Take A Walk on The Brooklyn Bridge

 Posted by on May 10, 2011
May 102011

     As part of his American Studies trip to New York City, #1 Son and his classmates explored Manhattan’s Lower East Side to get a sense for what things might have been like before immigrants were displaced by trendy condos and art galleries.  The highlights of the day included a walk on the Brooklyn Bridge and a visit to the restored 1863 era ethnic apartments of the Tenement Museum, complete with sheet metal ceilings and turn of the century plumbing.   Along the way he took some awesome photos we just had to share. 

The Brooklyn Bridge is a New York City icon

     The Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic symbol of the industrial era in New York City.  Completed in 1883, the 1,595 foot main span links lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.  It is the oldest suspension bridge in the country.  It took 13 years to build and was an engineering marvel in its day.  More than two dozen construction workers lost their lives in the process.  Many passed away due to complications of  “the bends” which resulted from working in deep water caissons.

Car traffic seen from the pedestrian walkway above

     In the early days the bridge carried pedestrians and horse drawn traffic on the same deck, but today it supports six lanes of automobile traffic on the main deck with a heavily used pedestrian and bike path located on a raised center walkway. 

     The bridge recently passed its 125th birthday and thanks to almost constant maintenance it is in decent shape for such a heavily used structure.  It carries 135,00 or more cars most days. 

The Bridge requires constant maintenance

     One thing that has not changed in more than a century is the view of the Statue of Liberty which opened in 1886.  Even as the docks have kept up with the times, Lady Liberty holds her ground.

View of the Statue of Liberty from the Brooklyn Bridge

        Walking back you get a great view of the Manhattan skyline.   For a view of the Bridge at night check out A Teen’s View of New York City by Day and by Night.

View of Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge

     #1 Son’s school group walked across the bridge, which is the way many people got across the river in the 1880s.   If  you go, there are other options as well. 

Bike and Ferry Options Available Too

     If you want to spend a day exploring lower Manhattan and seeing the sights from land and water, check out a new offering from New York Water Taxi and Bike and Roll NYC.  They have teamed up to offer 1-day self-guided tour that takes you bike riding through the Hudson River Park, past City Hall and across the Brooklyn Bridge.  For the return trip, hop on the New York City Water Taxi at Brooklyn’s Fulton Ferry Landing for a cruise back to Manhattan, passing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  All rentals include an 8-hour bike rental, the water taxi ride, a 4-color route map detailing sights along the suggested route,  a helmet and a bike lock.  In celebration of National Bike Month,  Bike the Brooklyn Bridge/Water Taxi Back is offering a promotional package price of $49 for adults and teens and $29 for kids and tweens under 12 during the month of May2011.

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  One Response to “Take A Walk on The Brooklyn Bridge”

  1. Love this post! I have a real thing for bridges!
    I’d definitely want to take this walk. I walked one of the precursors to this bridge several times when we visited Cincinnati, Ohio. The John Roebling Bridge, spanning the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Covington, Kentucky, has many similarities to the Brooklyn Bridge as John Roebling was an architect on both. I wrote about the OH/KY span a couple of times on my blog and read David McCulloch’s massive book about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge–which is a fascinating look at the building of the bridge, the people involved in the process, the politics surrounding the whole project, and what was happening in American culture and society at the time.
    Thank you to #1 son for taking these pix, and you for sharing them :)

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