Postcards from the Edge… of Manhattan Bridge

It may have been built after Brooklyn Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge, but Manhattan Bridge is the middle child. Poised between its predecessors, it is neither as iconic as Brooklyn Bridge, nor as artsy as Williamsburg Bridge, but a lack of pretense makes it cool. Overlooking sweeping views of Manhattan and Brooklyn, it joins two of my favourite neighbourhoods: Manhattan’sΒ Chinatown and Brooklyn’s DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).

View of Manhattan Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge (far distance) from Brooklyn Bridge

View of Manhattan Bridge from DUMBO

View of Manhattan Bridge from Chinatown

On the Manhattan Bridge, looking at Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO

If you look at a map of Manhattan, from south to north, you’ll notice four bridges cross the East River: Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, and Queensboro Bridge at 59th Street.

I recently strolled across Manhattan Bridge and saw..

the graffiti-riddled rooftops of Chinatown

pops of water towers…

Ground Zero towers and City Hall…

Brooklyn Bridge and downtown’s skyscrapers…

boat activity on the East River…

cargo ships…

sightseeing ferries…

DUMBO streets…

vespas and industrial buildings…

rooftops against the Williamsburg Bridge…

expansive patios overlooking the East River…

the Empire–Fulton Ferry Park in DUMBO.

The bridge’s lack of tourists and crowds (unlike Brooklyn Bridge) makes for a pleasurable walk from Chinatown to DUMBO, and vice versa.

The Empire State Building, framed by DUMBO.

Chinatown, clustered under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.

Street vendors, setting up shop under the Bridge’s Overpass, in Chinatown

Manhattan Bridge, opened December 1909, was the last of the three suspension bridges built across the East River. Since 1982, it has undergone a Reconstruction Program at a cost of $834 million to rehabilitate its roadways, subway tracks, walkways, bikeways; replace its 628 bridge suspenders; and restore its Arch and Colonnade. The project is scheduled for completion in 2013.


Barricades left over from New Year’s Eve

Views of the East River draw the eye across the water and over to the adjacent bridges. Ongoing construction means the rules for the walk- and bike-ways have been relaxed (they ate usually separate). Surprisingly, bikers and walkers are very respectful of one another.

Next time you’re in New York, take a stroll across Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn, or vice versa. You won’t be disappointed.

See the Brooklyn Bridge?

At the base of the Bridge, at Empire-Fulton Ferry Park in Dumbo


31 thoughts on “Postcards from the Edge… of Manhattan Bridge

  1. When I think of New York, I often forget about the bridges and the areas they connect with central NY. One day I’ll get to explore Chinatown and DUMBO! The views with the NY skyscrapers in the background are great.

    • Hi Jenny! Great to hear from you! I am trying to reason with myself as to why we didn’t move to DUMBO, when we moved back to NY a year ago. It has the best of New York – views of Manhattan, a really great vibe, industrial buildings, water views… and, all within easy reach of Manhattan by way of a walk across the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridges, or subway. You’ll like it here – very Melbournish πŸ™‚ Thank you!

  2. Brilliant.. great set of photo,s one of my little passions is Bridges and as I wont ever get to see this one in the flesh it,s been great to see through your pictures,, awesome.

  3. I always love your post. I can learn a lot from your pictures and stories. Well, I do hope one day I can go down there myself and witness them all by myself. Anyway, your “Sightseeing boats, downtown” and “You can ride your bike” pictures looks great! Love the composition!

    • Thank you so much! It’s really cool to read what you take away from my posts πŸ™‚ You’re going to love NY when you visit – it’s always changing and the good things stay the same πŸ™‚

  4. Such an intriguing city. I love how you explore every part of the city and look at it from different perspectives. Your commentary is always insightful too Marina. I especially love the Empire State building framed in the bridge! πŸ™‚

    • Karen, you’re spot on! I love exploring New York from all these different vantage points as I learn so much that way πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for your comment about the words – I do love writing them. The Empire State looks like it was built to be framed by the Bridge. Thank you!

    • Hi Alicia! Thanks for your comment. Yes, those business shirts hanging in the winter sun was a fun sight to see – glad you liked it! Who knew that rooftops served that purpose?! NY will be here for your next visit πŸ™‚

  5. Pingback: The Good Old Brooklyn Bridge… | Marina Chetner

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