NEW YORK: EAT SEE PLAY SHOP SLEEP TIPS OUT OF TOWN

SEE

Brooklyn Bridge

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New York can sometimes feel almost too popular for its own good, with long lines, crowds, or lengthy waits at key attractions and sights. The Brooklyn Bridge is no exception: to walk its span on a warm and sunny day is to feel that everyone in the city – both resident and visitor alike – had the same idea at the same time. But rising early has its rewards, and today’s relatively empty bridge on a glorious spring morning felt like a true prize.

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Spanning the East River from Manhattan to Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the country. Now a much-loved and instantly-recognizable landmark, the bridge can be experienced up close by utilizing a pedestrian walkway that runs between and above the Manhattan- and Brooklyn-bound lanes of vehicle traffic. A little over a mile in length, the walkway offers pedestrians, runners, and cyclists sweeping views from New York Harbor and Lower Manhattan northward to the Manhattan Bridge and Midtown.

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While you can cross the bridge in either direction (or go half way then double back), I prefer the view walking toward Manhattan, the stone towers and steel cables framing the skyscrapers of the financial district to your left and the skyline of Midtown to your right. Stairs near the intersection of Prospect and Washington Streets in Brooklyn provide access to the walkway and allow you to skip the less scenic bit of the path that runs at street-level into Downtown Brooklyn. Once on the walkway, notice the thick white line painted on the ground, clearly marking the space reserved for cyclists on the north side of the walkway from that reserved for pedestrians on the south side. (Many cyclists use the bridge for commuting rather than sightseeing, and can be rather impatient when pedestrians wander into their space). Foot and bike traffic aside, however, you’ll see instantly why this walk is so popular. Happy strolling!


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