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One Piece of Advice When Walking Across the Brooklyn Bridge

May 19, 2014 at 12:31 PM | by | ()

With the weather in the low 70s in New York City last weekend, this travel writer had an excellent idea: Stroll the streets of midtown and make my way downtown to the Brooklyn Bridge, cross over, and spend an afternoon checking out DUMBO and the up and coming Red Hook neighborhood. It was a great idea…if only a thousand other people had not thought of it.

As you can see from the photo below, the bridge was absolutely stacked, a pack of penguins waddling in unison. Bikers screamed and yelled for walkers to clear the bike lane, and logjams occurred as people stopped to take photos of the Manhattan skyline they were leaving behind. I could feel the impatience growing in people all around me at times, especially the aforementioned bikers and the other local runners and commuters. My patience was tested, too, as I weaved in and out of the crowd in an attempt to be on time to meet my friends on the other side in Brooklyn.

There’s no reason to get too carried away talking about how to cross a bridge, but the experience did bring up some sound advice which needs to be passed on. The first is that you should not be discouraged by the crowd if you’ve never crossed the bridge. The perceptive you get of the city’s skyline, the view of the two other bridges, the sight of the water and the Statue of Liberty in the distance are all components that make the experience worthwhile.

That said, since it’s typically very crowded and not exactly a short stroll, you probably won’t want to cross twice. In that case, my recommendation would be to do the opposite of what I did. Instead of crossing the bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn, take public transportation into Brooklyn and walk across back to Manhattan. When you cross from Manhattan to Brooklyn, the most dramatic of the skylines is behind you, and you’ll spend a lot of your time looking back over your shoulder. And as you can see in the above photo, when you're crossing to over to Brooklyn, the most dominate sight in front of you is a massive crowd.

Crossing from Brooklyn into Manhattan, however, puts the skyline shown in the cover photo on full display for you to enjoy during your entire walk, no rubbernecking required.

[Photos: Will McGough]

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