As iconic a symbol of NYC as the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge is, I think, the most magnificent of the bridges across the East River linking Manhattan to Brooklyn. Having always wanted to walk across it, this trip we managed to tick that one off.
An early start on a frosty morning, we took the subway to City Hall – another first for us and a real treat for Son. The entrance to the bridge at Center Street was easy to find and we made our way onto the pedestrianized walkway right in the middle between huge stone pylons and a spiderweb of steel support cables. Traffic flows below so no cars to think about, you can just focus on those views. We spied Governors Island to the south, the Manhattan Bridge to the north and Brooklyn ahead.
When Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883 after 14 years of construction it was the largest suspension bridge in the world. The span between its two support towers is 1,596 feet and it still dazzles – definitely one of the architectural gems of New York in my humble opinion. Our stroll was on an icy winter’s day. Despite multiple layers and barely an inch of flesh showing anywhere, we were frozen. Make sure you sport your super thermals if you brave the bridge in winter – temperatures are bracing to say the least.
Our original plan was to walk over the bridge and explore Brooklyn before crossing back later in the day. It is about a mile long so not a taxing distance but Son was so cold and so miserable once we reached the Brooklyn side, we decided to turn and walk back again.
The walk back to Manhattan is really what it’s all about – walking back over the bridge you get a true sense of the city, seeing it as it should be seen. The majestic beauty of that skyline is just mind blowing.
Back in Manhattan we decided to head to South Street Seaport and Pier 17, only a short walk away and the perfect place to grab a coffee and thaw out. We browsed a little in the shops there, then found some great views over the water and across to the bridge on the upstairs terrace area.
I loved this stroll – not only an engineering marvel with a fascinating history but a romantic and iconic suspension bridge, crossing it is a walk with a wow – definitely not to be missed.