When jetlag still rules, and l wake up at 5 in the morning, one of my favorite pastimes is to go for a walk across one of the bridges between Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. The Manhattan skyline looks most beautiful early in the morning, and even Brooklyn Bridge is almost empty from people, if you go right after sunrise. Here are the 3 bridges that I love to walk.
Brooklyn Bridge, the fairest of them all, is on the top of my list, and it should be on top of your list too, because walking across Brooklyn Bridge is an experience you don’t want to miss. There are no subway trains on the bridge, but instead, you have to watch out for bicycles as the pedestrian lane and the bicycle lane aren’t separated very well. You get the best photos around halfway over the bridge, when there are no wires to obstruct your view. Immediately on the Brooklyn side, there’s the Fulton Ferry Landing Pier, and if you cross the bridge later during the day, the food and drink outlets on the pier will be open, including Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. Try their peaches and cream ice cream, it’s the best. On the Manhattan side you’re close to Wall Street s go and grab the Charging Bull by its horn, shop ‘til you drop at Century 21 or visit Freedom Tower.
From Manhattan Bridge you’re spoiled with sweeping panorama views of Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan, but the noisy subway trains detract a little from an otherwise grandiose experience. Manhattan Bridge is rarely very busy and even though there is a fence, it’s still possible to take some really nice photos from the bridge. The bridge takes you from Brooklyn right to the center of Chinatown so make sure you get your dumpling fix while you’re there.
Williamsburg Bridge gets you right down on busy Delancey Street and the heart of young and hip Lower East Side. Grab a cup of coffee at one of the cozy little cafes, or indulge in a delicious breakfast at Clinton Street Baking Co. At the Brooklyn end of the bridge you can go for a walk along the water on the northern side of the bridge, and on Saturdays during the summer months, you can visit Smorgasburg, which is a large open-air food market at the Williamsburg waterfront.
On the bridge, pedestrians and cyclists are separated on each side of the road, so contrary to Brooklyn Bridge, you don’t need to jump for your life, when the Citi Bikers come rushing. There are both car traffic and subway trains on the bridge, so it gets noisy, but the view is amazing. Unfortunately, the fencing makes it difficult to take good photos.
For the foodies: Right at the end of the bridge, on the Brooklyn side, there’s a cluster of really nice restaurants including Traif, Peter Luger and Meadowsweet.