POST: 'Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses' - the man behind many of NYC's famous structures
What it's about.
Robert Moses, the man behind many of New York City's famous infrastructures (such as the Verrazano Bridge, Lincoln Center, over 600 city parks, and more) - though his ideas came to life, his ego stood in the way of him producing more.
Winter better not get colder, I mean 27 degrees is quite cold. My 15 minute walk from my school to St Clements' Theatre felt like forever. When I entered the theater, I had to pick up my tickets at the box office and some lady had the nerve to try to skip me, as if I was not standing directly in front of her. I quickly snapped and swung myself so fast to the box office that it baffled her. I had to remind myself not to say anything, as my mother would say, if you don't have something nice to say don't say it at all. I found it quite odd for a church to be half a theater. Mixing God and acting does not necessarily sit well in my head, but what the heck! When I found my assigned seat I realized it was smack in the middle of a row where both sides were already full of people.
The atmosphere in the theater felt like I was at a concert. There were a lot of large colorful stage lights and a good sized band. All that was left was for a guy to come out and sing a song, but little did I know that was not the case. While roaming through the pamphlet the name Robert Moses was printed large and bold on the front cover. I had no idea who this man was, but I had a feeling it was a real person that must have created something big. I look at plays based on real people to be a sign that the person created something big and important. So, I was definitely right about Robert Moses, who happened to be the leading architect behind NYC's bridges, tunnels, expressways, and more. Now of course these infrastructures are used 24/7, 365 days a year by New Yorkers.
The narrator of the play did so through song. Everything was sung and, of course, I enjoyed it (I love musicals). It seemed as though Robert Moses started off as a young gentleman with a huge imagination that he wanted to turn into reality. But as with many, the abundance of popularity and greed went to his head. In the beginning, he saw what NYC could become if bridges, tunnels, and expressways were built. More commerce, people, and businesses would flourish. But before building these items there were homes and parks in those areas. He wanted to demolish them to make room for his ideas. At first, it was not a big deal because back than (and probably still now), depending on who you know you get what you want. The person he knew (to get his way) was Nelson Rockefeller, who's a part of the billionaire Rockefeller family. Nelson liked every idea Robert had when it came NYC, but that changed when he realized Robert was becoming selfish.
So, like any politician Rockefeller teamed up with the leading advocate of housing at the time, Jane Jacobs. Together they fought against Robert Moses building these infrastructures in areas occupied by the people of NYC. In the end, it was a win win situation. Jane and Nelson were able to slow down and/or stop construction on Robert's infrastructure. Though it significantly affected Robert on all levels, he came to be the man behind NYC's most used infrastructures. Now, that is a title I would love to be associated with. Everyone would like to know when they leave this world that they left an imprint. In the case of Robert, he left behind iconic infrastructures. For Nelson, it was the Rockefeller legacy (foundations, etc.). And for Jane, it was her willingness to stand up for those who could not for themselves. I have sometime left in this world, so my imprint is not determined - but it will be my life's goal to make an imprint.
Tell us about your experience.
In the comments below.