Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge &
All Photos Taken By Me
Please do not steal any!
Photographer's heaven - "But I didn't see any elephants"
First of all, what a weird name to call a neighbourhood. Dumbo? Second of all, once you know why it's called 'Dumbo', it's not so dumb...Dumb...Dumbo.
Apparently, Dumbo is an acronym for 'Down Under The Manhattan Bridge Overpass'. After learning that, I understood the charm of th place better, since Brooklyn Bridge is a large reason why tourists visit Dumbo, besides the fact it's possibly the most expensive neighbourhood (in Brooklyn) to live. That makes sense, since the Etsy offices are found here, and we all know how expensive that online market is.
Admittedly, there wasn't much time to walk around anywhere in Brooklyn, as the main goal was to walk over Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan. To be honest, I'd have loved to walk around more of Brooklyn, since there's a lot of attractions scattered about the place which happen to be on my bucket list. But, to even be able to say I've had the chance to walk around a popular area of Brooklyn is enough (for now), since Pebble Beach (located in Dumbo) makes for a great memory of the area and granted me some great views of Manhattan.
Pebble Beach - "Less pebbles, more views"
If you ever walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, make sure the first place you visit is here. Pebble Beach offers great views of the magnifficent skyscrapers that overrun Manhattan, but also has 2 iconic bridges connecting to each side of the beach ( and park nearby). This is definitely one of the best places to take pictures of each bridge, since both can fit into 1 shot, or if you take a picture of one bridge, the angle available is great, no matter which bridge it is. It's also really chill here with not so many tourists!
I've always wanted to walk across the bridge,and it genuinely makes me so happy to say that I did it. Like, I know it's just a bridge, and many people don't care about it, but I grew up watching a tonne of films featuring this bridge, as well as Grand Theft Auto IV, which attempts to mimic this bridge.
Walking across this bridge is (honestly) amazing. It's easy to access, peaceful to walk across and has some interesting history I recommend you look into. Being from Britain, it's rare I get a chance to walk across large bridges, especially as impressive as this one, since this even crosses the East River, which is just as iconic to me for featuring in the Grand Theft Auto games, to which I caused countless amounts of chaos along the river (over the years).
Brooklyn Bridge - "Ticked off my bucket list!"
The bridge itself doesn't take long to cross. If you're in the mood to take a lot of pictures (like me), it'll be a 40 minute venture, but if you're crossing normally, I imagine it'll only be a 20 minute walk. Weirdly enough, I thought it'd take longer to cross, purely because I've always seen the bridge as a huge spectacle, and even from a distance it look like it'd take ages to cross.
Another surprise; I was expecting it to be busy, but thankfully it was rather empty (for a tourist related landmark). I could probably say the same about the whole of New York. New York City as a whole wasn't as busy as I was expecting at all. Which is good! It meant I was able to enjoy the bridge and many other locations without worrying about people too much.
Underneath the pedestrian walkway there was a cycling lane, which would have been absolutely amazing to cycle along! I always thought the cycle lane was on the same level as the pedestrian lane, which it can still be seen to be, but it looks like 100% of cyclists access the lower lane for ease of travel, which makes a lot of sense I guess (after seeing the glorious Youtube videos advertising the frustration New York cyclists had when crossing the bridge). I can safely say my experience was nothing seen in the video (to the right). Cyclists were completely divided from the pedestrians, and in general, cyclists are gaining more daily aid to access the city safely and at their own pace. It's a positive future for cyclists around the world, and I support it.
It's not just Grand Theft Auto IV which adopted my interest into the Brooklyn Bridge, but many movies as well. The bridge is so recognisable, it's hard to not see it as some mythical landmark, at least from my point of view. I'd play Microsoft's Flight Simulator and try to fly underneath it, or watch the kooky Fantastic Four movie and see the team cause chaos, or even appreciate the theme of 'making connections' in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. In other words, yes, 2 shit films and 2 games (where I'm allowed to be a mad man) inspired me to adore this bridge. It's crazy how life works.
Manhattan Bridge - "Less amazing, but still iconic"
Admittedly, I knew less about this bridge, even though it's BB's neighbour. Upon entering Brooklyn, I never knew how close the entrance to both bridges are! This is likely super convenient to the people of Brooklyn.
This bridge has also featured in films, but I don't see it as iconic as the other bridge. To me, it blends in more with the other bridges up north, or just doesn't have a recognisable design.
From Main Street Park, the view of this bridge is staggering, however, which really did help in making me appreciate the grandiose of the design. All I could hear was the metalic clanging, and roaring vibrations, from the trains crossing it. It's so loud, and I can see why the park is mainly empty, despite how nice it is. It definitely reminded me that I am in a big city which offers little peace and tranquility. Even at Pebble Beach, around the corner, it's quieter, but beeping horns and honking ships still distract from the half expected quietness.
Dumbo - "What do I think?"
If I had more time to walk around, I'd have explored it greater, instead of just admiring the 2 bridges and Pebble Beach, but I'd also explore the other neighbourhoods around. Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn Bridge Park, John Street Park, Downtown Brooklyn and many more places looked interesting to explore. One of my missions (while in New York) was to find the filming locations of Netflix's Daredevil TV show, which I am a HUGE fan of. I read an article showing some iconic filming locations, which came in handy for 1 location (as aseen on my Tribeca article), and I was saddened to find out I wouldn't even have time to view the majority of these filming locations either. I mean, they aren't tourist locations entirely, but to recognise Nelson & Murdock HQ or even Josie's Bar would have been amazing.
I'd definitely recommend strolling around Dumbo if you want a quick capture of Manhattan from a different angle, as well as the bridges. Walk across Brooklyn Bridge (on either side) and I guarantee you'll enjoy walking across a historic sculpture that is really a triumph of man made design. Dumbo itself has some great history to delve into.