The Good Old Brooklyn Bridge…

… sang Frank Sinatra in the 1940’s black & white film, It Happened in BrooklynThe 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.

Love moments, locked on the Bridge

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).

Sightseers on scaffolding; uptown Manhattan and the Manhattan Bridge (background)

Scaffolding from Brooklyn side

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.

Tripods and Manhattan vistas

As the Brooklyn Bridge is mentioned and/or featured in so many works, I thought I’d share some interesting excerpts with you.

Enjoy!

All photographs are my own – taken between December 2011 and January 2012. A few may have been retouched with the Nikon D5000.

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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

Brooklyn is very much worth the visit…

Dumbo’s lofts from Brooklyn Bridge

Good composition is like a suspension bridge – each line adds strength and takes none away. ~ Robert Henri

View from Broklyn’s Fulton Park

Mortimer Brewster: All I did was cross the bridge and I was in Brooklyn. Amazing.     ~Movie: Arsenic and Old Lace

View of Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge

You’re in Brooklyn

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.

A view from the East River shores of Brooklyn

“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.

re: the above… Is this reflection for sale?

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

Strolling from Manhattan…

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

Downtown Manhattan from the Bridge; Statue of Liberty – in the far off distance

Another NY icon – the yellow cab

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.

~Lyrics: Frank Sinatra sings ‘The 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

East River against the Arch

O harp and altar, of the fury fused,
(How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!)
Terrific threshold of the prophet’s pledge,
Prayer of pariah, and the lover’s cry,–

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

Annie Hall: Do you love me?

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

View of the Bridge from Dumbo

View from the Manhattan Bridge

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

A collection of love locks like the ones found in Paris, Budapest, and Seoul are starting to pile up on the New York City landmark. ~newyork.cbslocal.com

Whenever I think of yesterday,
I close my eyes and see,
That place Just Over The Brooklyn Bridge
That will always be home to me.
It’ll always be home to me.

~ Lyrics: Just Over The Brooklyn Bridge, Art Garfunkel

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47 thoughts on “The Good Old Brooklyn Bridge…

      • Grea photos! I now work in Brooklyn Heights (Cadmahn Plaza W) but we are slated to go back to Union Square in the fal.. I have fell in love swith Brook;yn–don’t want to leave. Am going to comne in on a day off and take shots of all the placesa I;ve been going to for 2 years around here and (like many of my co-workers have done), walk across the bridge to Manhattan. I live in The Bronx,

      • Brooklyn is an amazing spot and I recommend you walk around DUMBO in Brooklyn, at the base of the bridge. Then walk over the Manhattan Bridge, back into the city. The best few hours for taking photos. Enjoy!

      • sORRY FOR ALL THE BAD SPELLING. i’M RUSHING—THEY WANT ME TO GET BACK TO WORK!

    • Thank you Shimon. I can appreciate your comment and empathise, as the same is with me. I am now looking forward to seeing the bridge I grew up with, again – The Sydney Harbour Bridge – and learning more about it. And the Sydney Bridge can be climbed!

  1. Fan-bloody-tastic, Marina, another lovely post. I’ll let you into a little secret, I discussed your posts with my camera club, some of them have viewed and are equally as impressed. Lovely Marina.

    • Val! Thank you for your comment (fan-bloody-tastic – haven’t heard that in ages!) and I am so interested to know about your camera club. Argh! Way to put the pressure on! Just kidding 🙂 Thanks for sharing with them ~ feel free to clue me in on their thoughts 🙂

  2. I love reading about New York’s history and watching various documentaries about it, I think I may be a little obsessed. Its a wish to one day visit this city and your photos show that it looks exactly like I hoped it would. I love your blog, it’s lovely to get a perspective from someone who lives there.

    • Hi! I know the feeling – I remember grasping at anything NY related when i was growing up in Sydney. It was on my first trip here a little over ten years ago that I got hooked – NY really does do that. I hope you visit New York in the future and until then, I hope you can travel a bit through the posts. Thanks so much!

  3. I love bridges. They’re often iconic as you have so clearly demonstrated, they’re feats of engineering that we so often take for granted and most of all, they demonstrate our need to travel, to get to the other side. Another great post Marina!

  4. Excellent post, enjoyed reading it very much 🙂 You make me want to come to New York! I want to have a trip around the USA, but sometimes I just want to fly to New York and spend a few days there 🙂 This bridge is lovely, especially from your perspective 🙂 I remember a very emotional moment in ‘The sex and the city’ where Miranda and Steve met half way through the bridge to start their marriage all over again 😀

    • Hi Kristina! Isn’t it amazing how close NY and London are, but the trip can never be a ‘little one’. So it’s so hard to just ‘get up and go!’ I have thought the same thing about just going a few days to London though I’d like to see all of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales!! Thank you for your comment, and thank you for reminding me about that scene. I was crying throughout – I remember that much. I need to rewatch it!!

      • I was crying too 😀 You are right, it’s difficult to just go to NYC, once I am there I’d love to go to other places too and to Grand Canyon, I said to my girlfriends this is where I want to have my hen do if I were to get married 😀

      • That’s sounds great Kristina – Grand Canyon and then Las Vegas (they are very close!) That would be an unforgettable party!!! I hope it happens soon 🙂

    • Hi Karen! That is what I love about this Bridge – the lines. I especially liked the quote by Alan Goodherat – “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.” Thanks so much – I am glad you enjoyed it!

  5. I really enjoy seeing your fabulous bridge shots- I love the stark architectural lines they give. Isn’t it interesting how ‘love locks’ are popping up everywhere – or am I just noticing them!
    I also couldn’t believe that the beautiful blue skys were a winter’s day. Perfect for your photos. Sydney’s Harbour Bridge is waiting for you!!

    • Jenny! Thanks for your comment. I read that the love locks have existed on the Bridge since 2007, though became noticed widely about a year or so ago. I just noticed them since having moved back from LA. The inspiration was from an Italian novel… and they’ve grown from Paris and beyond, to here. I know construction crews do cut many of them as they aren’t allowed so you take your chances leaving one. They’re so sweet – I love the ‘love’ they represent! Today is another perfect winter’s day. Feels like an early spring. Not sure what else is in store 🙂

  6. Hi Marina,
    Another spectacular series. I took some early morning shots of the Queensborough/59th st bridge while I was there (I’ll post some of them one of these days) but didn’t come close to the expansive treatment and insight you provide in your posts. Well done!

    • Scott – thanks so much for viewing the post! I am glad you liked it. I would really love to see your photos of the 59th street bridge. That one isn’t walkable, I don’t think (unless it’s NY Marathon time) so it’s harder to get up close. Look forward to reading your future post!

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