Monday, September 26, 2011

Running Across the Brooklyn Bridge & Manhattan Bridge

From Cadman Plaza /Borough Hall in downtown Brooklyn, a runner can make a beautiful scenic loop over two stunning bridges that span the East River. Despite their close proximity, the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges share little in common except their termini and life purpose. 

When crossing her on foot, the Brooklyn Bridge  resembles a sophisticated, elegant lady in contrast to the tough "guy" Manhattan Bridge.  Her neutral-toned stone, metal, and rope-like guide wires gracefully connect the span carrying cars and the wooden pedestrian platforms with tons of visitors jockeying for a picture of her. Nearby, the gray-blue steel and concrete, adorned with graffiti tattoos that would make a sailor blush, span the river carrying cars, a few pedestrians, and screeching subway cars.  

The Brooklyn Bridge  has been operating almost twenty-seven years longer than the Manhattan Bridge, and she has a charm and beauty all her own.  Despite the hordes of inconsiderate and clueless people who interrupt the traffic flow on a too-narrow foot path, there is something peaceful about watching the last rays of the setting sun reflect off the New York Harbor and Lady Liberty. How many people have enjoyed such a view for over 100 years?  The Manhattan Bridge has his own appeal. You can run across the bridge on either the north or south side.  The south side pedestrian path has a spectacular view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Harbor; the north side has a rougher view--certainly not one he wishes to show the lady to the south! Whichever side you choose, it can feel like you have the pedestrian portion of the bridge all to yourself compared to the path across the Brooklyn Bridge.  If you can drown out the subway screech and traffic horns, you practically do.