pull out your gun and shoot him!
No More Gates for Manhattan Bridge Archway
by Brooklyn Eagle published online 04-21-2009
The Archway beneath the Manhattan Bridge in DUMBO was gated for 17 years, barring passersby from enjoying the 100-year-old cavernous passageway. The “soft opening” of The Archway was on September 8, 2008, but the gates were closed for the winter for construction of a new sidewalk and the restoration of the Belgian block roadbed. But on April 19, the gates were once again done away with, and plans are in the works to have events and programs there throughout the year, reports the Dumbo Improvement District, which will manage and maintain The Archway.
© Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2009
Being up on the pedestrian walkway suspended over the East River you don't have many options in the case of a mugger -- with or without a cyclone fence.
But what is the fear of muggers on the bridge? Do incidents happen there in any greater number than down on the streets?
Manhattan Bridge 100th Anniversary Special
When was the last time you really looked at the Manhattan Bridge? Or underneath it? The flawed landmark, which turns 100 this Sunday, connects two of the city’s most historic and dynamic neighborhoods.
By Lisa Ritchie
It has no song celebrating a groovy stroll across its length, nor has it inspired literary reflections (although it is a popular suicide spot in Steve Martin’s 1984 movie The Lonely Guy). The Manhattan Bridge may lack the lore of the Brooklyn and Queensboro, but viewed from a flattering angle, the sweeping steel suspension bridge is undeniably beautiful. The impressive stone archway on the Manhattan side, modeled on the 17th-century Porte St-Denis in Paris, was designed by New York Public Library architects Carrère and Hastings, while the Brooklyn approach once boasted allegorical statues representing the two boroughs designed by Lincoln Memorial sculptor Daniel Chester French (they now reside in the Brooklyn Museum).
Built to ease congestion on its older sibling to the south, it was “designed to knit the city tighter together through transit and transport links and make it more efficient,” says historian Jeffrey Kroessler, author of New York Year by Year: A Chronology of the Great Metropolis. “The city of New York built the bridge itself, without funds from Albany or Washington, and it was meant to facilitate the expansion of mass transit into Brooklyn.”
Yet over time, it turned out to be less practical than had been hoped: The designer, Leon Moisseiff, didn’t incorporate sufficient support, and placed the subway and streetcar lines on the outer edges of the roadway, putting too much strain on the deck.
“The Queensboro Bridge made Queens; the Williamsburg Bridge was called the ‘Jews’ highway’ because it enabled the Jews from the Lower East Side to pour into Williamsburg,” explains Kroessler. “But what is the Manhattan Bridge known for? Being so badly designed that it twisted out of shape due to decades of subway use, and the fact that the outer roadway was closed for years.”
Now, as the bridge enters its centennial year and the final stages of a massive reconstruction project begun in the early ’80s, take some time to admire its graceful span and rediscover the neighborhoods on both sides.
Saturday October 3
FREE Walking tour with Adrienne Onofri Meet at the southwest corner of Bowery and Canal St. 2–4pm. The author of Walking Brooklyn guides you over the bridge, through Dumbo and Vinegar Hill.
Sunday October 4
FREE Centennial ceremonial parade 9–11am. Only VIPs can access the bridge during the festivities, but onlookers can see the FDNY Fireboat multicolor salute on the river, hear the New York Chinese School marching band and, if you arrive early, glimpse the vintage cars.
FREE Fireworks display East River Park Amphitheater, north of Manhattan Bridge. Enter at Cherry and Jackson Sts. 7pm. The pyrotechnics are accompanied by the Manhattan School of Music Brass Quintet.
Monday October 5
FREE “Miss Manhattan, Miss Brooklyn and Their Creator, Daniel Chester French” NYU-Poly, 5 MetroTech Ctr, main floor, Downtown Brooklyn. 6:30pm. Artist Brian Tolle (Irish Hunger Memorial) and the Met’s Karen Lemmey discuss the bridge’s original decorations.
“Art Along the Way: Masstransiscope with Artist Bill Brand” Transit Museum, Boerum Pl at Schermerhorn St, Downtown Brooklyn. 6pm. $5. This two-hour event comprises a talk about and a ride-by viewing of the extraordinary work in the unused Myrtle Avenue subway station, which appears animated when seen from a moving train.
FREE Transportation Alternatives bike tour Meet at Allen Street Mall, corner of Allen and Grand Sts. 10am. TA’s senior policy adviser, Noah Budnick, reveals the newest bike paths on this 90-minute tour, which crosses the bridge, skirts the Navy Yard and culminates at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
FREE Manhattan Bridge walk Meet at the southwest corner of Broadway and Canal St . 10am. Photographers and bridge aficionados Bernie Ente and David Frieder lead this two-hour tour, in conjunction with Open House New York.
FREE “Losing the Bridge” Meet at Confucius Plaza, 33 Bowery at Bayard St. Noon. Former commissioner of the NYC Department of Transportation “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz shares his inside knowledge on a 90-minute walk, in conjunction with Open House New York.
It really is a horrendous bridge. Very little to celebrate.
The pedestrian walkway should be raised to the center of the bridge, above the upper roadway. Let ther two existing pedestrian lanes become bikeways.
The best walk I ever had on this bridge was on September 11th, when I walked across the upper deck to get out of Manhattan. Sparkling sunny day, the WTC in ruins and burning, the poison cloud blowing in the direction I was walking, and lots of people helping each other out.
The little miracles of compassion and brotherly love on that day were as powerful as the destruction.
Never-the-less, this bridge ultimately sucks ass.
I know BR, might flame me, but... I personally think this is one of the most beautiful bridge in all of New York.
Whoa, I think the Manhattan Bridge is fine.
Perfect spot too, right next to the Brooklyn Bridge. You can see how, in one generation, the technology advanced from tentative over-engineering to a more efficient design.
Sometimes I prefer the solitude of the walkway; seems like walking along a railroad freight line. And the view of downtown is better because the Brooklyn Bridge is in it.
I agree. It is a great bridge to look at from afar, but how often do you say, "Let's take a stroll on the Manhattan Bridge" or "I love driving across the Manhattan Bridge" or Take the D or the Q train, because you move at a crawl over the Manhattan Bridge"?
Stand anywhere but on the bridge to look at it and it looks fine. Get on the bridge using any of the modes available and you regret it instantly.
It's kind of like seeing a Hershey Kiss. From afar, you see the Kiss and you want to pull it from the shiny wrapper, pop it in your mouth, and taste that creamy rich milk chocolate. Suddenly, you have the thing in your hand and you realize that it is dogsh*t wrapped in aluminim foil. Total let down.
How often is driving into Manhattan a great experience?or "I love driving across the Manhattan Bridge"
How fast is the train across the Brooklyn Bridge?or Take the D or the Q train, because you move at a crawl over the Manhattan Bridge"?
I'm really quite surprised, BR. I like the bridge and I like walking across it, and I do it as often as I can. The walkway is right on the edge, so the views are unobstructed - not so on Brooklyn, Williamsburg or Queensboro. Plus, as has been mentioned, the views of the surrounding city are exceptional. There is no traffic whizzing by, it's barely noticeable above and over the subway tracks. There is the occasional subway train, which I agree is somewhat jarring for about 30 seconds, but nothing I'd describe as horrendous, and definitely preferrable to ceaseless auto and truck traffic you get on the other bridges. It's a pretty bridge with lots of details you only discover up close. Best of all it is uncrowded and at times almost serene. One of my favorite urban hikes is the Brooklyn-Manhattan Bridge loop, and the best part of it, IMO, is being on the Manhattan Bridge. Oh well, to each his own.