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Walking the Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge (New York, USA)
Member Name: Gemma_C
Brooklyn Bridge (New York, USA)
Advantages: Famous bridge with brilliant views, an evening I will never forget.
Disadvantages: People walking in the bike lane makes New Yorkers understandably angry.
Before I went to New York, a visit to the famous Brooklyn Bridge was already planned in my itinerary. Completed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge connects Brooklyn to Manhattan and is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. I read about the history of the bridge in my guide books, and it certainly has an interesting past. Building it caused problems, such as the well known fact of the workers who suffered from Compression Sickness from working in the caissons, and an week after it opened, a rumour that the bridge was going to collapse caused a huge stampede in which at least 12 people died.
I was eager to visit the bridge and walk across it, enjoying the views of Manhattan from the bridge. After much careful research online, I decided I would enjoy it most walking across from Brooklyn to Manhattan so I could see the famous skyline, and I would do this as the sun was setting because I love the image of a big city lit up at night. I had already been to Top of the Rock as the sun was setting, and I knew about what time the sun would set so I had this carefully planned. If you are wanting to visit the Brooklyn Bridge and walk across it, then there is a brilliant idiot's guide someone has written on TripAdvisor which explains how to get there on the subway, and how to get onto the walkway. The walkway is on an upper level above the road which has 6 lanes, so it's quite safe, as the traffic for Brooklyn Bridge is very busy.
Following the Tripadvisor guide, we got the A train down town to High St station. We actually went early evening, and went to Grimaldi's for pizza, then down to Fulton Landing where I was also tempted by the Brooklyn Ice Cream factory. From here you get a great view of the bridge from almost underneath it, as well as Manhattan. It was a lovely sunny October day with people lying around taking in the scenery, and lots of wedding parties came for photos with the famous bridge and skyline behind them. I highly recommend going here first for the view of the bridge before you walk across it!
As the sun was starting to set, we used the instructions to find our way to the walkway. Once we were up there, we sat on a bench near the start, watching the sun starting to go down and the lights in Manhattan and the bridge started to come on. It was also where you can watch tourists completely ignoring the bike lane and either walking along it oblivious, or posing for photos. The bike lane however is a busy place, and the frustrated New Yorkers all have bells on their bike and they ride along ringing them and screaming at people to get out of the clearly marked bike lane. People continued to be oblivious, and to watch it was frustrating and amusing at the same time, as there is plenty of path for pedestrians but people were rather ignorant of this.
As previously mentioned the walkway is above the road, and you can hear the busy traffic underneath, blaring their horns in typical impatient New York style, however you can almost drown it out after a while, as the views from the walkway are fantastic. As we walked across the bridge, I stopped for photos at certain points, and one of the best views was the Statue of Liberty in the distance, with a brilliant red/orange sunset behind it. It's one view I will never forget! In front of us was the Manhattan skyscrapers, getting closer as we slowly walked our way back to Manhattan. The cables of the bridge reach up rather web like on either side of you, however on 2 parts of the bridge the walkway really opens out into a large space where people gather at certain points for the best views of the Statue of Liberty or the skyline. Despite it being night time, the bridge was busy with people walking across it in both directions (though most were doing the Brooklyn to Manhattan walk), however it never felt too crowded or busy and it really was a pleasant evening.
I highly recommend the Brooklyn Bridge as a must whilst in New York. Make a nice evening of it, get something to eat in Brooklyn and go down to Fulton Landing before walking back across to Manhattan and enjoy those views and of course, the bridge itself. I highly recommend reading 'The Idiot's Guide to Brooklyn Bridge' which someone has written on Tripadvisor, I highly suggest googling it and printing it out when visiting the bridge.
Summary: Walking the Brooklyn Bridge is a must when visiting New York city.