People watching is a favorite activity on the Brooklyn Bridge. My dog Whitney was very popular among the couples and Chinese tourists strolling the wood bridge footpath. Most tourists now use smartphones to shoot images of themselves before the skyline. It seemed like the Chinese tourists all had iPhones, not Samsung Galaxy phones for their photography.
I grabbed the dog and took the R train from near the bay bridge to end in Brooklyn Heights. Then, I walked the dog through Brooklyn Plaza to Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge was draped in places with canvas as part of repainting the steel cables and structural members. Tourists from Europe, China, and South Asia, as well as America, filled the bridge to see the extraordinary skyline of Manhattan. I got some great shots of the Manhattan Bridge, Empire State Building, and the skyline of the midtown area.
Midtown has some great shots from the Brooklyn Bridge at night. This is one of the most photographed bridges in the world, but in contrast to hometown favorite, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, it's not the bridge itself that's spectacular, it's the urban landscape behind it.
Great images to take from the Brooklyn Bridge of Lower Manhattan! This bridge is nowhere near the busiest of New York's Bridges--George Washington Bridge into the Bronx from New Jersey is the nation's busiest, but Brooklyn Bridge has the views.
The Brooklyn Bridge (1883) is the oldest steel wire bridge in the world, but the iron wire John A. Roebling bridge spanning the Ohio River at Cincinnati (1866) is 17 years older. Compare these very similar bridges, with the refinement and larger scale of the Brooklyn Bridge being very impressive. However, at the time the bridge over the Ohio was built, considerable engineering concerns were raised, as this was the world's longest span at the time. The long two tower design of both bridges overcame local objections about possible towers midway across the channel where ships and barges navigated. Both bridges have towers built of stone.
If you've never walked across the Brooklyn Bridge it is a must do. You can get on the Bridge at City Hall in Manhattan. It is a mile from start to finish. There are a bunch of photo opts and once you get to the Brooklyn side there are several places that are great places to stop A couple are in the Shadow of the Bridge and the hip neighborhood known as DUMBO is right there (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass).
Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (super creamy ice cream)
Grimaldi's Pizza (a landmark pizzaria but not always consistent)
River Cafe Restaurant (excellent higher end but an incredible view of Manhattan & Bridge, Romantic)
Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park
I know I know its a total tourist trap. But its so cool to walk the brooklyn bridge. It gives a breathtaking view of the manhattan skyline and also gives a lot of people watching opportunities. Even though it was bluddy hot when we did it in 2006 I don't regret it one bit!
Enfranchising cable, silvered by the sea,
of woven wire, grayed by the mist,
and Liberty dominate the Bay-
her feet as one on shattered chains,
once whole links wrought by Tyranny.
Caged Circe of steel and stone,
her parent German ingenuity.
"O catenary curve" from tower to pier,
implacable enemy of the mind's deformity,
of man's uncompunctious greed
his crass love of crass priority
obstructing acquiescent feet
about to step ashore when darkness fell
without a cause,
as if probity had not joined our cities
in the sea.
from "Granite and Steel" by Marianne Moore
When it was opened in 1883 - after 14 years in construction - the Brooklyn Bridge was considered the 8th Wonder of the World. With a central span of 1595 feet, it was then the longest suspension bridge in the world, and the symbol of an age of historic engineering projects.
Moreover, the building of the bridge was wrapped up with the personal saga of the Roebling family. John Roebling the father was an immigrant engineer from Germany who pioneered bridge construction in places like Pittsburgh PA and Cincinnati OH. The Brooklyn Bridge was to be his grandest project, but he died in a tragic construction accident in the first few days of the project. His son Washington took over, but Washington was himself crippled by "cassion disease" - a form of the bends - and was confined to a wheelchair for much of the rest of his life.
The Brooklyn bridge for some reason is a tourist event. I have never understood it. I had never crossed it. I am better and wiser for having done it now.
The views of everywhere are wonderful. Stop along the way and get yourself some pics.
This is the must-to-do activity of Brooklyn/Manhattan. Enjoy walking over the Brooklyn Bridge. The views from there are not less breathtaking than from the Empire State Building. On a nice sunny day this, about an hour, hike will be very pleasant! And…. don't forget your camera ;-)