Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Walk to Brooklyn

The other night TD and I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge to visit our friends April and Matt who lived in our apartment building before they moved to Dumbo. Ted and I met downtown in City Hall Park which is near my office at the ad agency. It's a pretty park where I sometimes eat a sandwich at lunch time. Scenes of Ugly Betty have been shot here.

Then we headed over the bridge. I've never walked over the Brooklyn Bridge before, though the centennial of the bridge was celebrated the summer I moved to New York in 1983. When it was completed in 1883, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world – a feat of engineering dreamt up to replace a ferry boat crossing. Construction began in 1870 and it took thirteen years to build the bridge. John Roebling was the engineer but falling bridge timbers crushed his toes which had to be amputated, and he later died of an infection from the injury. His son Washington Roebling took over but he suffered a paralyzing sickness as a result of underwater decompression diver's disease. Subsequently his wife Emily supervised, spending eleven years working on the bridge construction. Go Roeblings!

It was a pretty spectacular walk over the East River, starting in downtown Manhattan and ending up in downtown Brooklyn. I thought it would be a wide promenade for strolling (I've seen it on Sex and the City!) but it was a narrow walkway, with bicyclers passing on the left. In some places it got quite crowded with pedestrians. Cars travel on the level below.

Off to the left is the Williamsburg Bridge.

A look back towards Manhattan.

Approaching Dumbo.

It's a pretty invigorating slope up to the top point of the bridge, and then a walk down. On the way down to the Brooklyn side we approached a group of men standing on the bridge. One was sitting in the middle on a high seat. Good looking African American guy. Big horn rimmed glasses. Yes, it was director Spike Lee filming a movie."It's Spike Lee, it's Spike Lee!" I said to TD through gritted teeth as we passed by him because you have to keep walking and not stop to gawk since that would not be cool. "Action!" Spike Lee yelled, and four actors, one man and three women ran down the bridge in jogging clothes. Only in New York, kids.

Over in Dumbo we stopped at a wine shop to pick up some pink Champagne and then rang April and Matt. Their building has a fantastic roof deck with breathtaking views.

We had dinner on the roof. April whipped up a delicious feast.

It is such a treat to be in the city and be outside, the best combination.
TD and April.

The night got darker and the lights came on. A full orange moon rose up in the sky. Matt brought out some homemade grappa. In the summertime New York City really is a dream.


Pigtown*Design said...

Wonderful word picture, Bart!

Bart Boehlert said...

Hi Meg, I like that - "word picture" - thanks!