Manhattan Bridge Bike Ramp Was a Bustling Shantytown in the 90s

03/25/2011 10:42 AM |

(Ethan Wolff/Flickr)

  • (Ethan Wolff/Flickr)

Last month we learned that the Manhattan Bridge bicycle onramp area on its Brooklyn-bound side—currently a nondescript triangle of gravel, trash, occupied alternately by cyclist surveyors and homeless men—will soon become a tiny park with street furniture and new trees, but as recently as 19 years ago its was a dense shantytown inhabited by about 20 residents and known as The Hill. Bowery Boogie noticed Ethan Wolff’s stunning Flickr find (pictured) of the tiny plot of populated land with a tipi, circa 1992. At the time the pedestrian-bike ramp would have been closed because the Manhattan Bridge had fallen into disrepair when the city was bankrupt (it was reopened in 2007), so there were not pesky cyclists riding through.

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