by Kevin Walsh

I can’t confirm it, as so far I have seen it noted only on Facebook, but apparently the last classic “Woody” lamppost in use on a parkway within the five boroughs has been “disappeared” by the Department of Transportation. I hope I’m wrong, though.

Once, thousands of these wooden posts lined the parkways of New York and Long Island, built when they were literally parkways, running through wooded enclaves with tiny houses and green lawns. I call them the Woodies. They lit the great parkways constructed by Robert Moses beginning in the 1930s: the Belt (or Shore) Parkway; the Cross Island; the Laurelton; the Bronx River; and many others. Occasionally they found their way to regular city streets (I have seen pictures of them on 37th Street along GreenWood Cemetery and on Euclid Avenue in East New York) but mainly they were there to impart a rustic look.

Bucolicism left NYC in the 1950s and urbanism accelerated, and gradually, the Woodies disappeared. Their last bastion was the Belt and Shore Parkways in Brooklyn and Queens, where they hung on into the 1980s, though they were gradually supplanted by Deskeys. Finally the mixed bag of Woodies and Deskeys were sent packing and the Belt was lined with shiny, cylindrical poles. The last Woody could be found on a service road connecting the Laurelton Parkway with the westbound Belt, and so was inaccessible to anyone but motorists speeding past it. It was equipped with a special metal base to anchor it to the overpass.

Classic Woodies can still be found on Nassau County parkways, and in recent years a different style of Retro-Woodies has been installed on a stretch of the Henry Hudson Parkway above Dyckman Street.

Again… sick transit, Gloria!

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Sunnysider August 23, 2022 - 9:22 am

The headline on this post is every man’s worst nightmare. I will let myself out. Good day.

Kevin Walsh August 23, 2022 - 1:59 pm

Now that I think of it…

Sunnysider August 23, 2022 - 2:35 pm

This could be your chance to get a few Viagra ads on the site. Things looking up already.

John ulrich August 23, 2022 - 7:40 pm

That box truck shouldn’t be on the Parkay

redstaterefugee August 25, 2022 - 10:30 am

“Parkay”?: That’s a Kraft Margarine

Regardless, despite the fact that no commercial traffic is permitted on NY’s parkways, there’s no one to enforce it anymore:

William Mangahas August 27, 2022 - 7:46 am

I don’t think that’s the Belt Pkwy entrance. It should be North Conduit Blvd. see map

Brad August 24, 2022 - 9:36 am

There are still woodies on the Bronx River Parkway near the White Plains train station.


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