NYC | Dumbo & The Brooklyn Bridge

It’s spectacular isn’t it? The Brooklyn Bridge came recommended as an absolute must see from a New York local. I needed no convincing as this was the first thing I put down on my list of sights when I first began planning my trip. It’s an incredible feat of engineering and the intricacy of its structure a wonder to behold.

I actually confused this with the Manhattan Bridge at first. I stood in awe at the thing, mesmerized and so happy I’d finally got to see it. Then stepped so close that the space to my left opened and damn, there was the actual Brooklyn Bridge. Perhaps should have researched the numerous bridges in more detail. I hope I’m not the first person to confuse them!

I headed into Dumbo from Midtown East on the F line, alighting at York Street. Wandering down from the station exit (if you want to explore Brooklyn you’ll need to go the opposite way) toward the water I eventually found the spot where Washington Street and Water Street meet and you’ll see this familiar shot:

There was a photo shoot going on in the middle of the street when I got here and they were no where near finished, so no matter what angle they ended up in my pictures. Alas, the vibe is captured I think. The Manhattan Bridge shot is so iconic and I stood and looked at it for about 20 minutes before moving in closer (exposing myself as a fool). The street is quiet, so you’ve lots of time to stand and soak it up and there are a few caf├ęs nearby for you to warm up if, like me, you visited when it was -2! There’s a park near the foot of the bridge too, but I didn’t go in because the wind coming off the sea was ferociously cold.

To get onto the Brooklyn Bridge I made my way to Cadman Plaza East near Prospect Street. There’s a tunnel with a stair case inside that takes you up onto the pedestrian walkway. Get through there and you’re on! The walk across the bridge is 1.6 miles so make sure you have comfortable footwear. I had a broken toe (unfortunate bunk bed incident) but I made it over in about 30 minutes (stopping a lot to take in the view). You can see so much of Manhattan and Brooklyn alike from here, it’s a great viewpoint. Even watching the traffic zoom by below is sort of therapeutic. There’s a plaque at the Manhattan end that gives you an overview of the Bridge’s lifespan. It was the first cable suspension bridge ever built so it’s a pretty incredible thing to say you’ve stepped on and if you go to NYC, you must do this. Even if you’re not that fussed, please go.

When I hobbled off the bridge back onto Manhattan Island, I took a stroll in City Hall Park which is nearby. I just sat on a bench, squirrels darting about around me in the snow and tried to quell the ‘Jesus Christ I need to live here’ emotions.

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