Published: July 17th 2010July 16th 2010
There are 3 downtown bridges crossing the East River from Brooklyn to Manhattan. The Brooklyn Bridge is the iconic one, and the Manhattan Bridge is the one that has 4 different train lines running over it, but for some reason, the Williamsburg has always been the unloved stepchild in my mind. I have no reason to go to Williamsburg, and the Brooklyn end of the bridge is not easy to get to from where I live. But, we decided that since we'd walked over the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, it was only fair to walk across the Williamsburg.
Since the area at the Brooklyn end of the Bridge held little interest, we decided to start in Brooklyn and cross over into Manhattan. So, step one, getting to the Brooklyn end by subway. Due to the interesting routing of NYC subways, we had to go from Brooklyn, to Manhattan and back to Brooklyn, a 3 train affair. Once at the Marcy Ave station, we followed the signs for the bike path to the Bridge. We ended up doubling back a bit, but ultimately ended up on the bike ramp to the Bridge, which becomes the northern side pathway. Well, it is
technically a bike only roadway, but there was no way we were going to backtrack, cross under the bridge and walk back up the southern rampway. Nancy was the cautious one, making sure there were no bikes coming up behind us before I would cross into the center of the roadway to take pictures.
About 1/3 of the way across the Bridge, there is a crossover that connects the north and south pathways, so we crossed on to the pedestrian way, which felt quite a bit safer. Eventually, the two paths re-connect, and it's lots of fun sharing the wider way with the bikers who have NO CLUE about which side of the road to stay on despite the signs.
It was a hazy day, so while we got good pictures of the architecture of the Bridge itself, and some interesting shots of the elevated railway tracks, we couldn't get great shots of the other downtown bridges or of the buildings uptown. Another reason for that is the fencing lining the edges of the Bridge. I don't understand why they make the chain links so small on those fences, why can't they be big enough to get a
decent view through?
The Manhattan end of the Bridge is right at Essex Street, and mere steps from the Essex Street subway station (information we're storing for when we want to walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn).
Once in Manhattan, my sister used this cool app on her iPhone and found a vegan restaurant. It was called Caravan of Dreams and was quite good (if you're interested, it's on E6th Street off of First Ave). I had cinnamon raisin toast with fruit and Nancy had a Reuben Sandwich. After lunch, we walked along St. Marks Place to Broadway, got ourselves a couple of frappicinos and then caught the train home.
Now we're thinking of walking across the Queensboro Bridge (the 59th Street Bridge for you Simon and Garfunkel fans).
There are more photos below