The best travel is unintentional. Or at least, in my opinion, mostly unplanned. I like to hit the ground with not many checkpoints to reach or goals to accomplish. To me, the desired outcome is the same and there’s always just one: to make it an adventure.
But I would be lying if I told you I didn’t plan to introduce my friend, Cristi, to the Brooklyn Bridge. Its rough edges and decades of grit appeal to me in more ways than you care to know. More than once I stopped to rest my hand on its jagged rock walls, rub my fingers along the bricks laid by men about as old as my great-great grandfather. I squeezed the wire ropes and rested my camera against her metal beams to steady my shot. It was nighttime. The city glistened, reflected upon the East River. Cristi wasn’t so sure about walking along the wooden plank walkway at first, but before long, she seemed to thoroughly enjoy being suspended atop the traffic and water below.
You can’t quite know of this beauty until you see her up close. That’s my opinion, anyway. She’s stunning from afar for sure, but get up close, and you can smell her. Feel her. Hear her. She becomes a living piece of the stunning beauty around you, and you can’t help but sit on one of the benches to suck it all in as lovers stroll by and bicyclists careen past. It’s just like the city here … you get a little bit of everything.
The bridge was designed by a German immigrant, so of course my mind wanders. Did any of my earliest ancestors walk across this bridge, only to stand and stare in wonderment at Manhattan as I have?
That October night, we set out on an adventure to meet Brooklyn, but we ended the night being touched by Freedom.
More on that soon.
Until then, here’s Brooklyn. (And yes, I think Cristi loves her as much as I do.)
(And yes, I wrote about this same bridge almost exactly a year ago. Read that here.)