Brooklyn Boro

Come walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise

Strolling the landmarked span at dawn is a #bucketlistexperience

August 31, 2018 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This is the perfect time of year for a sunrise stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan
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Tourists do it. Why not give it a try?

Travel websites tell everybody that walking across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise is an awesome experience.

Guess what? They’re right.

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Strolling the iconic span at dawn belongs on Brooklynites’ bucket lists. People come from all over the world to do this. Don’t let them have all the fun.

Check out these Brooklyn Eagle photos from a recent sunrise stroll across the famous bridge.

In the moments before dawn, the silvery light that bathes the scenery is otherworldly.

It adds an ethereal glow to the World Trade Center and neighboring Lower Manhattan skyscrapers.

Around 6:20 a.m., which is when the sun rises in Brooklyn this time of year, the palest possible shade of peach creeps into the sky behind the Manhattan Bridge.

Less than 15 minutes later, the orange orb of the sun pops above the horizon and a fiery gold reflection appears on the East River.

As the sun climbs into the sky, it lights up the Brooklyn Bridge’s granite, Gothic-arched towers and intricate webs of steel cables.

It brightens the white limestone of the landmarked David N. Dinkins Manhattan Municipal Building at 1 Centre St., which was designed by the famous architecture firm McKim, Mead and White.


No crowds at this hour

You’ll pretty much have the walkway to yourself — though you might encounter a photo shoot or two.

The world-famous Brooklyn Bridge draws big crowds — with an average 13,196 pedestrian crossings on weekdays and 32,453 on weekends and an average 3,157 weekday cyclist crossings, a city Transportation Department study says.

But the throngs don’t show up this early in the day. There’s a sense of tranquility and peace on the walkway despite the sounds of car traffic on the bridge.

At the Manhattan terminus of the 1.1 mile-long span, there’s a garden where late-summer flowers bloom.

When you turn around and head back towards Brooklyn, the sky changes hue and becomes a fine blue backdrop for the towers of Lower Manhattan.       

At this hour, soft breezes blow from the East River and keep you cool, even on days that become blisteringly hot.


The Roeblings’ masterpiece

A word of advice to those who are not normally early risers: If you’re taking the subway to get to the bridge, budget more time than you think you need.

In the hours right before dawn, the subways don’t run as frequently as you might expect.

Perhaps you already know the history of the Brooklyn Bridge, which has been a city landmark since 1967.

But the basics bear repeating.

When it opened in 1883, it was the first bridge to connect Brooklyn and Manhattan. Until then, ferries were the only link between them.

Bridge designer John Roebling died during its construction. He got tetanus because of a work-related injury.

His son, Washington Roebling, was the Brooklyn Bridge’s chief engineer. He became debilitated by caisson disease. So Washington Roebling’s wife, Emily Warren Roebling, took over the management of the project.

He watched its progress through a telescope from the window of their home at 110 Columbia Heights in Brooklyn Heights.

When construction was completed, she rode in the very first carriage across the Brooklyn Bridge, carrying a rooster in her lap as a symbol of victory.

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