Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Summer Fridays/Weekends 2011 - Summer Streets, Part 2

I am almost ashamed to admit that in all the years that I have visited, lived in, or worked in New York, I had never been to, or walked over the Brooklyn Bridge. Shocking. I know. It's a known tourist destination, not to mention a regular commute for some folks, but I had never done it prior to Summer Streets.

Unfortunately, because it was Summer Streets, not to mention a beautiful day, and because we hit the Bridge right around noon, it was hot and crowded. So, so crowded. Everyone was trying to get that perfect I-was-here photo. I'll have to go back, and do it walking toward Manhattan and not away from it. Maybe when the renovation/construction is done too.

Scenes from the Bridge: the Verizon building; tall ships in the harbor; Lady Liberty; colorful rooftops. I didn't take picture of the Watchtower - the headquarters of the Jehovah's Witnesses. It's probably better at dusk or lit up at night.

I can hear Dad now, What's up with the vertical? Look, it's all about the lines. LONG LINES. The better for perspective here.

Almost at the end of our walk - over the Bridge and into Brooklyn. I love the ironic juxtaposition of the exhaust fumes exhuding from all the cars and taxis on the Bridge with the "How Sweet it is" sign welcoming you to Brooklyn.

What you don't realize about the Bridge is how long it takes to get off the ramps and figure out where you are, and how to get back to a subway or transit hub. By this time, you are hot, tired, and if you've walked from mid-town, hungry and border-line cranky. If you've been smart, you've been hydrating, but now desperately in need of a 'facility.' I did manage to spot a subway stop, so I knew how to get us back under the Bridge into Manhattan. As for signage for pedestrian traffic, it is seriously lacking. For the weary soles, some smart restaurateur has snapped up a corner diner (of dubious cleanliness/culinary quality) right at the end of the bridge ramp. This is not Zagat-rated. It is a neighborhood joint catering to the locals and those of us on and off the Bridge, and local cops, so it must be a local place. One day I'll find DUMBO and the Park, but on this day, R--- and I needed a bathroom, food, and beverages ... and not necessarily in any particular order.

Brunch is served: an omlette for R---, fries and a grilled chicken wrap with jalapenos for me.

Full, rested, and refreshed, we walked back towards Manhattan to catch the A/C. The steep escalator reminded me of heading underground in Moscow - except Moscow's was cleaner and less scary.

It was a good day, full of new sights and sounds. What fun way to wrap up my long weekend, the last of the official Summer Fridays. I crossed off another thing on my must-see list, introduced a friend to more of the City's offerings, and got some exercise in to boot.

While I did hide out at home a bit in July and early August, I was just waiting for the weather to get cooler and for my other friends' schedules to open up. September's outings include roadtrips back to CT, a return to Maker Faire, possibly Caramoor's Fall Festival, and a Cape Cod retreat. Can't wait.

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