June 13-18 2014

I-95 at the Pequonnock River in Bridgeport, Conn.

I-95 in another mid-sized city: Stamford, Conn.

I-95 continues in Stamford.

Yet another view of Stamford.

A rather inconspicuous sign declares that this is the New York state line. We're on I-95 still.

A more prominent sign welcoming us to the Empire State. The sign calls this the Gov. Thomas E. Dewey Thruway, but this is not the Thruway's mainline. This is a mostly toll-free stretch of Interstate often labeled as the New England Thruway - even though New York is not officially part of New England.

Still I-95, and the city you see here is New Rochelle, N.Y. - a burg of 80,000 just north of New York City. New Rochelle is the onetime home of pamphleteer Thomas Paine. (He had the idea for The Last Word even before I did!) It's also the hometown of Don McLean, Bob Denver, Jay Leno, and Rob Reiner. The tallest building here is the 40-floor Trump Plaza - part of something called Le Count Square (like the Count from Sesame Street).

Before we get to New Rochelle, I-95 goes through this tunnel in Larchmont, N.Y. The tunnel goes under a parking lot for a transit station.

I-95 in New Rochelle. This is a closer view of the hometown of Meathead and Gilligan.

Some folks aren't interested in hearing about your travels until you tell them you went to New York City. Then the oohing and aahing begins. One of the first things you see upon entering the city going south on I-95 is the set of buildings on the left: Co-op City in the Bronx. Co-op City is the largest cooperative housing development in the entire big, round world. It was completed in 1973 and has 35 high rises, many townhouses, 8 parking garages, 3 shopping centers, and even 2 weekly newspapers. The population is over 40,000. These days, qualifications to live there are quite rigid. For instance, you need a prohibitively high credit score.

I-95 at Co-op City.

I-95 continues to lurch past Co-op City.

I-95 at I-695 (the Throgs Neck Expressway) in the Bronx. At less than 2 miles, I-695 is among the shortest Interstates. And did you know that before 1970, I-295 was somehow part of I-78? It's true, it's true, it's all true!

The I-95 and I-278 shields look downright prehistoric. But a 1964 road atlas shows the part of I-278 up ahead was I-878, while I-278 used the current I-895. Also, the 1964 map says I-278 used US 1 north of here, although it's not a freeway. I-878 also wasn't a freeway yet back then. The current numbering was established in 1970.

I bet the Interstate markers are from 1970 when the renumberings took place. They look older.

Some good Bronx scenery. I've always wanted to live in the Bronx. One of New York City's 5 boroughs, the Bronx didn't become its own county until 1914 when it split from New York County. Bronx County was the last county in the state to be formed.

I-95 goes under Castle Hill Avenue.

We were caught in a 48-minute traffic jam in the Bronx, and the electronic signs didn't even warn us. After 20 years of Giuliani/Bloomberg incompetence, who's surprised?

Those 48 minutes were wosted.

I-95 goes under Westchester Avenue at Hugh J. Grant Circle. Hugh Grant was a former mayor, and I keep getting him confused with Lou Grant. Who I keep keeping getting confused with Lou Gramm of Foreigner. Notice there's a subway line above all that.

Inside the tunnel under Hugh J. Grant Circle.

I'm not sure, but this might be under 174th Street. Somewhere along here, we found the truck that was the cause of much of the traffic jam, for it was parked even though it had clear space in front. Uh, thru trucks aren't supposed to be using this road. That's what I-287 is for.

Looking north on the ending ramps of I-895 (the Arthur V. Sheridan Expressway) from I-95. At 1.29 miles, I-895 is even shorter than I-695. The freeway was completed in 1962. Wikipedia says the road is "locally seen as a useless stub."

Up ahead, I-95 goes under Boston Road, which has a subway line running above it in the same path. And yes, Boston Road does pick up US 1 north of here.

Under Boston Road and the accompanying rail.

Isn't it nice how the ordinance that bans possession of spray paint has completely eliminated graf...ah, never mind.

I-95 has a tunnel under what appear to be some basketball and tennis courts at Prospect Avenue.

Inside the aforementioned tunnel. The arched overpass up ahead is for Crotona Avenue.

I-95 has a tunnel up ahead under Grand Concourse - a specially designed boulevard that opened in 1909. The 4-mile long road was based on Paris's Champs-Élysées, and both the northbound and southbound sides are separated into 2 roadways.

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