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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Brooklyn Bridge - New York City

Let me start by saying I have never been a New York City fan, and I know I have said this time and time again. 

 It's too busy, too dirty, too much traffic, and the people can just be downright rude.  Oh, and of course everything is so insanely expensive.  But in January, I spent the day in Brooklyn (instead of the chaos of Manhattan) and that visit really changed my perspective on NYC.  

Over in Brooklyn, there are so many beautiful old brick buildings, so much less garbage, and a lot less people.  The harbor is beautiful with all the parks, kids playing basketball, babies in strollers, and everyone running with their head sets on with a big smile.  And then there are the insanely beautiful views of the Manhattan city skyline.  
Brooklyn, who knew?  

While spending some time in Brooklyn, I could never find time to get on that famous bridge.  Walking the Brooklyn Bridge has been on my "New York Bucket List' for a while.  I mean, tell me you have seen the Sex and the City episode where Miranda and Steve agree to meet halfway on the bridge between their two boroughs if they want to make their relationship work. And of course they both show up and walk back over the bridge hand in hand.  Movies aside, its an iconic New York City landmark, stretching between two of the most famous boroughs, Brooklyn and Manhattan.   Well, when I found myself back in Brooklyn for a wedding shower, I carved out some time to see the views from the middle of this bridge myself.  

Brooklyn Bridge spanning the East River
  • The Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883 to the tune of $15 million. 
  • At the time, it was the longest suspension bridge. 
  • It took 14 years and over 600 men to complete the bridge.  
  • The Brooklyn Bridge is 5,989 ft. long. 
  • The pedestrian walkway across the bridge is slightly over 1.1 miles (1.6 kilometers ) long. 
  • It has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service, and a New York City Landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. 
  • This famous bridge spans New York's East River and has had a few different names. 
  • The bridge was formally called the New York and Brooklyn Bridge and then the East River Bridge.
  • In 1915, the city government officially named the structure the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Pedestrian and Bike Path 


You can drive the bridge, walk the bridge (1.1 miles one way), and even bike it. There is a separate pedestrian and bicycle lane but use caution and beware of bikers.  The bridge is very very busy and a lot of pedestrians (and selfie taking tourists) are blissfully unaware as they walk into and stop in the bike lane.

Map of the Bridge Walk (Source)
Lets be honest, this is the best way to walk the bridge.  Leaving Brooklyn, you walk across with amazing views of Manhattan as you make your way across the East River.  The views during the day are beautiful but sunset on the bridge, or night with the city lights is the way to go.  

To get to the Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walk 

1. The Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walkway begins at the intersection of Tillary Street and Boerum Place. This entrance is what one sees from a car when crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.

2. The second way to get onto the Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walkway is to access it via an underpass on Washington Street. The underpass is about two blocks from Front Street in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). This underpass leads up a stairway to a ramp up that brings you onto the Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walkway.

On the Brooklyn side: you can explore the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park (Pier 1), eat some delicious pizza at Grimaldi’s (which I definitely did) or walk the Promenade.

Enjoying a pizza at Grimaldis - rated as the best pizza in Brooklyn
View of Manhattan from Brooklyn (day)

Same view as above at night

Starting in Manhattan: The Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walk can be accessed from City Hall on the Manhattan side of the East River.

On the Manhattan side: you have Lower Manhattan (a ton of history) You can visit St, Paul’s Chapel, City Hall, Wall Street, the 9/11 memorial, and much more are within walking distance of the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Bridge at sunset January 2016

Statue of Liberty and boats on the East River

Posing on the bridge at the midway point

  • Love Locks:  Look for the famously large collection of “love locks” near the Manhattan Tower of the bridge. As tradition goes, couples leave padlocks on the bridge and throw the keys into the river as a show of everlasting love. If you want to join in on the fun (and pollution of the East River) bring a lock and someone you love to the Brooklyn Bridge (and write your names on the lock)! Be warned though, the Department of Transportation has been known to cut the locks off from time to time. 
  • Best View of the Bridge:  The best view of the bridge has to be at the Brooklyn Bridge Park (Pier 1).  Enjoy the open space with a book, take a walk, or enjoy food from the nearby vendors.  


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