Last night after dinner the Red Sox Fan and I took a walk around the lower rim of Manhattan. One of our stops was the South Street Seaport, which offers a dazzling view of the lighted Brooklyn Bridge. It was a very cool area, with lots of people waiting for ferries and water taxis, and others — like us — just enjoying the night air and the scene.
You could wear headphones on your walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, but I really would advise against it. If you wore headphones, you’d be eliminating the effect of one key safety device that might otherwise protect against a catastrophic bike-pedestrian collision.
The walk over the Brooklyn Bridge is great, but you are sharing the narrow walkway with other walkers, joggers, people pushing baby carriages, people taking photos, and cyclists. And the cyclists are usually in a hurry to get to work or to get home. They labor up one side of the path to and then across the bridge, but when they hit the downslopes they really take off — and if you stray from the walker side of the road you risk getting run over.
This is where using your ears comes in. On the wooden part of the walkway, the approaching cyclists make staccato thundering sound as they charge across the planks. But on the asphalt sections they’re like a whisper in the wind — which is why the little cha-ching bells are so important. On several occasions I heard cyclists use the bell to warn people to move over as the bikes came rolling past.
I don’t think I’d ever heard bicyclist use the little metal bells before, but every bike in New York and Brooklyn seems to have them. And thank goodness they do!
If you walk from Brooklyn over the Brooklyn Bridge to lower Manhattan, you will find the Brooklyn Bridge Park at the end of your journey. With its worn and comfortable benches, its shady vistas, and its beautiful fountain, it’s a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee on a cool and bright autumn morning. Fortunately, there’s a Starbucks nearby, ready to fill that need. (Isn’t there always?)
I like to walk in the morning. If you happen to be in Brooklyn on a hot summer morning, what better way to satisfy your walking jones than to take a hike across the Brooklyn Bridge to lower Manhattan and back again?
This morning the Red Sox Fan and I ventured forth before it got too hot. It’s a trek that measures more than 3.5 miles, round trip, and takes you right down the middle of the bridge, over the traffic and under the massive stone supports and suspension cables. It’s a wooden walkway with two way bike and pedestrian traffic that’s a tight squeeze in spots, but well worth it. We hoofed it over the bridge, stopped for a cup of coffee in City Hall Park on the Manhattan side, and then turned around and walked back to the Brooklyn side.
It was a pleasant stroll on a sunny morning over a national landmark. Reality intruded, however, when we passed some construction workers involved in the bridge’s renovation and overheard them casually talking about how the “jumper” last week had somehow survived his plunge. That’s New York City for you, I guess.