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Point of Inspiration- The Brooklyn Bridge

November 7, 2010 by · 1 comment

Jolene Bertetto

Photo:Jolene Bertetto

It has been said that The Brooklyn Bridge was New York City’s first skyscraper. The Bridge’s two gothic arches of the masonry towers were meant to dwarf the surrounding buildings and rise up as one of the city’s tallest points. While it no longer stands as a podium in which one may look down upon the city, the Brooklyn Bridge is still a remarkable structure worth visiting.

Spanning the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn, the bridge gives
those who cross the water a panoramic view of New York unlike any other. Manhattan’s steel skyscrapers form a shield of buildings that are beautiful in their incongruence. The silver spire atop the empire state building reflecting the afternoon sunlight stands not far from the bluntness of the brick building housing Version Wireless, and this is part of New York’s beauty. Turn the corner and the city’s architecture transforms into something else entirely. From the bridge, however, the city feels cohesive.

The Bridge’s wooden pedestrian and bike lane stands high above the cars speeding underneath. Walking across the bridge in full view of the skyline, with the mélange of languages and energy from others, one truly feels like part of the city. Look to the right and reaching The Statue of Liberty seems like nothing more than a short skip over the water, and for tourists there can be no better journey for taking pictures. Taking pictures from the bridge poses only one problem, for each new step gives a better view of the skyline, resulting in, of course, pictures that look almost identical if not for the new image being larger than the last.

Photo:Jolene Bertetto

The Brooklyn Bridge is a notable point of inspiration both for its beauty and for its history. Construction of the bridge took 14 years, built out of necessity for a better way to cross the river. German immigrant John Roebling headed the project with the idea to build the world’s largest suspension bridge, but he died after complications with a foot injury he sustained while surveying the area and the dream of completing the bridge was passed on to his son, Washington Roebling. Washington suffered illness from working in compressed air in caissons under the bridge that were to be the foundations for the two towers, and thus his wife, Emily Roebling, took on the responsibility of supervising construction. The design of the bridge was extremely innovative and ambitious, resulting in countless critics that delayed the Bridge’s construction.

Photo:Jolene Bertetto

Today, the Brooklyn Bridge stands as a symbol of ingenuity and human accomplishment. The bridge was designated a National Historic Landmark by the federal government and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Bridge continues to inspire countless artists, from Georgia O’Keefe’s 1949 painting to Frank Sinatra’s song Brooklyn Bridge. Perhaps it’s appropriate that this symbol of New York is a bridge, for a bridge serves a purpose that transcends its beauty. It connects one point to the other, but is much more than just its function.

Once across the bridge, a visit to The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory completes the trip.

Photo:Jolene Bertetto

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