Yeah, anyone can cross the Brooklyn Bridge, but I’m guessing you’re here because you want something more than a quick stroll over some random landmark. You’re here because you like being an informed explorer. You want to go beyond the superficial experiences and get to know New York on a deeper level. Let’s do that by starting with New York’s classic tourist activity: crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. Here are five resources that will help you get the most out of this experience.
1. Brooklyn Bridge Photo Tips
If you go to the Brooklyn Bridge and don’t take any selfies, were you even there? The Brooklyn Bridge is too majestic not to photograph, but it can also be a little overwhelming trying to figure out how to get the best shots. This photo guide created by Everly Studios will give you some ideas on how to find the best lighting and the best angles on the bridge.
2. Brooklyn Bridge YouTube Walking Tour
This video is probably the next best thing to having an in-person tour guide. In the video, Tom Delgado, tour guide and comedian, leads you across the Brooklyn Bridge and makes the story of its construction humorous and entertaining.
3. The Great Bridge by David McCullough
If you want to dive deep into the story of the Brooklyn Bridge’s construction—and I mean 636 pages deep—you should crack open the spine of The Great Bridge by David McCullough. This book is more than a super detailed account of the story of the Brooklyn Bridge; it gives you a course in nineteenth-century, Tammany Hall-dominated New York politics. (I know, 600+ pages sound intimidating. But trust me; this book is far from a dry history textbook. Any book by historian David McCullough will have you engaged and entertained from the first page to the last page.)
4. The Engineer’s Wife by Tracey Enerson Wood
The Brooklyn Bridge as we know it wouldn’t exist without the work of one woman. Emily Warren Roebling had a key role in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, and yet there are only a handful of books recounting her story. Two of those books are for children, and one was written way back in 1984! Tracey Enerson Wood begins to fill this gap with her 2020 historical fiction novel, The Engineer’s Wife. Through Wood’s portrait we get a glimpse of what a badass Emily Warren Roebling was before, during, and well after the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.
5. The Bowery Boys Podcast
If podcasts are your preference, it might interest you to know that The Bowery Boys, experts in all matters of NYC history, have an episode highlighting the Brooklyn Bridge. At a little over a half-hour long, it’s the perfect length for you to listen to as you cross the bridge.
With these resources, you should be more than prepared to cross the Brooklyn Bridge! If you want more tips on being a better informed NYC explorer, sign up for my email list, so you’ll be notified every time I release a new article about NYC! And if you really can’t get enough of the city, follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, where I post new NYC tips almost daily. Thanks for reading!