Cross Manhattan's bridges for the ultimate sightseeing tour of NYC
Whether you're walking or biking, June is the perfect month to try a new mode of transportation across the bridges that link Manhattan to the outer boroughs and to New Jersey. The sightseeing is grand from each bridge, and using them leads to unexpected destinations on both sides of the river. -- TED LOOS Special to Newsday
GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE: This engineering marvel provides spectacular views up and down the Hudson River. It's a particular favorite of bikers and nature lovers, as both sides have parks galore.
Manhattan side: Jeffrey's Hook Lighthouse, famous subject of the children's book "The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge," in Fort Washington Park underneath the GW (lighthousefriends.com).
New Jersey side: The miles of trails in Palisades Interstate Park (njpalisades.org).
The Jeffrey Hook Lighthouse, also known as the "Little Red Lighthouse," sits on the edge of Manhattan Island beneath the span of the George Washington Bridge along the Hudson River. The only lighthouse in Manhattan, it dates to 1921. (July 19, 2002)
The George Washington Bridge spans the Hudson River and connects Fort Lee, N.J., with Washington Heights in Manhattan. (April 14, 2010)
ED KOCH QUEENSBORO BRIDGE: Wave to people on the Roosevelt Island tram as you traverse this classic bridge, immortalized in "The Great Gatsby." Walking from midtown is easy since you can enter on 60th between First and Second Avenues. Manhattan side: A view of the bridge at Sutton Place Park, East 58th Street and the East River, site of a classic romantic moment in Woody Allen's "Manhattan"; Queens side: A few blocks from the entrance is MoMA PS1, with the eco-themed "EXPO 1: New York"; now on view (22-25 Jackson Ave., 718-784-2084, momaps1.org).
The Roosevelt Island tramway passes over the Queensboro Bridge. (Jan. 21, 2010)
On the Queens side of the Queensboro Bridge, on display through Sept. 2, is EXPO 1: New York, an exhibit exploring ecological challenges in the context of the economic and sociopolitical instability of the early 21st century at MoMA PS1. Here, Meg Webster's "Pool” (1998/2013).
Sutton Place Park is a short walk from the Queensboro Bridge on the Manhattan side. It's the site of a classic scene in Woody Allen's "Manhattan." (July 2008)
BROOKLYN BRIDGE: New York's most iconic bridge, completed in 1898, is well used by bikers and walkers, so you'll have the most company for a stroll from the Financial District to the historic town houses of Brooklyn Heights. Manhattan side: Good view of the torquing, undulating facade of Frank Gehry's 8 Spruce St., the 78-story-tower that is his first residential building in the city. Brooklyn side: Have a glass of refreshing Riesling ($9) at Brooklyn Heights Wine Bar (50 Henry St., 718-855 5595, brooklynheightswinebar.com).
The Brooklyn Bridge is well used by bikers and walkers alike. (Aug. 25, 2009)
Visitors to the Brooklyn Bridge Park enjoy the sunny weather and great view of the Brooklyn Bridge. (May 4, 2013)
Frank Gehry's 76-story New York by Gehry at 8 Spruce St., the largest apartment building in the Western Hemisphere, is visible from the Brooklyn Bridge. (April 28, 2011)
On the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge, pedestrians can locate themselves with a map and walk up to Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights for a glass of Riesling at the Brooklyn Heights Bar. (April 2, 2010)
MANHATTAN BRIDGE: The best view of the Brooklyn Bridge actually comes from walking on the south side of this structure. It's one of the most utilitarian of bridges, but also among the least crowded. Manhattan side: You might want to carb-load for this journey, so stop for a bowl of noodles at someplace like Lam Zhou Homemade Noodle in Chinatown (144 E. Broadway, 212-566-6933). Brooklyn side: It's only a few blocks from a DUMBO treat at Jacques Torres Chocolate and you can glimpse the chocolate being made (66 Water St., 718-875-1269, mrchocolate.com).
With the Manhattan Bridge stretching above them, a couple relaxes on the grass at Brooklyn Bridge Park in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn. (July 15, 2010)
Jacques Torres Chocolate, 66 Water St., is a few blocks from the base of the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn Heights.
From produce stands to sit-down restaurants, all sorts of eats are available in Chinatown, near the Manhattan Bridge. (March 19, 2010)
WILLIAMSBURG BRIDGE: This link between the Lower East Side and Williamsburg is a kind of hipster express lane, and good for people-watching -- be careful of aggressive bikers, however. Manhattan side: Learn about the immigrant experience at the Tenement Museum (103 Orchard St., 212-982-8420, tenement.org). Brooklyn side: Practically under the bridge is a branch of Zak Pelaccio's Southeast Asian barbecue joint, Fatty 'Cue (91 S. 6th St., 718-599-3090, fattycue.com).
A view of the Williamsburg Bridge, which spans the East River. (Sept. 24, 2007)
Commuters walk into lower Manhattan via the Williamsburg Bridge. (Aug. 29, 2011)
On the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge, learn about the immigrant experience at the Tenement Museum. The landmark museum preserves the history of more than 7,000 immigrants, hailing from 20-plus nations, who lived in the building between 1863 and 1935. (April 9, 2013)
Sitting practically underneath the Williamsburg Bridge, on the Brooklyn side, Fatty 'Cue, 91 S. 6th St., serves Southeast Asian barbecue and specialties including smoked catfish nam prik.