September 14, 2009

The Brooklyn Bridge

For all the shopping, restaurants, and entertainment in NYC, one of my favorite things to do is to simply put on U2's "Beautiful Day" and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Into the city, home from the city, doesn't matter. As long as I'm on the bridge, all seems right with the world. There are no cars (pedestrian walk is elevated), you're over the water, and there are beautiful views everywhere you look. What's not to love?
The 25-minute walk into the city feels like several "wish you were here" postcards. To the left: the Statue of Liberty and downtown Manhattan. To the right: the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. Hanging out for the duration of your walk? The Manhattan Bridge, just to the north.
There's something very "old NY" about the Brooklyn Bridge. Maybe it's the way the grandness of the arches mixes with the simplicity of the wood planks beneath your feet. You can almost imagine it on opening day, 1883: women in long dresses and gloves strolling with men in suits and hats. Then there are the boats. Ferries, cargo ships, luxury cruise liners, water taxis, tour boats, sailboats. It takes you back to a time when water was a primary means of travel and transportation of goods.
I never feel more like a NYer than when i'm on the Brooklyn Bridge. As I'm surrounded by tourists who are in awe of it's beauty and the views I often think "Wow, i'm lucky enough to live in what they're taking home in photographs." Kinda cool.
Ready to create your own bridge memories? Here are directions, along with visitor tips:
• Take the 6 train to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall. the entrance to the bridge is outside the station. You can also take a number of trains to stops close by. It's very narrow at the bottom of the island and the bridge is only a short walk away.
• Be aware there's a pedestrian lane and a bike lane. The lanes are marked: bikes to the left, pedestrians to the right. Bikes come very fast, DON'T walk in their lane.
• Stay single file or staggered, don't walk several people across. Being NYC, there are lots of people and not a lot of room, so please be kind to other tourists and residents.
• Least crowded time? Before 9am. You'll find a few NYers and a few tourists.
• Most crowded time? Sunset. You'll find every. single. tourist.
• There's great pizza and ice cream on the Brooklyn side

Wish you were here...

The Brooklyn Bridge

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