There’s no more dramatic way of seeing the New York skyline than crossing the Brooklyn Bridge (pictured above) on foot or by bicycle. The world’s first steel-cable suspension bridge opened in 1883 after 13 years of construction, during which 27 people lost their lives, including the principal architect John Roebling, killed by a ferryboat.
Control was given to his son Washington Roebling, who fell victim to decompression sickness after surveying for the foundations of the bridge. An invalid the rest of his life, Roebling Jr monitored the works by telescope while his wife, Emily, supervised the project, studying higher mathematics and engineering under her husband’s tuition. When the bridge opened, 12 people were trampled to death in panic, fearing a collapse. Despite its inauspicious beginnings, the Brooklyn Bridge was dubbed the ‘new eighth wonder of the world’ and has become another icon of New York that has etched itself into the world’s visual vocabulary.
Enter the bridge in Manhattan at Centre Street and Park Row for the 20–30-minute walk over to Brooklyn. The first exit on the left deposits you in the neighborhood of DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). Head to the Jacques Torres Chocolate Factory a few blocks down Water Street, where you can watch chocolate being made through plate glass windows and indulge in handmade chocolate treats.
Or, bite into a mouth-watering croissant or pastry at the Almondine Bakery owned by Torres across the street at no. 85.