The Manhattan Bridge doesn’t get as much love as its iconic neighbor to the south. Though it may be lacking the elegance of the Brooklyn Bridge, it’s a looker of its own—and walking across this century-old bridge affords some spectacular views of the one Roebling built 26 years prior. After living here for years, we finally took a walk across the Manhattan Bridge.
Our walk began in Brooklyn, where we live, so that we could end up in Chinatown for lunch. Start by coming out of the York Street Station (from the F train), which lets you out just a block or so north of the pedestrian entrance at Jay and Sands. The pedestrian pathway is at the same level as traffic and trains, so the walk is noisy, and plenty of bikes don’t heed the direction to ride on the north path, so you’ll have a few bikes speed past you, but you’ll be too focused on the amazing view to the south to care.
The total length of the bridge is just a little more than 1 mile, so it doesn’t take long to walk across, even if you’re stopping often for photos. The protective fence dogs your steps the whole way, but in a few spots people have cut it and pulled it apart so you can take a photo of the view more easily. You come out in Manhattan right in Chinatown. In fact, as the bridge goes over the neighborhood, you’ll start to smell delicious things wafting up to the bridge. The grittiness of Chinatown is visible in all its glory from this vantage point—something we’d seen from the train many times but had never been able to capture.