From the iconic, cobweb-like Brooklyn Bridge to the stately George Washington, New York City offers a bridge to suit every type of traveler. There are those built for the walkers, the genteel joggers, and the keen-eyed photographers. For many, a bridge may simply be a utilitarian, functional landmark whose only purpose is to join two places. But for others with a more romantic soul, they?re shrines of inspiration, and emblems of artistic and structural achievement.
Here are some of the most romantic bridges in New York City, in the sense that they inspire and offer unparalleled views of the city:
The Brooklyn Bridge: A veritable veteran in the category of suspension bridges, the Brooklyn Bridge is what inspired poet Hart Crane to write an entire ode to its legacy. It was completed in 1883, and spans the East River, connecting two important burroughs: Manhattan and Brooklyn. It has several firsts to its credit: the first steel-wire suspension bridge in the world, and the first bridge on which P.T. Barnum (of Barnum and Bailey) led a parade of 21 elephants for a publicity stunt for his show, Jumbo.
The fact that a poet of Hart Crane?s caliber should pen down such verse about a bridge (nothing along the lines of the nursery rhyme London Bridge is Falling Down) should give you an idea of how romantic its view can be. It may be built of limestone and cement but it is anything but ice cold. This bridge, with its tan and silver tones, is ideal for a leisurely walk or a jog, and a terrific way to greet the day. If you?re thinking of popping the question, the perfect Manhattan backdrop is yours for the taking.
Fun fact: More than 4,000 pedestrians and 3,000 cyclists cross the Brooklyn Bridge each day.
The George Washington Bridge:
Another stunner of a suspension bridge, this iconic structure stands majestically on the Upper (Upper) West Side of Manhattan, connecting New Jersey with the city. It spans the Hudson River like a shiny albatross and has an upper and lower levels for traffic. It also has a pedestrian section for those who value their views. What?s impressive about the George Washington Bridge is not only its structure, but its freight load.?
What I love about the George Washington Bridge is the silhouette it forms in the evening, gracing Hudson Bay with the same stature as San Francisco?s famous Golden Gate bridge. Not as much romantic by day as it is by night, the George Washington also towers above a lush park (on the Jersey side) where you can go for picnics and photography.
Fun fact: This is the world?s busiest motor vehicle bridge. It has the largest vehicular capacity of any bridge in the world, and hosts some 106 million vehicles per year, like an Atlas Shrugged.
Another graceful suspension bridge, this structure connects the Lower East Side of Manhattan at Delancey Street to the hipster Williamsburg, Brooklyn neighborhood. Originally heralded as the longest suspension bridge in the world when it was constructed, it is odd as far as suspension bridges go, with trussed side spans. What?s interesting about this silvery trussed structure is that it also carries rail traffic as well, a trait I find retro, quirky and romantic as well.
The pedestrian bridge is a recent addition in 1999, and walks across the structure yield terrific Hudson River views, especially on a brilliant, sunny day.
Fun fact: There were once two sets of trolley tracks on the bridge.
The Brooklyn Bridge, an architectural marvel at the time of construction, and an emblem of nostalgia at the Ferry Landing