It’s a cold January morning, and I feel as though I’ve just stepped onto a film set.
The sky above me is a vibrant shade of blue, apart from occasional fluffy clouds that look as though they might have been added using a child’s paintbox. People are walking, chatting and taking photographs around me. Dressed in chic woolly hats and mittens, they look like casually coordinated extras.
And it helps that I’m looking at one of the most iconic skylines in the world.
All through my trip to New York, I felt as though the buildings should be two-dimensional. If you go round the back, I thought, you’ll just find chipboard and the odd carpenter’s marking. And looking at the view from Brooklyn, you can really see what I mean.
So on the last day of my trip, I decided to brave the biting January air and walk across Brooklyn Bridge.
On coming out of the subway in Brooklyn, I spent about half an hour wandering around Cadman Plaza Park and looking at the war memorial there. It’s big and imposing, but also quietly beautiful and serene – especially on a largely deserted weekday morning in January.
Then I set about trying to find the bridge. You’d think that such a massive and world-famous structure would be fairly easy to find, but apparently not. At least, not for me, anyway.
Fortunately, a man with a food cart pointed me in the right direction. (He also told me I was beautiful and that he loved me. Then he tried to get me to buy falafel. Standard New York.)
As I stepped out onto the bridge, the skyline took my breath away. I mean, wow…
But it isn’t all about the view of Manhattan. The bridge itself is iconic, too.
Completed in 1883, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964. The length of the main span is over 15,000 feet, and it took me over half an hour to walk across it from Brooklyn to Manhattan – though admittedly I was stopping constantly to take photos.
I wouldn’t want to walk it in the rain. But in the sunshine, I can’t think of a better way to spend a morning. Walking across Brooklyn Bridge was one of my highlights of my time in New York, seeing the city rising up in front of me as I wandered across the water, camera in hand and not a care in the world.