Bridge and tunnel
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Bridge and tunnel (often abbreviated B&T or BNT) began as a pejorative term for people who commute into Manhattan from surrounding communities. Controversy exists over whether this term extends to all individuals outside of Manhattan or rather outside the area served by the New York City Subway, a trip that, due to Manhattan's geography, requires passing over a bridge and/or through a tunnel in a car or commuter train. It can be used to describe residents of the other four New York City boroughs – Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island – but typically refers to those who travel into the city from upstate New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Long Island.
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Though the term originates from the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, it has come to encompass all people who originate commute from outside of New York City proper, including Connecticut, Long Island, New Jersey, and upstate New York. The Oxford Dictionaries explains that a bridge-and-tunnel person is one who lives in the suburbs and is perceived as unsophisticated. However, this is sometimes also used as allusion to New York City's vast transportation system.
"On the weekends, we get all the bridge and tunnel people who try to get in," he said.
Elizabeth Fondaras, a pillar of the city's conservative social scene, who has just told Steve Rubell she had never tried to get into Studio 54 for fear of being rejected, asked who the bridge and tunnel people were.
"Bridge and tunnel" was later adopted in San Francisco in reference to party-goers who live outside San Francisco, as a reference to this original usage. Residents of the Peninsula and South Bay take commuter trains (Caltrain or BART, each of which has several tunnels) and freeways (I-280 and US 101, which do not) to visit city hot-spots but do not actually live in San Francisco. Residents from the East Bay typically drive or take a bus across the Bay Bridge (and Yerba Buena Tunnel) to reach San Francisco, or take BART through the Transbay Tube. The commute into San Francisco from Marin County also involves a bridge (the Golden Gate) and tunnel (Waldo).
In Southern California, the term "909er" (a reference to area code 909) has come to have a similar, derogatory meaning for people coming from areas inland of Los Angeles, Orange County, and Riverside County, which has the 909 area code.
The term has been adopted in Boston to refer to young people who reside outside of Boston's core neighborhoods of Back Bay, Bay Village, Beacon Hill, Leather District, South End, North End, and the West End. Given Boston's natural and manmade geography, individuals from other neighborhoods in Boston must access the city's social center via one of the various bridges or tunnels that lead into central Boston.
In Southern Ontario, the term "905er" (a reference to Area Code 905) has come to have a similar meaning for the suburb area surrounding Toronto-proper, including areas such as York Region, Pickering, and Oshawa.
By comparison, individuals who commute from Manhattan to outside the city are known as "anti-bridge and tunnel."
In popular culture
- Bridge + Tunnel Productions (est. 1998) is a film company based in Newcastle, England and Paris, France which was founded by screenwriter/filmmaker Tina Gharavi who grew up in Red Bank and Middletown, New Jersey.
- In "Boiler Room (film)" (2000) reference is made to a group, while celebrating Seth's Series 7 in New York, about trying to impress the "bridge and tunnel crowd."
- The movie "Loser" (2000) makes a reference to bridge and tunnel girls when one of Jason Biggs's character's ex-roommates calls his girlfriend by that term.
- In Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008), Norah makes a reference to Nick's being "bridge and tunnel", to which Caroline replies, "If he's bridge and tunnel, what does that make us?"
- In The Dark Knight (2008), the Joker tricks Gotham into escaping via ferry by having his hostage declare on the news that "... the bridge and tunnel crowd are sure in for a surprise."
- In Greenberg (2010), Roger Greenberg, who resides in New York City, doesn't want to go to a bar in Los Angeles on a Friday night because it's "probably full of bridge and tunnel people. Or whatever the L.A. version of bridge and tunnel is."
- In Paranoia (2013), Emma makes a reference to Adam's being "bridge and tunnel", after her attempt to lose Adam after their one night stand.
- Bridge and Tunnel (2014) is a feature film written and directed by Jason Michael Brescia, set on Long Island.
- Bridge and Tunnel are a New York City-based punk/post-hardcore band, with a number of releases on the No Idea Records label.
- The Honorary Title, a New York City-based rock band, released a song called "Bridge and Tunnel" as a single from their 2004 album Anything Else but the Truth.
- Holy Ghost!, a Brooklyn synthpop duo, have a song called "Bridge and Tunnel" on their 2013 album Dynamics.
- Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek refers to fans of the band The War on Drugs as being bridge and tunnel people in a 2014 rhetoric song surrounding an on-stage festival incident between the two bands, titled "War on Drugs: Suck My Cock."
- The 2018 single Four Out of Five by Arctic Monkeys also features the term in the song's lyrics: "Mr. Bridge and Tunnel on the Starlight Express".
- In the first season of the television comedy 30 Rock, Liz Lemon's boyfriend is referred to as being "a little bridge and tunnel."
- In the episode "The War at Home" of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Detective Goren refers to two types that attend the particular night club that the victim did as "Bridge and Tunnel" and Military.
- In the pilot episode ("Flowers for Your Grave") of the television show Castle, Rick Castle tells Beckett that she's "not bridge and tunnel [because there is] no trace of the boroughs when you talk."
- Bridge and Tunnel is the name of an episode of Marvel's Agent Carter television series.
- In the episode "D-Girl" of The Sopranos, an obnoxious patron at a Manhattan bar calls Christopher Moltisanti a "bridge and tunnel boy."
- In the episode "Kimmy Kidnaps Gretchen!" of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Titus Andromedon calls Mikey a "bridge and tunnel tadpole".
- In the episode "Victoria" of Human Target Chrisopher Chance tells Princess Victoria "I believe the term is: Bridge and Tunnel"
- In the episode "The Anniversary" of Red Oaks Skye tells David that an art friend of hers said he was "bridge and tunnel".
- In the episode "Citizen Ship" Of Broad City Iliana and Abbi make fun of "bridge and tunnel bros".
- Bridge & Tunnel Books is a literary press in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- Bridge & Tunnel is the title of a 2006 critically acclaimed, Tony Award-winning Broadway play
- "bridge-and-tunnel". Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
- Grynbaum, Michael M. (2010-12-08). "Are You a Bridge or a Tunnel?". City Room. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
- Nemy, Enid (1977-12-14). "To Be Thin, Beautiful and Cheek-to-Jowl". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
- Sonny Smith (2008-09-30). "About his narcissistic helpless universe". San Francisco Examiner.
- focusfeatures.com Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine.
- Minsker, Evan (October 7, 2014). "Here It Is: Sun Kil Moon's Song "War on Drugs: Suck My Cock"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
- "Mr. Bridge and Tunnel on the Starlight Express". Genius. Retrieved 2018-08-01.