lower manhattan

Brooklyn Bridge and the Promenade

The best view of Manhattan is in Brooklyn. Take the #2 or 3 train to Brooklyn’s Clark St Station. Head west through the graceful brownstone streets of Brooklyn Heights and soak up the incredible view from the Promenade. Continue north towards the Brooklyn Bridge, dipping down to Fulton Street, where a newly restored pier has another picture postcard view accompanied by Walt Whitman’s poem ‘Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.’ Walk up Fulton St past Patsy’s Pizza to the Anchorage - an art gallery in the huge stone caverns formed by the bridge’s structure. Continue up Fulton Street and go up the stair to the bridgewalk on the left. As you cross the bridge, notice the spiderweb of cables around you. The pointy gothic-arched towers loomed above all the city’s buildings when completed in 1898. When the first New Yorkers crossed over on the center walkway, they were afraid because birds were actually flying beneath their feet.

Wall Street

The tall skyscrapers of the financial center of the world are mostly empty, victims of suburban office parks. There are plans are to resurrect them as apartment buildings and condos. The craggy buildings on odd shaped blocks, though, still make it one of the most interesting city streetscapes. Check out the luxe lobbies of 195 Broadway and in Nos. 1, 23, 40, and 55 Wall Street. At Federal Hall, get a Heritage Trails map to other historic sites in the area. You’ll be following the bouncing dots to the green signposts John designed two years ago.

World Trade Center

Start at Century 21, the best bargain clothing store in the city (John likes the tie selection). Cross the street to the WTC plaza. Go to the top if you want, but the best sight is the thousands of New Jersey commuters going to and fro in the underground concourse at rush hour. To the north of the north tower, you’ll find the bridge over to the World Financial Center, currently the most popular place for wedding photographs in the city. Descend the marble stair case into the steel and glass Winter Garden and continue out to the Esplanade along the Hudson. This walk will make you realize that New York is one really, really big place.

Also check out:
Battery Park, Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island, Staten Island Ferry, City Hall/Municipal Building, National Museum of the American Indian/Customs House, South Street Seaport, Brooklyn Museum, Terminal City (Last Exit to Brooklyn), Worker Housing along the BQE.

Clocktower Gallery
108 Leonard Street, take the elevator up to the top, then climb the flights of stairs to the clocktower. Another dizzying spiral stair brings you to an art gallery in one of the most unlikely gallery spaces in the city.

Ellen’s Cafe and Bake Shop
A former beauty queen opened up this diner - check out the posters of previous winners of the Miss Subways contest and their turnons and turnoffs.

Patsy’s Pizza in Brooklyn
Considered the best pizza in the city - no slices - underneath the Brooklyn tower of the famous Brooklyn Bridge, a veritable shrine to Sinatra, say hi to Patsy, the tall guy in the rose-colored glasses.

back to the guide

back to fountain comments to fanfon@interport.net december 1999