Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, Brooklyn Bridge!

The Brooklyn Bridge turned 125 in May.
(photo from the Daily News)

Even before I lived in NYC, one of my dreams was to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It is one of my favorite pieces of architecture. I've been under it tons of times on the 4 train, and taken it in from the Manhattan Bridge via the N, R or Q trains. But somehow walking it slipped down my priority list once I moved here until I got two separate invites to make the walk. Unfortunately the weather had other ideas.

My first walking date with friends J and A was killed by torrential downpours. I was disappointed but at least I had a backup date, or so I thought. The rain continued for weeks and my second date was also scuttled by the wet weather. Unbelievable! I whined to anyone who would listen.

For once my whining did some good. About 5 friends forwarded me announcements for the bridge's 125th anniversary party. It was an entire weekend of events starting on Thursday with fireworks. Of course all of the forwards came on Thursday so I was left scrambling for a partner in crime.

After some phone calls I rounded up a small crew and despite the rain earlier in the day we decided to head down. The skies were threatening, the ceiling was low and we were afraid there would be no fireworks. Luckily we were wrong and the fireworks went off as planned.

Once the show was over we walked across the bridge. NYC visitor's guides were handing out informational flyers about the bridge so we grabbed one and were reading the stats out loud as we walked across the bridge. Friend D sarcastically pointed out that the bridge was rated 'poor' during its last inspection. Gulp. Way to point that out when we're halfway across the span!

During the walk I kept looking up at the towers above. The bridge was lit up and Brooklyn looked gorgeous. Once across, we turned around and took in the view of Manhattan. It's views like this that make me wonder if I live in the wrong borough.

The bridge from Brooklyn.

It's such an amazing view from Brooklyn (although the two most iconic pieces are gone) seen everywhere from visit posters to the Sex and the City title screen. Once we'd had our fill, we went over to where a group had gathered around what looked like a really big submarine portal. It was the Telectroscope, which promised a view from Brooklyn to London. A guide was saying that a "long-forgotten" undersea tunnel had been discovered. Obviously for the kiddies. My friends and I snickered but I have to admit looking through the thing was pretty cool!

The Telectroscope.

At the end of the night my fondness for the bridge only grew. I heart New York a bit more each day.

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