The Brooklyn Bridge is a New York icon. I don’t doubt that it is one of the landmarks that pops into your head when thinking about New York City, and certainly one of the things on your “must see” list. For a stable icon, offering scenic views of the two boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan, the history of the Brooklyn Bridge is unstable. An initiative from German engineer John Augustus Roebling, the idea of connecting the two boroughs by suspension bridge met a lot of opposition along the way. Eventually bribes were made to secure the lot of land where the bridge connects with Manhattan near City Hall. The hard part was not over. Many died during construction, including Roebling himself, and when his son Washington A. Roebling took over he eventually became paralysed as a result of dangerous practices. His wife, who in my books is a total boss lady, took over construction while her husband watched with a telescope in bed, overseeing the project. With its extraordinary length and two grand towers, the Brooklyn Bridge was dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world.” Today, it still remains a must see landmark for tourists from all over the globe.
Our fourth day in New York was a pay what you like walking tour of the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Heights by Walking Tours By Foot. Yes the tour is technically free, yes you can not pay a cent for them if you wish and if you get an extraordinarily bad tour with a bad guide then by all means don’t give them anything, but I often find that the pay what you like tours are always the best. They work hard to earn their money and just like you and me they have bills to pay as well so I always give something. You will know the right amount to give according to how much you get out of the tour. http://www.freetoursbyfoot.com/new-york-tours/brooklyn-tours/brooklyn-bridge-brooklyn-heights-and-dumbo-tour/
The tour begins at the fountain in the center of City Hall Park followed by a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. There are a number of stops along the way to learn about the history and architecture of surrounding buildings. Once you cross over into Brooklyn there is a brief toilet and lunch break. I suggest getting a coffee and a snack though, eat as light as you can if you can help it as there will be much nicer places to eat at the end. Then comes a tour through the beautifully archaic buildings of Brooklyn Heights. A heritage listed area full of Cherry Blossoms and English Plain Trees. Brownstone facades standing uniform each telling their own unique story.
The tour will end at Brooklyn Pier where you have a vast array of places to eat. Brooklyn Ice Cream factory is supposedly the best Ice Cream in New York. There is Shake Shack, which have THE BEST burgers and milkshakes you will ever have in your life. However, Shake Shack is all over New York City, where you really want to eat is Juliana’s Pizza. Deemed the best pizza in New York. It is next to Grimaldi’s, world famous pizzeria but don’t waste your time in the line for Grimaldi’s. You want to go to Juliana’s. There will quite possibly be a line for Juliana’s but you can skip the line and walk in to make a take away order. Then you can take your pizza to the water front and eat it with a view. There is a pathway along the East River which leads to DUMBO and the Manhattan Bridge.
- Wear some comfortable shoes, the tour goes for 3 hours and you may want to walk back over the Bridge so you have more time to take photos.
- If you do the tour on a Sunday you can link it with the Brooklyn Flea Market, which have wonderful antiques and vintage items. There is also lot’s of food vendors, including the best doughnuts you will ever eat in your life! Be prepared to eat a lot this day. Just as well you did all that walking to earn it!