Day 33 (Night): Brooklyn, the Bridge & Manhattan

Tako got his nap, and, to my surprise, I wound up sleeping for nearly two hours. I met up with Alex at a pub around the corner from Sean and Molly’s called Black Horse, which is clearly a neighborhood hangout. We were the only people on the front patio who didn’t know everyone else.

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We forgot to ask for a drink menu, so when the waiter came and asked what we’d like to drink, neither of us knew what to say. (It was really hot out, guys. Thinking was hard.) And finally Alex said, “Cold beer?”

In San Francisco, this would cue your waiter to roll their eyes and tell us they’d be back with a drink menu. And you probably wouldn’t see them for a good fifteen minutes as punishment for your ineptitude.

Here, the guy said, “I’ll bring you my very best beer. Very cold.” And then he actually came back a few minutes later with two very cold, very good beers. They were some sort of IPA? I think? He told us, and I totally forgot.

Sean met up with us after he got off work (and brought Molly some medicine for the head cold that’s been bogging her down). Then we all headed towards the Brooklyn Bridge, and Tako took his first subway ride!

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He’s not quite as concerned as he appears here. He rides BART and Muni back home, so this really wasn’t all that different for him. Except the glorious, glorious AC.

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My phone has never been a fan of night photography, but it’s definitely getting worse. I think it might have something to do with the 115th time I dropped it yesterday…

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I considered taking Tako out of the pack and putting him back on leash when we got out of the subway. But a little voice in my head was like “Maybe see what the bridge is like first…” And I’m so glad I listened to it. This bridge crossing was a recipe for disaster for Tako.

You’re right over the traffic of the bridge, and you can feel the rumbling of cars going by. The honking is loud. The feet are not watching where they’re going. The bridge is pretty well-lit, but Tako is like a tiny shadow when he’s on the ground. And he’s mostly over his wooden bridge fear at this point. But who knows if bicycles whizzing by a few inches past his snout would have brought that back for him.

It’s possible he would have crossed absolutely fine. But I saw a medium-sized doodle lose his puppy mind around the middle of the bridge, nearly pull out of his harness, and have to be carried the rest of the way. So I’m glad I didn’t risk it.

Most of the path for the Brooklyn Bridge is very creaky old wood, very narrow, and split down the middle: one side for pedestrians & one side for cyclists.

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At least, that’s how it is in theory. In reality, tourists swarm everywhere. Cyclists basically had to weave in and out of human traffic, dinging their little bike bells over and over and over. I know it has to be the shortest route for most of them, but the Manhattan Bridge can’t be that far off-course. If I was a cyclist heading in or out of Brooklyn, I would not take this bridge, and especially not on a Friday night.

I’m not great with heights, and I saw a bunch of people sitting on cross beams to get pictures of themselves with the city nightscape in the background. Sean offered to take one of me if I wanted to hop up, and I nearly had to sit down from the wave of vertigo.

On the other side of the bridge, which really does have spectacular views, we decided to get pizza for dinner. Molly’s favorite place in the city (before she went vegan) is Artichoke Basille’s Pizza. They have three locations: one in the Financial District and two in Brooklyn.

Be warned that the Manhattan location marks up their slices. I’m calling this the Manhattan Tax.

We were on the Manhattan side already, so we wandered through the Financial District. It feels like a completely different place at night! I had no idea how cute that neighborhood is.

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And then there was pizza.

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Delicious, delicious pizza. I’m getting hungry again just looking at these photos.

I wanted to go back to Milk Bar, but it was already 10:30 p.m., and we didn’t realize we were right next to a location that stays open until midnight. So that you don’t make the same mistake as us, here’s all the location hours. You’re welcome. 

On our way to the Cortlandt St subway, we wound up at the 9/11 Memorial plaza. Sean knew it was coming, of course, but I didn’t. And the Oculus was the first thing I spotted.

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About the Westfield shopping mall inside the Oculus…

(trigger warning: the link above includes verbatim eyewitness accounts of 9/11)

…I did a little research on this because I thought it was slightly strange to put a mall inside a memorial building. What I didn’t realize is that the underground mall had been there since 1975. Some of the eyewitness accounts of the initial attack were from people who had been in the mall when the plane struck, looking up through the glass ceiling.

The original mall was mostly destroyed from the collapse of the towers. And, now that I know more about the history, it feels really important that this mall was rebuilt under the Oculus.

The plaza is surrounded by street art.

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The fountain memorial is entirely free to visit, but they rope it off at night, we discovered. Most likely to prevent anyone from falling in while doing something stupid, like trying to hop up onto the edge for a photo.

You can get pretty close to it (bottom right), just not close enough to look over the edge.

And then we went home, and Sean made popcorn. And then it was almost 1 a.m. so we went to bed.

Day 34 will be much less packed because it’s supposed to rain all day. Good grief, I brought it with me, guys!!

High

Everything?

 

Low

Nothing?

 

Breakdown

Driven: 7161mi

Hiked: 54mi

Written: 12k

Listening to: “Burnin’ For You” Blue Öyster Cult


2 thoughts on “Day 33 (Night): Brooklyn, the Bridge & Manhattan

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