stunt a "terrorist act" and "descration" and offered $5,000 of his own money as a reward for information leading to the capture of the flag-swapping menaces.

Meanwhile, in a rapidly devolving debate taking place through Instagram and thinly-veiled jabs in the news, the subculture of daredevil photographers who like to climb high things and take stunning photos are pointing the finger at each other.

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A Wall Under the Brooklyn Bridge Collapsed During Last Night's Crazy Storm

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Image via @FDNY
Yesterday evening, New York saw one of those intense storms that makes summer in the city so memorable. The rain was sudden and absolutely torrential, and lightning cracked the sky for hours. Underneath the Brooklyn Bridge, a facade suddenly collapsed, injuring five people.

The Associated Press reports that about 25 feet of the facade, a decorative piece of wall under the bridge on the Brooklyn side, collapsed just before 8 p.m. There was no significant structural damage to the bridge -- other than, we guess, a piece of it falling off -- but the Daily News reports that a family was hit by falling pieces of wall. The family was standing right under the facade when it came down. Their four-month-old baby was knocked to the ground and promptly scooped up by a stranger, apparently unharmed.

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Electeds Protest Mayor's Ban on Religious Institutions Using Public School Space

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Sam Levin
Protesters earlier this month speaking out against Bloomberg's plan to ban religious institutions from public schools
They're back! And a bit louder this time.

Elected officials and religious leaders rallied yesterday to protest Mayor Mike Bloomberg's ban on religious institutions using public school space. Runnin' Scared last saw them in the pouring rain earlier this month, making a scene outside of Bloomberg's State of the City speech in the Bronx.

We didn't get a chance to get in on the fun yesterday but chatted this morning with a representative from the office of City Councilman Fernando Cabrera, who has been a leader in the the campaign against this policy. Apparently, more than 2,000 marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to call on the mayor to allow religious institutions to stay in school -- a definite jump from the hundred or so we saw on that rainy day weeks ago.

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Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Williamsburg Bridges All Messed Up This Weekend

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It's been a tough moment for people trying to get places in New York. This week we had the double whammy of the President's visit plus the Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting, and last weekend a lot of the trains were, for lack of a better word, fucked (especially the L).

For those of you who may have the need to drive over a bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn this weekend, be prepared that it might not be straightforward.

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Over 700 Arrests Made on Brooklyn Bridge; Hospital Wants to Release Hinckley; Typhoons Hit Philippines

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As we reported yesterday, Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested while marching over the Brooklyn Bridge. The New York Times reports police made over 700 arrests. Demonstrators claim authorities misled them by saying they could march on the bridge. Officers arrested people who weren't on the pedestrian walkway, but many who were on the bridge say the distinction wasn't made clear. Jesse A. Myerson, a media coordinator for Occupy Wall Street, told the paper, "The cops watched and did nothing, indeed, seemed to guide us onto the roadway." [NYT]

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Arrests Made at Occupy Wall Street March on Brooklyn Bridge; Times' Natasha Lennard Reportedly Arrested

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

Police have arrested protesters at today's Occupy Wall Street March on the Brooklyn Bridge. The New York Times says "500 people" were kettled on the bridge by police. The Times contributing reporter at the scene, Natasha Lennard, is said to have been arrested. A group called "globalrevolution" is livestreaming the march, and their footage can be seen above. It is not yet known how many arrests were made.


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Koch Bridge To Queens Coming Soon

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Former New York City mayor Ed Koch is getting the Queensboro Bridge re-named for him after the City Council voted 38-12 on Wednesday in favor of the change. The bridge connects Manhattan and Queens starting at 59th Street and heading over the East River. As soon as next month, it will officially be known as Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, "or E.K.Q.B. for short," according to the New York Times, and much to the dismay of the locals, who will never call it that anyway. "This is not about Ed Koch," said Queens Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr. "This is all about pride. Pride in our borough, and pride in our bridge." With a Mets-size chip on his shoulder, Vallone Jr. added, "No one would ever think of renaming or co-naming the Brooklyn Bridge." He's right though. [NYT]

Joe Biden Visits Brooklyn Bridge, Compares New York to San Francisco

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Via NY1.
Click to enlarge.
Joe Biden dropped by the Brooklyn Bridge today to tell Manhattanites -- yes, they did it from the Manhattan side --what a big (fucking) deal it is that the federal government shelled out $30M from the Economic Recovery Act to help repair the Brooklyn Bridge, a project that New York City is spending $286M on. What'd he have to say to the gathered crowd? That our bridge must be mentioned in the same sentence as...San Fransisco.

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Happy Birthday, Brooklyn Bridge ... You Old Thing, You!

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Today marks the 127th anniversary of the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge. At the time of its completion in 1883, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world--50 percent longer than any previously built. It's since been trod upon by horses and buggies, trolleys, cars, people, and innumerable bicycles. It's been hailed as a symbol of technology and optimism. We have to say, we rather like it.

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If You Want to Jump Off of the Brooklyn Bridge Today, It Might Work

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It's not like anybody can stop you. Apparently, if you're going to jump off of a bridge today, it appears that our city's services really can't stop you, even if you just want them to call you on your bluff and need someone to talk to.

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