Call it the geography lesson for the day: New York City can be sliced into five boroughs. Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island and Queens are the five, and collectively they are known as New York City. Each borough has a distinct identity apparently, but I've really only seen Manhanttan, unless I can count my walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, as a visit to Brooklyn, or flying in/out from JFK and La Guardia as visits to Queens. While most visitors, like me, associate NYC as being Manhattan, the island, it's actually the smallest of the five geographically (in area), and not the biggest in population either. Manhattan has 1.6 million residents, but it's Brooklyn with 2.5 million that wins the biggest borough in terms of people. And that is where daughter number 1 is right now, if you have been following.
And if you've ever wanted to know for some strange reason how many bridges connect the Island of Manhattan to the rest of the world, the number is 20. The Brooklyn Bridge is the most famous of them all, was built in 1883, and was the first bridge to provide passage across the East River between Brooklyn and Manhattan. On the Circle Ferry Trip we did around Manhattan, the very entertaining tour guide (who must have been an out of work actor I'm sure!) told us that at least 20 people died during the construction of the bridge, including the designer of the bridge himself who was taking compass readings one afternoon when his foot was crushed between some pilings and a boat. His toes were amputated, and a few weeks later he died of tetanus. Kind of a sad family tale, because this guy's son took over as Chief Engineer, and then he got the bends (from diving to work on the pilings for the bridge) and was completely bedridden from then on.
You can get fantastic photos from the bridge of the city, of the cables and stays that make up the cool design of the bridge and of the Staten Island ferry plying its way across the water. We walked the bridge just on sunset and were rewarded with a sky of pinks, oranges and muted blues. It was sensational! It's pretty damn crowded though, and you won't be alone up there. Make sure you don't walk backwards when you're taking your shots, because you will absolutely get cleaned up by speeding bikes!
It's iconic, it's on everyone's must see list, and it's so well worth the visit.