Friday, March 29, 2013

Photo Friday ~ A Bridge in New York City

This photo is dated 1963, so my husband must have been about two and half years old in this photo!  The woman is his great aunt, "Tia Chon".  Her real name was Maria Ascension Garcia,  sister of my husband's grandfather.  When his parents married in January 1960 and came to New York City from Spain, my husband was born in November of the same year.  In Spain the extended family would have taken care of any children, but they were newly arrived immigrants to the USA.  So they arranged for Tia Chon to come be the babysitter, since she had never married and wanted to see America.  Tia Chon came from the tiny village of Puerto Seguro in Salamanca, so New York City must have been a great experience for her.   My father-in-law worked at the United Nations, and my mother-in-law worked for a New York publisher.

I'm told that the bridge in the background is the George Washington Bridge, and that this was photographed at the Cloisters Museum.  If anyone from New York City can help identify the setting, that would be very helpful!

How do you like the hat?  My husband is still a big fan of hats.  He has a hat  in his current wardrobe just like this one, and a fez, a Mexican sombrero, a Stetson, several Panamas, berets, baseball hats, fedoras, a colonial tricorn, and a collection of wild winter polar fleece hats that are pretty unbelievable.

This photo was taken at Bear Mountain State Park in New York.  The background shows the Hudson River and some buildings or a bridge.  It probably dates from about the same time as the photo above.  Starting at the right is my mother-in-law with my husband on her lap.  Next to her in the dark clothing is Tia Chon.  The young girl in the foreground is, Julia, a friend of the family, and to the left is a young woman named Amparo.  Amparo was another relative from Puerto Seguro, Spain who also came to New York to babysit my husband.  She later became a nun in Peru.

UPDATE- Reader Wendy Walter has identified the bridge in the first photo as the Queensboro Bridge.  We checked on Google Maps and Google Streetview and from the angle of the photo we think it was possibly photographed at the United Nations Plaza.  This makes sense, because that is where my father-in-law was employed at this time!  Thanks, Wendy!

Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. I love the custom of family members helping out. We don't see that as often, now that everyone works. My children stayed with my father-in-law during the summers after he retired. It was ideal, their grandparents lived on the other side of a 40 acre field. The kids slept in, ate breakfast and walked down. In those days, we didn't have to worry whether or not the house was locked!

  2. Very cool. Now I understand your last name, because your husband comes from Spain. He had some good babysitters with both his great aunt and Amparo . . . sounds as if he had a great childhood with lots of loving people around.

    Yes, it certainly looks like the George Washington Bridge to me, and the Cloisters is a well-groomed place, just like the landscape in the background. I love the way your husband, as a little boy, is dressed in a cute suit and hat, and especially the way he is looking up at Tia Chon.

  3. That bridge does not appear to be the George Washington Bridge but I think it may be the Queensboro Bridge, linking Manhattan to Queens and passing over Roosevelt Island. I am not familiar with the neighborhoods around the bridge so I don't know exactly where the photo was taken. Here is a photo of it on Wikipedia.

    Great photos!

    1. I think you are correct now that I see photos. It definitely isn't the GWB. We think it might have even been photographed from the United Nations, which would make a lot of sense! The angle of the bridge from the UN grounds is perfect. Thanks!