One of my favorite things to do is take a walk over the Williamsburg Bridge. It is the Northern-most bridge of the three bridges connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn, with funky industrial-era architecture (it was completed around 1896). The bridge connects my current neighborhood of Williamsburg with my previous neighborhood – the Lower East Side. Combining the time at the two residences, I’ve been making bridge treks for about six years now!
I find the 20-minute walk to be very meditative, and have taken a lot of inspired photographs on the bridge in all this time. There are cool views of the mid-town and downtown Manhattan skylines, DUMBO, and Williamsburg. Plus, you can watch the boats and barges coming and going along the river and out to sea.
The photos in this post are the most recent ones I shot on the Williamburg Bridge, using just a little, plastic, panoramic camera. (It’s a long walk, so I often get creative, instead of carrying heavy equipment. I’ve taken plenty of cool shoots on my cell phone!) Right now, there is a lot of construction going on in Williamsburg, and there is an amazing view of a huge crater at a construction site. That particular day, there was also a boat-plane soaring over the East River, getting ready to land. You could see it in the sky, looking tiny against the huge bridge girders.
Walking the bridge gives me a lot of perspective on city life because it allows me to be out in the fresh air and looking at the city from a distance. Of course, there is a lot of pedestrian and bicycle traffic on the bridge, so it isn’t exactly an escape, but it is simply a way of stepping back and seeing the city in its glory. You can really appreciate how vast and dense New York City is, how much human brilliance and strength went into building this place. It reminds you of the pioneering spirit that created it – one of the greatest cities in the world – and it reminds you that all the pushing on the subway, all the determination to work one’s way through a crowded sidewalk, maybe have their own reason after all, and don’t have to be regarded as a nuisance. They are, in fact, symptoms of the same pioneering spirit, of people who will not be stopped, people who came to the city to pursue their dream.