New York, surrounded by the Hudson River, the East River and the Atlantic Ocean, is truly a city of bridges. There are approximately 60 bridges within NYC and connecting it to surrounding areas. You’ve probably heard of the most famous ones, like the Brooklyn Bridge, the George Washington Bridge and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, but in a city built on marshland, you are never far from a bridge.
Living in NYC, it is easy to forget about the water. Riding the subway to work, going to dinner in Midtown, zipping from place to place, the water is hidden by towering skyscrapers and crumbling brownstones. It is the bridges that help remind me that I live in a coastal city. Every morning, walking from the subway to work, I cross over the BQE (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway for outsiders) and look up. Soaring skyward, often glinting in the sun or disappearing into low-hanging clouds, the Verrazano Bridge reminds me of the lapping bay it crosses. I can’t see the water, but I know it is there.
Probably the most famous bridge in New York is the Brooklyn Bridge, linking Brooklyn to Manhattan (pictured here). Tourists flock to walk this picturesque bridge and take in views of the Manhattan skyline from its midpoint. Built in 1883, it is the oldest suspension bridge in New York and considered by many to be the best-looking bridge in town. For those in the know, the best views of the Brooklyn Bridge can be obtained by walking on the less crowded Manhattan Bridge. From there, you can see the full span of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan. There are also several subway lines that cross the Manhattan Bridge and offer spectacular views.
New York is a city of convergence, of meetings, of captivating skylines and the bridges are a fundamental part of the New York City vibe. For many, they serve simply as a means to span a body of water, but for me, they represent the heart of the city. Next time you walk around New York, I hope you will take in the many bridges with new eyes!