Sunday, September 4, 2011

Traveling: Williamsburg Bridge, New York

New York City is a real beauty. She owes part of her charm to the water. Manhattan and other parts of the metropolis are islands, separated by channels. You will find a lot of bridges there, which are not just masterpieces of engineering, they also are aesthetic structures.

Almost everyone knows the majestic Brooklyn Bridge, at least from movies & photos. I have another favorite: The Williamsburg Bridge (WB), which was built from 1896 until 1903 (wikipedia). This construction straddles the East River, which is a natural channel, connecting the Lower East Side in Manhattan with Williamsburg, a neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Both areas are lively places that have experienced a lot gentrification in the last few years. In my eyes Williamsburg is the mirror image of the Lower East Side. Both areas offer interesting architecture, funny graffiti and lots of cool restaurants, pubs & bars. At both places you can meet a lot of cool people.

Many commuters use this bridge by car or subway (J, M & Z train) but there also are separate tracks for pedestrians & bicyclists. It looks like lots of New Yorkers use these tracks as a kind of sports track. You could see numerous runners and sporty bicyclists doing their sweaty workout on the Williamsburg Bridge.

Just walking over the bridge is also a lot of fun. You will be rewarded with impressive views of the East River, the skylines of Manhattan & Brooklyn and the boats going up & down the waterway.

The bridge herself has a lot to show. The 100 plus years old construction is a beautiful document of historical engineering. I admire the almost filigree looking elements of this huge structure. Some segments show awesome geometric figures and could be exhibition parts in a museum for modern art.

Walking the bridge I also enjoy the library of graffiti on the pedestrian & bicycle tracks. Some are colorful murals, others are just like Egyptian hieroglyphs. It seems a lot of the New York graffiti artists deliver their symbols and messages on this bridge.

Walking the Williamsburg Bridge is both: A multimedia event and healthy way to spend your time. Enjoy!

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