… sang Frank Sinatra in the 1940’s black & white film, It Happened in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Bridge is such a beautiful song.
If someone asked you to name New York’s top three iconic landmarks, I am sure that the Brooklyn Bridge would make the cut. It’s inspired so many films, poems, stories, and life moments.
From this architecturally stunning structure, an open-air viewing deck grant visitors unobstructed New York views, unlike those seen from the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges. (NB: The Bridge is undergoing renovation at this time so there is scaffolding on part of the way from Brooklyn towards its centre).
On the Brooklyn Bridge, everyone shares the same path, which means mayhem. Although a dividing line maintains some order, it doesn’t succeed given the throngs of tourists descend on the bridge daily. Walkers brush shoulders as the stroll from Manhattan to Brooklyn, or vive versa. Cyclists ding their bike bells to caution photographers and other gawkers, who may have crossed into the bike lane. That said, it is very fun photographing the landmark.
As the Brooklyn Bridge is mentioned and/or featured in so many works, I thought I’d share some interesting excerpts with you.
All photographs are my own – taken between December 2011 and January 2012. A few may have been retouched with the Nikon D5000.
I’ve lived most of my life in Manhattan, but as close as Brooklyn is to Manhattan, there are people who live there who have been to Manhattan maybe once or twice. ~ Ellen Burstyn
Good composition is like a suspension bridge – each line adds strength and takes none away. ~ Robert Henri
Mortimer Brewster: All I did was cross the bridge and I was in Brooklyn. Amazing. ~Movie: Arsenic and Old Lace
Sunrise on the bridge
light splashing through the arches
joggers chasing dreams
~ Haiku: Brooklyn Bridge by Laurence Overmire
Since the bridge was completed in 1883, the idea of illegally selling it has become the ultimate example of persuasion. A good salesman could sell it, a great swindler would sell it, and the perfect sucker would fall for the scam. ~ For You, Half Price – New York Times.
“The oddity of the thing today,” said Luc Sante, author of the book, Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York, “is not that there might have been con artists ready to see the bridge, but that there would have been suckers gullible enough and sufficiently well-heeled to fall for it.” ~ For You, Half Price – New York Times.
“Up to the 1920’s people were still trying,” Mr Nash said. “But it was a hard sale. Immigrants had become much more sophisticated and knowledgeable, and by that time the processors at Ellis Island were handing out cards or booklets saying, You can’t buy public buildings or streets. These shifts explain why the Brooklyn Bridge is the span associated with swindles; the city’s other bridges were built after the high tide of gullibility had already begun slipping away.” ~ For You, Half Price – New York Times.
They may call me a ‘rube’ and a ‘hick’. I would rather be the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the man who sold it. ~ Will Rogers
In the 19th century, the bridge was one of the two best-known symbols of America, the other being the Statue of Liberty. ~ Kathleen Hulser, the public historian at the New York Historical Society
If you’ve been a rover
Journey’s end lies over the Brooklyn Bridge
Don’t let no one tell you
I’ve been tryin’ to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge
All the folks in Manhattan are sad
’cause they look at her and wish they had
The good old Brooklyn Bridge.
Untried expedient, untried; then tried;
way out; way in; romantic passageway
first seen by the eye of the mind,
then by the eye. O steel! O stone!
Climactic ornament, a double rainbow,
as if inverted by French perspicacity,
John Roebling’s monument,
German tenacity’s also;
composite span—an actuality.
~ Poem: Granite and Steel, Marianne Moore
Again the traffic lights that skim thy swift
Unfractioned idiom, immaculate sigh of stars,
Beading thy path–condense eternity:
And we have seen night lifted in thine arms.
~ Poem: To Brooklyn Bridge, Hart Crane
Alvy Singer: Love is too weak a word for what I feel – I luuurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two F’s, yes I have to invent, of course I – I do, don’t you think I do?
~ Words spoken near the Brooklyn Bridge. From the movie: Annie Hall
The cables that hold up (the Brooklyn Bridge) on big stone piers are beautiful and not hidden. It’s metal in your face taking traditional material and putting it to use in a way that you can see what it can do. ~ Alan Goodheart
~ Lyrics: Just Over The Brooklyn Bridge, Art Garfunkel