Manhattan by night from Brooklyn park

Having spent the day in my new favourite place – Brooklyn – we head back at night to see the wonderful night time spectacle of Manhattan.

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Shimmering and glittering in the velvet night like a mirage or the wonderous City of Oz.

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The reflection of the sparkling highrise buildings dances across the pitch black depths of the East River.

You can clearly make out the One World centre with its illuminated spike heading straight for the heavens.

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Below the Brooklyn bridge is lit up in its night time best to light the way home for weary workers and excitable tourists.

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It’s a gorgeous sight and free too! Just head to Brooklyn park and enjoy the view.

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Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest roadway bridges in the United States. Started in 1869 and completed fourteen years later in 1883, it connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, spanning the East River.

It has a main span of 1,595.5 feet and was the first steel-wire suspension bridge constructed.

The immense towers are built of limestone, granite and cement.┬áThe bridge’s two towers were built by floating two caissons – giant upside-down boxes made of southern yellow pine, in the span of the East River, and then beginning to build the stone towers on top of them until they sank to the bottom of the river

The bridge itself is a hectic, thronged walkway above the constantly flowing traffic.

The view from the bridge is simply phenomenal – looking down and towards Manhattan.

More than 4,000 pedestrians and 3,100 cyclists cross the Brooklyn Bridge each day meaning that it is not a relaxing experience!

The bridge was originally conceived by German immigrant John Augustus Roebling in 1852 who spent 15 years working to sell the idea.

Sadly he died of a tetanus infection before construction could begin and the project was passed to his son.

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Walking the bridge is a definite highlight that everyone should try and squeeze into an NYC trip.

Vinegar Hill


Next on our tour of Brooklyn we’re heading to a curious little neighbourhood that is not exactly on the tourist trail – Vinegar Hill.

It’s a tiny neighbourhood in Brooklyn on the East River Waterfront between Dumbo and the Brooklyn Navy Yard.


The neighbourhood gets its name from the Battle of Vinegar Hill, an engagement near Enniscorthy during the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

Vinegar Hill was commonly known as Irishtown in the 19th century, one of several places in the New York area with that name because of its sizeable population of Irish immigrants.

Most of Vinegar Hill consists of 19th-century Federal Style and Greek Revival style homes mixed with industrial buildings.

Hudson Avenue and Plymouth, Water and Front Streets are not tarmacked roads, rather they are made of Belgian Blocks which are similar to cobbles but a bit flatter and more rectangular.

The tiny little district is like a miniature open air architecture museum.

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It feels like a place stranded in time – a odd, out of place that has sealed the past in amber and shows how Brooklyn would have looked in the early 19th century.

The area was declared a Historical District in the late 1990s but it does not feel as if any investment is forthcoming, rather it feels like the developers are circling like vultures, just waiting to be able to level these characterful properties and throw up more homogeneous, glass sky scrapers.

Sadly it has a air of slow and inevitable decay, as is evidenced by the lone three story walk-up houses that are still standing defiantly even though their neighbours have long been demolished.

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It is one of a vanishing breed of areas that shows how New York was, back when it was a mecca for anyone with a dream.

A place of opportunity no matter how rich or poor you were. There is little space for penniless dreamers in the Big Apple these days.

With its endless concrete canyons and ever higher towers, New York feels like a place so concerned with rushing to its future that it has no time to appreciate where it has come from.

Long may places like Vinegar Hill stay standing to allow for a nostalgic remembrance of the ordinary people that contributed to NYCs success.

Manhattan bridge and Dumbo

The awe inspiring views just keep on coming on our whirlwind trip around New York. Still over on Brooklyn we’re taking a gander at another epic bridge – The Manhattan Bridge.

The bridge’s total length is 6,855 ft (2,089 m). It is one of four toll-free bridges spanning the East River; the other three are the Queensboro, Williamsburg, and Brooklyn Bridges.

Speaking of which, here’s the stunning Brooklyn Bridge again as viewed from the Main Street Park in Dumbo

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The area around the Manhattan Bridge is known as DUMBO – short for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Originally a ferry landing, it is full of imposing 19th- and early 20th-century industrial and warehouse buildings.

With the de-industrialisation of New York City, Dumbo saw an influx of artists and other young homeowners looking for inexpensive loft apartment spaces for studios and homes.

The acronym ‘Dumbo’ came about in 1978, when residents coined it in the hope that such an unattractive name would help deter developers. Sadly this was in vain as it is now a very sought after, and as a result, expensive area.

35476214_10155407738187353_1990331795366739968_nEven though it’s now a prestigious address, there are still colourful corners to be found such as the cute little mexican cafe above.

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But the main draw for me in DUMBO is the stunning views of Manhattan Bridge that you can catch from the streets in the area.

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One of the best views can be found from Plymouth Street, lined with old brick warehouses that bookend the amazing views of the bridge.

The bridge was officially opened on December 31, 1909 and has since seen a veritable army of drivers and pedestrian utilise it on a daily basis.