Designed by Leon Moisseiff, construction the Manhattan Bridge began in 1901. It partially opened in 1909 and construction was fully complete by 1912. The last of the four over-the-water East River crossings completed, the Manhattan Bridge is 6,855 feet long and 120 feet wide. It’s longest span is 1,480 feet and suspended by 3,224 feet of suspension cables. Over 70,000 cars pass over it each day in seven lanes of traffic. The bridge also has four subway tracks, a pedestrian lane and east/west lanes for bicycles.Interesting fact: The designer, Leon Moisseiff, was a suspension bridge engineer who also designed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge at Puget Sound, Washington. Check out this video to see why that should scare the crap out of you. In fact, up until the 1950s when the city spent $30,000,000 to fix it, the Manhattan Bridge would dip as much as three feet each time a subway passed over it. Yikes! We’re gonna go ahead and label that a good investment.
If you ride a bike over the East River in between the chosen boroughs, the Manhattan Bridge is a far easier and less treacherous passage than the Brooklyn Bridge where you are pretty much guaranteed to plow into (or nearly do) some unsuspecting camera wielding vacationer from Waxahachi. Also, you get a great view through the chain link fence of the graffiti on the rooftops of the Lower East Side!
It’s so amazing when you feel like you’re the first one to see something new, and Lulu, I, and, shockingly, Lesa (Mommy), felt like we were the first ones to see the newly opened stretch of the East River Park at Corlears Hook this morning.
First off, the city hired some amazingly thoughtful landscape designers to clean up this underused park with a very interesting history. Everything from the teak railing to the stone pavers to the indigenous foliage is just perfect. Second, the geography of the hook gives you the most incredible slow and wonderful reveal of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, both sides of the East River shore lines, and Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. Seriously, get on your feet, bike, blades, or wheelchair to check out this fantastically renovated and newly re-opened part of the park. Really great!
So we headed over the Brooklyn Bridge and, on Jesse’s recommendation, went to Rucola. I had the pork sandwich. Oh, Lord it was good. Cravable. Ridiculous. That place is getting the very well deserved shout out TWICE today. Go!