Here in New York City, you can see what basically every single person is thinking as they walk the streets: It’s cold. It’s cold. It’s COLD. IT’S COLD. But we disagree. If it’s not cold enough to cross the East River from Brooklyn to Manhattan on an ice floe, then it can’t be THAT cold.
This has happened in the past. Numerous times, in fact! Gothamist turned up a bunch of examples from 1813 to 1888, when an ice floe floated down the river and was so fat it got stuck between the two banks, right around Wall Street. This sucker was six inches thick and covered in snow. Gothamist writes:
That day, New Yorkers tested the strength of the ice and “paid a boy his two-cent fee for the use of his ladder” to get on the ice on the Brooklyn side … when they reached Manhattan, they found a young employee of the fish market with a thriving side business, charging 5 cents to use the ladder he secured to help people up to land.
See, even in the late 1800s, Manhattan residents were overcharging for everything. Nothing much has changed, except for global average temperatures and the likelihood that this ice-river crossing will ever happen again.
New Yorkers Used To Walk Over The Frozen East River On "Ice Bridges", Gothamist.
Get Grist in your inbox