“I remember perfectly my first trip to New York, when I was on the bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan, when I saw the skyscrapers. It was like an incredible dream.” ~ Diego Della Valle
I am the epitome of a New Yorker. As an Upper East Sider, I am nestled cozily and comfortably in my ‘hood. Occasionally braving the Westside for Trader Joes or Midtown for work. As a Manhattanite? I shake my head at the idea of leaving the Borough. Everything I need is right here on this side of the river. No higher then 115 street (to be generous) and stopping at Fini. There is always a train line working, and I never have to worry about being stuck.
Yup this New Yorker is set in her ways. I have all the comforts with in my grasp. Why rock the boat?
Yet, sometimes YOU have to leave the borough and that is what I decided to do. I have walked across the Brooklyn Bridge countless times, always turning back never venturing into Brooklyn. This time, shocker of shockers, I hopped a train with a friend to explore Brooklyn Bridge Park on a Wintery Saturday afternoon.
One of the misnomers is that Brooklyn Bridge Park is DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). It isn’t. While DUMBO overlaps into Brooklyn Bridge Park. The park is divided into eleven sections and pans multiple neighborhoods including Brooklyn Heights creating a mile and a half of leafy waterside scenery, as well as an incredibly diverse culture, from the financiers looking to escape the manhattan life, to the artists living in reconstructed warehouses, to old and new architecture alike which includes civil war era buildings. Every section is different channeling its’ own vibrancy and that of Brooklyn and over all, New York.
Because of the Second Avenue Subway, getting there was relatively easy. (delays aside…Oh MTA) I hoped onto the Q to 63 and Lex and then hoped on the F where I could sit my derriere in a seat and read until we arrived which really did take an hour…Now you know why I never venture to Brooklyn!
It was a cold blustery day and even my knock-off that isn’t a knock off winter jacket was working in over drive to keep me toasty. My friend and I stopped at DUMBO Kitchen for food and coffee, before traipsing over to the park blocks away.
The sun was beginning to set creating what photographers call the golden hour, and casting its rays across both the Bridges. The wind was gusting giving me Beyoncé hair. And the East River was gently lapping along the shores of the beach enticingly.
Despite the blustering temps, it was crowded with tourists as well as New Yorkers taking in what was a gorgeous sunny day despite the winds. People walking and biking along the pathways, shrugging off Mother nature’s temperament. Kids screaming with joy as the rode the carousel.
As I stood on one of the countless piers scattered along the East River, with the bridges in the foreground gazing across at Fini (Financial District A.K.A Lower Manhattan A.K.A Wall Street) once again I was struck at how beautiful my beloved Concrete Jungle is.
Jungles in their own right are gorgeous for their unruliness. The melting pot that composes them of all different landscapes and habitats. It might seem like it wouldn’t be cohesive, and yet it all comes together to create one big home of wonderment.
New York really is a jungle. A beautiful concrete melting pot, comprised of boroughs and neighborhoods all eclectic and strong in their own right, but when you look at it as a whole it is what New York is really about.
Have you been to Brooklyn Bridge park? What is your favorite part?