nw3 to nyc

Observations on moving my family across the Atlantic

It’s like looking for the end of the rainbow

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Well, that’s how it felt when we landed in Dumbo and couldn’t find the end of the Brooklyn Bridge. How’s that for a bizarre sentence? Dumbo is a district of Brooklyn, so called because it’s Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Sounds attractive, eh? It’s surprisingly nice. We took the East River Ferry from 34th Street and chugged our way down to Dumbo, which seems to be more under the Brooklyn Bridge than the Manhattan Bridge, but Dubbo isn’t quite so fun sounding. There is a beautiful restored 1922 carousel called Jane’s Carousel, where your kid can ride for $2 a time and go round and round on a horse with an odd expression. Check it out at: http://janescarousel.com/.

The whole area has been redeveloped so that you can sit along the water front and admire the Statue of Liberty some way off in the distance; watch the helicopters flittering about taking tourists for expensive trips to see the great lady and watch the boats of all shapes and sizes make their way up and down the East River. It’s a lovely way to spend an afternoon, but only when it’s hot.

Walking along the Brooklyn Bridge has been on our to do list for a while, inspired by Miranda meeting Steve on it in a key episode of Sex and the City. Well, I was inspired, but I digress. And even though we were directly under it (and it is huge), we struggled to find the Brooklyn end of it. It just seems to go on forever. We could see the pedestrians on it, we could see the cars but we couldn’t figure out how to get on the damn thing. We keep walking along the side of it, traffic fumes mixing well with the heat of the day and eventually find a tiny set up stairs off a dank pathway underneath the bridge.

And because we had chosen a busy weekend to visit, it was packed. The pedestrian walkway is separate and above the road for the cars and you have to share it with cyclists. It’s a fine line between trying to pass the slowest, photograph taking tourist and not getting mown down by a crazy cyclist as they speed along their half of the pavement. And it doesn’t help that someone decided to wrap half the bridge in plastic, so you can’t even see the views most of the time. And did I say it was long? Yes, it’s very long at 1.1 miles or 1.8 km. No wonder it took 13 years to build it in the late 19th Century. And no, there is no crock of gold at the end.

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