Thursday, November 12, 2009

I've Got You, Under My Hudson

I'm probably going to dig a hole with this one, but Friday is the 82nd anniversary of the opening of the Holland Tunnel, about which Manhattan is no doubt still bitter as it made it easier for New Jerseyites (as in parasites) to invade. Notice there is no toll to leave NYC and go to NJ. And people born in NJ like to make jokes about terms like "tube diameter, it's not just for tunnels anymore." But no lie can pass from my two lips, so I must say the Holland Tunnel (woo-hoo, got tulips into the Holland entry!) is named after its original chief engineer, who dies before it was completed. The second person to have the position died after being on the job only a few months; I believe his name was John Paul I (they even referred to him as I from the beginning, for the just had this uneasy feeling). It was quite a feat, building the tunnel and not just because the digging workers had to be sure not to get the bends, which you think would have been easy as it was decades before Radiohead even recorded the album. At the time, they weren't sure how to clear the carbon monoxide from a tunnel. So they experimented on Yale students (true story) to see how much CO they could take. Alas, this was years before George W. Bush was a student there, so it explains nothing.



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