Brooklyn Bridge: November 28, 2015

During the Thanksgiving weekend, there were friends visiting New York who wanted to cross the Brooklyn Bridge.  For more information about the Brooklyn Bridge, see the previous post from June 8, 2013

We met at the Brooklyn Bridge Cafe across from the pedestrian entrance for lite meals before our walk.

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We headed out with a light mist but the weather did not deter us.

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The children enjoyed being together.

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Once in Manhattan, we walked past City Hall Park and the Municipal Building to the African Burial Ground National Monument.

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The children enjoyed the interactive displays and the ranger led historic discussion of the African Burial Ground.  We also watched a film describing how the National Monument came to be.

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High Bridge July 26, 2015

The High Bridge was completed in 1848 and served as an aqueduct carrying water from upstate New York to the City of New York.  It is the oldest bridge in New York City. The original stone arch bridge was replaced with a steel arch in a 1928 renovation.  This bridge was built as part of the Croton Aqueduct system, to bring water to New York City.

The High Bridge has received Landmark status.

The bridge was closed to all traffic from the 1970’s until its reopening on June 9, 2015. There was a festival celebrating the reopening of the bridge, but we decided to miss the crowds and went a few days later.

High Bridge spans the Harlem River from 173rd Street in Manhattan to The Bronx at 170th Street. There is a swimming pool in High Bridge Park, which used to be a reservior.  The High Bridge is maintained by the New York City Parks Dept.

We began our walk at the High Bridge Park.  To make it a true crossing, we went to the Bronx side and then back to Manhattan. Afterwards, we walked the bicycle route rather than take the steep stairs back up.  We bought empanadas from a street vendor and then went to the playground to let the children burn off whatever energy they had left from the walk.

 

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We followed the path to the very steep stairs leading to the bridge.11760285_1151581004857378_6316278165130508142_n

At the top of the stairs is the High Bridge Water Tower

View from the Bronx entrance

View from the Bronx entrance

Most of us entered from the Manhattan side at 173rd Street.  Some entered from the Bronx side at 170th Street.11811389_1151708218177990_4426337603548635830_n

We met in the middle and had fun enjoying the sites from the bridge.  The weather was wonderful with a light breeze.

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The Bridgewalks are becoming a ‘family’ affair!

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There are several medallions along the bridge giving the history of the aqueduct.

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Pleasure boats on the Harlem River

Pleasure boats on the Harlem River

High Bridge

Type:   Arch Bridge

Length:

Width:

Spans:    Harlem River

Carries:    Pedestrians and bicycles

Connects:    The Bronx with Manhattan

Re-Opened:  June 9, 2015

George Washington Bridge. June 14, 2014

This was my second attempt at trying to see the American Flag flying from the New Jersey tower of the George Washington Bridge.

June 14 is Flag Day; one of the eight days the flag is flown on the George Washington  Bridge.

My son, Jason, and granddaughter, Renee and I got there at 6:30 AM to start our walk over the bridge.  The flag was supposed to be unfurled at 7:00AM.

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Even early on a Saturday morning, there was heavy traffic on the bridge.  There was construction on the Cross Bronx Expressway. The George Washington Bridge flows directly into the Cross Bronx Expressway and the traffic from one affects the traffic on the other.

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A constant hazard early on a weekend morning, is bicycle traffic.

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Renee had to be carried sometimes due to the bicycles.  None of the cyclists seemed to have bells or whistles.  They just yelled for us to get out of their way.

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Jason and Renee entering the New York tower.

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Inside the New York tower.

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From the west side of the tower you can look down and see the Little Red Lighthouse.  Renee enjoyed seeing it. She loves the story and we visited the lighthouse last winter.

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We reached the New Jersey tower sat approximately 7:00 but there was no activity in the tower.

First, I asked the security agent on duty why the flag was not flying but was told that security is contracted and that I would have to speak to someone from Port Authority.

I found a bridge painter under the approach in New Jersey, and asked him why the flag wasn’t flying.  He started giving me some possible reasons as to why it might not be flying, but if I wanted to know more, I could go to the Port Authority offices which are nearby.

I then asked if there was someone I could call.  At this, he then called the PA office to inquire.

The explanation that he was given is that the rigging to lower the flag is in need of repair and no other information was given.

This is the platform that takes the crew up to lower the flag.

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Cyclist with a flat tire.

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We continued back to New York…traffic eased up and the cyclists kept on coming!

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Ahhh,  sleep!

Ahhh, sleep!

I will have to wait till the rigging is operational again.  I want to see the flag fly!

 

Macombs Dam Bridge: April 11, 2014

Since I visited Citi Field, home of The New York Mets, 2 days ago, I decided to cross a bridge that was near Yankee Stadium.  The closest one is the Macombs Dam Bridge. I wasn’t sure which bridge was the one near Yankee Stadium or which area of Manhattan it connected to.  One of my reasons for crossing these bridges is to become familiar with the communities they link.

The Macombs Dam Bridge is one of several bridges that spans the Harlem River.  It connects upper Manhattan to the Bronx.  It is the third oldest bridge in New York City and has Landmark designation.

The approach to the bridge is along 155th Street just past Coogan’s Bluff.   Steep stairways will take you down to the community below which includes Rucker Park, which is known for its basketball tournaments, and Polo Grounds Towers, a high rise public housing project, built on the site of Polo Grounds III.

Coogan’s Bluff is bounded to the west by Edgecomb Avenue.  Between 160th  and 162nd Streets on Edgecomb Ave is Roger Morris Park and the Morris-Jumel Mansion.   The mansion is the oldest house in the borough of Manhattan and served as headquarters for both sides of the American Revolution.  The entrance is one block west on Jumel Terrace.

Morris-Jumel Mansion

Morris-Jumel Mansion

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Valerie and her 2 sons accompanied me on this crossing.  We continued on the approach and across the Macombs Dam Bridge.  The approach also crosses over the Harlem River Drive.

Valerie with Henry and Spencer

Valerie with Henry and Spencer

This is the first bridge that Henry actually walked across!

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Henry and Grandma

Henry and Grandma

Henry loves to explore.

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Henry looking out at the Harlem River

Henry looking out at the Harlem River

Henry helping Mama push baby brother

Henry helping Mama push baby brother

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At the end of the bridge is the intersection of exit and approach ramps to the Major Deegan Expressway.  The Major Deegan runs north-south through The Bronx and ends in the north at the city line where it becomes the New York State Thruway.

Across from the major Deegan is Yankee Stadium.

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We walked completely around the stadium.  On the far side is River Avenue and the elevated subway #4 train.  The next block north is Mullaly Park which includes Mullaly Skate Park, with ramps for skate boards, skates, etc.  While we were there, there were several boys riding and jumping their bicycles on the ramps.

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We continued around the stadium and stopped at Macombs Dam Park and the Joseph Yancy Track and Field to rest and snack.

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As we exited the park, Jim Dolan was preparing for broadcasts before the game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox

Jim Dolan from ABC News

Jim Dolan from ABC News

We continued back across the bridge.

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View from Manhattan with Harlem River Drive below.

View from Manhattan with Harlem River Drive below.

We stopped at a playground on Edgecomb Avenue, near where I parked the car, for a few slides, then headed home.

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1204This says it all!

 

Macombs Dam Bridge:

Type:     Swing Bridge over the Harlem River

and Camelback Span over the railroad tracks

Length:     2540 ft (770 M)

Width:

Spans:     Harlem River

Carries:     Four lanes of vehicle traffic and 2 sidewalks

Connects:     Upper Manhattan to The Bronx

Opened:     May 1, 1895

Roosevelt Avenue Bridge: April 9, 2014

The Roosevelt Avenue Bridge is a continuation of Roosevelt Avenue from Corona into Flushing, crossing Flushing Creek.  Roosevelt Avenue starts in mid Queens at Queens Blvd and 48th Street and runs west to east through Woodside, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Corona and into Flushing, ending at Northern Blvd and 156th Street.

The only other time I had walked across this bridge was in 1972.  There was no shopping center at the end of the bridge.  There were several more auto junk yards.  And of course, Shea Stadium was only in its 8th season.    I had taken the Q 48 bus to Flushing to get the Sunday New York Times.  I decided to walk home and stopped at the stadium to watch some of the game from the walkway from the #7 subway.  I could see really dark storm clouds coming towards the stadium from the west, so I hurried home, about another mile and a half, getting home just as the rains were beginning!

I started this walk, by parking in the lot of the shopping center that is right at the foot of the bridge.  I ate lunch there and then walked across the north walkway towards Corona.

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Roosevelt Avenue Bridge Walkway

Roosevelt Avenue Bridge Walkway

As well as crossing Flushing Creek, Roosevelt Avenue Bridge also crosses over the Van Wyck Expressway. 

Van Wyck Expressway and Flushing Creek

Van Wyck Expressway and Flushing Creek

From the bridge you can see Citi Field in the distance.

Citi Field in the distance

Citi Field in the distance

The Elevated subway Number 7 line runs above Roosevelt Avenue, continues above the bridge and then returns underground as it enters downtown Flushing.  The 7 train stops at Citi Field and the Long Island Railroad.  The next and last stop is Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue.

As you exit the bridge at 126th Street, there are several junk yards and used auto parts businesses north of Roosevelt Ave.  The area, to put it lightly, is an eyesore.  The structures are very old and the streets are severely rutted.

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Used auto parts shops

Used auto parts shops

Several of these establishments were demolished along 126th Street to make way for the building of Citi Field.  Citi Field was built behind the old Shea Stadium so there was no interruption in the Mets home schedule.

Citi Field and auto shops along 126th Street

Citi Field and auto shops along 126th Street

From 126th Street to the Grand Central parkway, is Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.

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Citi Field and the New York Mets home Run Apple

Citi Field and the New York Mets home Run Apple

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The number 7 subway station is just beyond the Home Run Apple.  From there, there is a ramp that leads into the Flushing Meadows Corona Park, home of the 1939 and 1964-65 Worlds Fairs.

The Unisphere, donated to the 1964-65 World’s Fair by US Steel is an easily recognizable landmark.

Unisphere donated to the 1964-65 World's Fair by uS Steel

Unisphere donated to the 1964-65 World’s Fair by US Steel

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At the base of the ramp is the Flushing Meadows Tennis Center with the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and the Arthur Ashe Stadium.  The Tennis US Open is held here every year at the end of August into September.  During the US Open, air traffic from nearby LaGuardia airport is redirected to eliminate jet noise during the matches.

Below to the west is the MTA train yard

1119 1120and to the east is the MTA bus maintenance facility.

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These make up the MTA Regional Casey Stengel Bus Depot and Subway Yard

The entrance to this yard is just at the foot of the bridge.1131  I returned to my car and drove around Downtown Flushing.  I grew up not too far from then Shea Stadium and often shopped in the Downtown Flushing area.  The area now is a strong Asian community; mostly Chinese and Korean.  Hotels and apartment buildings were built on some of the side streets.  I have heard of the area being referred to as Little Seoul.

 

Roosevelt Avenue Bridge:

Type:     Double-Leaf Bascule      (no longer operational)

Length:

Width:

Spans:     Flushing Creek

Connects:     Corona to flushing

Carries:     4 Vehicular lanes, 2 sidewalks, IRT #7 Subway

Opened:     May 14, 1927

Manhattan Bridge March 1, 2014

My sister, Andrea made a surprise visit.  I had been thinking of walking a bridge so I asked her to join me.

We decided to cross the Manhattan Bridge.  The Manhattan Bridge crosses the East River joining Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. In Brooklyn, the bridge is at the northern end of Flatbush Avenue which runs the length of Brooklyn down to the Marine Parkway – Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge into The Rockaways.

 

It is near the Downtown area of Brooklyn’s Civic Center, where the courts and Borough Hall are.  The bridge enters Brooklyn at Tillary Street and the Flatbush Avenue Extension.  The  MetroTech Center which is a business and educational center is located between Jay Street and the Flatbush Avenue Extension just below Tillary Street.

We entered the walkway through this park on Jay Street.

Park entrance on Jay Street

Park entrance on Jay Street

The Manhattan Bridge has Landmark designation.  This dedication plaque is just before the walkway.

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This artwork (or graffiti as some call it) is not seen when you are driving on the ramp to the bridge.

Artwork on bridge ramp

Artwork on bridge ramp

Business area in DUMBO

Business area in DUMBO

These are some of the renovated buildings in DUMBO.  DUMBO is ‘Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass’.  A newly created community.  Many of the office buildings alongside the bridge are empty.  At night it is easy to see inside them with their security lights on. The buildings we passed seemed completely vacant.

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Tower on Brooklyn side

Tower on Brooklyn side

Under this tower on the Brooklyn side is this plaque.  You have to look hard through all the graffiti to see the details of the bridge construction.

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Tower on Manhattan side

Tower on Manhattan side

Q train

Q train

The B, D, Q, N, and R trains cross the bridge.  The center roadway is between the 2 side sets of tracks.  There are roadways above the trains.  They were originally for streetcars.

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Andrea along the walkway.  The subway tracks are next to the walkway.

Lower Manhattan Skyline

Lower Manhattan Skyline

From the bridge, you can see the Brooklyn Bridge and the lower Wall Street area of Manhattan.  The spire from the Freedom Tower can be seen in the upper right hand corner.

Chinatown street

Chinatown street

This street in Chinatown looks rather inviting.  Most side streets in Chinatown are one way and very narrow.

1658578_824964760852339_1169036190_oTriumphal Arch and Colonnade

The bridge enters Manhattan on Canal Street, into the heart of Chinatown.

This is the archway entrance to the Manhattan Bridge from Canal Street.  This roadway has 3 lanes and its direction is determined by rush hour time.  There are upper roadways on either side above the subway tracks.

Rosettes under arch

Rosettes under arch

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This entrance is directly across from Canal Street.  Canal street crosses east to west and ends on the west side.  There is also the entrance to the Holland Tunnel to New Jersey.  You can find just about anything along Canal Street.

Welcome To Manhattan

Welcome To Manhattan

The domed bank is a landmark of sorts.  It is not an HSBC bank.

HSBC Bank

HSBC Bank

This dragon is at the entrance to the bank.

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We ate dinner at the A Wah II Chinese restaurant.  The food was rather good. i try to eat at restaurants in the areas where I cross the bridges.  This one is right across the street from the bridge.  Good Choice!

A Wah II Restaurant

A Wah II Restaurant

By the time we finished dinner, it was dark, so we had a nighttime walk back to Brooklyn.  I couldn’t get any good pictures.  The lights on the bridge threw the light balance off, so we just enjoyed the lighted skyline.

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Manhattan Bridge:

Type:     Suspension

Length:     6855 Ft/2089 M

Width:     120 Ft/ 37 M

Spans:  East River

Connects:  Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan

Opened:     December 31, 1909  (although not yet completed)