Kelli and I visited the Brooklyn Bridge during one of our many NYC trips. This iconic landmark has long been featured on TV shows, in movies and yes, via the “If your friends jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you, too?” question oft-bandied about when parents discuss peer pressure with their kids.
Follow these 7 tips.
1: Be Prepared for Crowds
Sure; we know this is a tourist spot. But sometimes, the mind does not equate a tourist spot with massive throngs of human beings meeting in herds, congesting the bridge, choking pedestrian paths. This crowd rolls thick. Prepare yourself for crowds most of the times you visit. Especially on fair weather days, morning to evening.
2: Respect the Bike Lane
One lane is for both east and west traversing pedestrians. One lane is for cyclists. Beware the cyclist lane. Most NYC cyclists avoid the Brooklyn Bridge for the tourist throngs but some delivery people and more stubborn types cycle by at seemingly 500 MPH, ringing their bell to warn you of their passing. True; most give you fair warning. But I guarantee folks get clipped from time to time. Beware bikers. Stay in the pedestrian lane.
3: Expect Pedestrian Overflow
Crowds plus one relatively narrow walker lane means heavy overflow means oodles of walking traffic stuffed into tight quarters. Walk slowly and calmly to go with the flow. Or like Kelli and I, if you need cardio, walk in the pedestrian lane and cruise through the bike line for extended periods after looking both ways.
4: Dress for Breezy Weather
Being a few hundred feet about the East River creates a micro climate. We visited during a 70 degree, sunny, gorgeous day. But I had my sweatshirt handy because I am a meteorologist. By schooling, at least. I knew stiff breezes with gusts were to be expected. My forecast? Spot on. Prepare for breezy, cool weather. Dress warm. Bundle up. Even if it seems warm in Lower Manhattan, the temperature feels a bit chillier on the Brooklyn Bridge.
5: Be a DUMBO Fan
No; not the Disney baby elephant. I am talking about visiting DUMBO after crossing over to Brooklyn. DUMBO is: Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. This posh little neighborhood is taking off as an *it* place in The City. Cute, quaint and fun to visit, we schlepped about 4 minutes from the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian entrance down into DUMBO. Simply take the lower exit on the Brooklyn side, hook a left and walk down into DUMBO. Great eats, snazzy shops and you enjoy staggering views of Lower Manhattan from the park.
6: Wear Sneakers
Cardio time, folks. Better wear sneakers for a comfortable journey across this span. The Brooklyn Bridge reaches well across the East River, with the pedestrian walkway being 1.1 miles long. Figure spending a good 20-30 minutes to casually cover that mile long stretch.
7: Freedom Tower Is a Must
Visit DUMBO on the Brooklyn side and the Freedom Tower on the Manhattan side to make the most of your NYC tourist day. The Freedom Tower is a 5-10 minute light walk from the Brooklyn Bridge. Strolling through Lower Manhattan feels not unlike walking in some cavernous valley, being surrounded by massive steel mountains. This area of The City gets little sunlight, in particularly tight pockets on narrow streets. Fascinating effect to behold.
Most of all, enjoy the breathtaking views from the Brooklyn Bridge. From seeing the Statue of Liberty in the distance, to panoramic views of both Manhattan, Brooklyn and the adjacent Manhattan Bridge, you can easily stock your Instagram handle with eye-popping shots during a walk across the bridge.