If you are visiting New York, how can you miss a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the most iconic landmarks of the city.
Before we started our walk, both me and my wife debated a lot and finally decided to start our walk from Brooklyn across the river. We took a subway from Times Square, where we staying and landed at a hole in the wall opening, on Brooklyn side to start our walk across the bridge.
This is one of the oldest bridges in United States and connected then two cities of Manhattan and Brooklyn and over the East River in 1883.
It opened on 24May1883, as the first bridge constructed via steel-wire suspension technology with a span of 1595 feet and was called the eighth wonder of the world.
The towers supporting the bridge are built of limestone, granite and cement. It’s designer was John Augustus Roebling. During the construction he died of a tetanus infection leaving his son Washington Roebling in charge of the project.
It has a wide pedestrian walkway for walkers and cyclists. Each day more than 4,000 pedestrians and 3,100 cyclist use this bridge.
It is often featured in films such as Annie Hall, The Dark Knight, Once upon a time in America, Independence Day and many others and in TV serials such as CSI NY.
The bridge has always attracted daredevils and showmen. In May 1884, circus entertainer P T Barnum took 21 elephants across the bridge to prove that it is safe. Later Robert E Odlum jumped to his death in to the East River below, but many later jumpers survived. Some people even flew planes under the bridge or bungee jumped from its towers.
Recently it was in the news after being stuck by “Love lock” phenomenon. A European tradition started by couples, in 1990, where engraved padlocks are locked to a piece of public infra structure like a bridge or a fence and the key is thrown in the water. The unlockable symbol represents the couple’s love for as long as the public site remains. This ritual is similar to carving initials into a tree.
These locks are damaging to the bridge, and are therefore regularly removed. The Transportation Department, which monitors New York City’s bridges, claims complete lockdown on the romantic “love lock” ritual. They claimed to have removed over 5,600 locks in July 2015.
But this is not discouraging the smitten tourists from expressing their love. Transport Dept claims that the number of locks on the bridge has increased in recent weeks, like the cost of removal.
The bridge is also home to Peregrine falcons, the fastest animals on record, capable of reaching speeds over 200 miles per hour. Due to DDT poisoning, they disappeared from eastern United States but made a dramatic comeback after the drug was banned in 1972.