While the borough of Brooklyn is having a hipster-led moment, Brooklyn Bridge has always had cachet as a New York icon. Regarded by many as one of the most beautiful bridges in the world, this suspension bridge has inspired poets, musicians, writers and artists. A plaque on the bridge even decrees it 'a structure of beauty'.
Crossing the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn, construction on the bridge began in 1870 and was not completed until 1883. Prussian-born engineer John Roebling designed the suspension bridge but died before building even started. The project became a real family affair. His son, Washington Roebling, supervised the construction before succumbing to the bends during an excavation of the riverbed leaving his wife, Emily Warren Roebling, to take up the slack while he was bedridden.
Historic dramas aside, the Brooklyn Bridge was the world's first steel suspension bridge with the longest span at the time of 1.825km and one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. The bridge underwent renovations in the '80s and continues to inspire and awe visitors with its Gothic-style stone towers and web-like steel cable design.
Pedestrians can wander across the elevated wooden promenade in the centre of the bridge, shared by cyclists, which takes around 20 minutes to traverse for incredible views of lower Manhattan. Start your walk in the Financial District of Manhattan cross the bridge to end up in Brooklyn Heights. You can wander back to see the view from another angle, take in the Brooklyn hipster vibe or catch the subway back to Manhattan.
Brooklyn Bridge is a popular destination for cyclists and walkers with over 7,000 pedestrians and bikes crossing the bridge daily. Early morning is a good time to visit when it's quiet or during sunset when the city lights switch on. To get to the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan, take the 4, 5 or 6 subway lines to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall IRT station, and you can access the bridge via the south staircase.