How horses shaped NYC — and now thrive inside it in surprising ways

published 01.08.2020 15:10

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“When the Brooklyn Bridge was opened in 1883, the toll was a nickel a horse for the crossing … The width of my city’s taxi-choked streets corresponds to the breadth of two horses abreast; after all, horses were yellow cabs when my city was new.”

But “the city still echoes with horses,” Maslin Nir writes — and not just the animals controversially pulling carriages around Central Park.

New York City’s streets were built to accommodate “two horses abreast.”

It may seem as though big animals have no place amidst the crowds and bustle of the Big Apple, but “Horse Crazy: The Story of a Woman and a World in Love with an Animal” (Simon Schuster), out Tuesday, looks at the surprising ways horses have existed — and continue to exist — in New York City.

For decades, the Claremont Riding Academy on West 89th Street housed dozens of horses on four stories, with the animals ambling down a series of ramps to get to the outside world where city kids could take them on trots around nearby Central Park.

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