Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

The weather was beautiful this past Sunday in New York, and my husband and I decided to take a little drive to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. There was lots of traffic, as usual, as we drove along the Brooklyn Queens Expressway on our way towards the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, from where we live in Brooklyn. At 71 square miles, Brooklyn is New York City's second largest borough. It's also the most populated. In 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau calculated Brooklyn's population at 2,508,820!


You can see some of the Manhattan skyline on the left as we are actually driving under the promenade.

We exit from the expressway and enter Brooklyn Heights where we find a parking spot in front of this charming old home which must date back to the 1800's.

We walk about two blocks north towards the East River. Can you see the Manhattan skyline in the distance?

This is the view of the western end of the promenade as it literally hangs over the expressway.


In the mid-1940's city planner Robert Moses wanted to construct a new expressway right through the heart of Brooklyn Heights, and he was stopped by the outcry of the Brooklyn Heights Association. A solution emerged to build a two-tiered highway above the waterfront and it resulted in the construction of the promenade as a way to insulate the neighborhood from the noise of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. It opened to the public in October 1950 and has been a magnet for local residents and visitors alike for over half a century.

This is the view of the traffic flowing underneath that area of the promenade:


This is what you see as you walk along the one-third of a mile long promenade from stretching from Remsen to Orange Streets -- New York Harbor, lower Manhattan, and the expanse of the Brooklyn Bridge going over the East River.

It's quite a view! The promenade is a narrow walkway park lined with benches, trees, a playground and it's a favorite destination for tourists, joggers, strollers, families, dog walkers and lovers of all ages. The view is also spectacular at night, when Manhattan is ablaze with lights!

There are a lot of lives living and working in each of those buildings in Manhattan, and there is also a big hole in the sky where once the twin towers of the World Trade center once loomed high over all of them. You will probably have to enlarge the photo below to see it clearer, but it is a bronze plaque that was placed on the promenade walkway in 2001, and it depicts the Manhattan skyline as it was before the destruction of the Twin Towers, so you can see where their general location was, and how high they were in relation to the buildings in lower Manhattan.
From the promenade you can see the remains of some of the old Brooklyn piers that were crowded with ships unloading cargo many years ago when Brooklyn was an active port. Now they are mainly derelict, and years were spent debating many proposals as to how to put that land to good use. The final determination was to turn it into parkland, and there is construction going on right now, as you can see by the cranes in the foreground.
The tall ships docked at South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan can been seen in the photo below.

Another view of the Brooklyn Bridge below, and in the far distance, to the right, is the Empire State Building.
In the photo below you can see the Statue of Liberty and the Staten Island Ferry crossing New York harbor.
As we walked along the promenade we saw this little bird enjoying his seat on a park bench. He was also delighting in the nice weather and the little break from winter!

Just like a perfect gentleman he hopped up onto the railing and offered his seat to me with a little chirp! Why thank you! Don't mind if I do!
It was the perfect way to spend a few hours on a splendid afternoon!

43 comments:

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, I enjoyed this tour so much. I am one of those people who proudly proclaim, "I love New York!" It's the most wonderful city ever! :-)

Thanks for taking us along with you. Regards to Mr. Bird...

XO,

Sheila :-)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Pat - I was nostalgic looking at those pix of Manhattan from Brooklyn. I used to work right over the bridge on Front St. by the So. Street Seaport and used to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge for my lunchtime exercise. Seems like a nice way to spend an afternoon.

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Pat,
I really enjoy your posts about NYC! I can't wait til I see some of this for myself!

diane

Lorrie said...

Pat thank you so much for this lovely driving and walking tour. The weather was just perfect and the views spectacular! I'm still not used to the skyline with the Twin Towers missing. I have a matchbook from many years ago Windows On The World and it's been sitting on my kitchen windowsill where I look at it every day since 9/11...

lisa said...

i forget this sometimes, but you just reminded me...i love living in brooklyn!

Lucy said...

That was wonderful. Thanks. One thing I've always wanted to do is live a couple of years in NYC to see ... well probably not everything...but close to that.

Barb said...

Thanks for sharing,I love New York and can't wait to visit again.Your history with the photos was nice....Barb

Vee said...

What blue skies above the city that day. It's always fun to take the tour with you. What an incredible hometown you have!

Mama said...

A splendid afternoon along the promenade Pat, it did look like a wonderful day, I love all the architecture and the skyline in fact "I love New York too", what a kindly little bird lol. hugs, Kathy.

Poetikat said...

I love your tours! In many ways, New York is like Toronto, Ontario. The drive in from Brooklyn, especially looks like the Gardiner Expressway. However, of late, the "T-dot-Oh" looks more like "To-Kee-Oh" to me.

Kat

Rachael said...

Such a nice tour:-) Again, I recognize the promenade walkway from several movies...."Moonstruck" being one of them!

Thanks for sharing a little bit of Brooklyn!!

Catherine said...

Thank you for the tour! Leo is beautiful!!

Linda Lou said...

Your photo tour brought back memories of hanging out in Brooklyn Heights-there was a spanish restaurant there I loved, I always wanto live there, but lived in Bay Ridge at the time, great pics!

Willow said...

Very interesting, Pat. I know so very little about New York so it is great to get these little tours from you.

Southern Lady said...

Pat, I enjoyed your tour of the Promenade and found it very interesting ... especially the plaque depicting the skyline before 9/11, with today's skyline in the background.

Thank you for sharing your delightful afternoon -- and your beautiful city -- with us.

Sincerely,

Janie

Bernideen's Tea Time Blog said...

Thanks for this lovely tour - a world I know not of!

~Cheryl said...

Thank you for sharing your corner of the world. I enjoyed this very much!

Oliag said...

I am deeply distressed that my daughter and her husband are probably leaving Brooklyn soon...they have to go where the jobs are...they love it there...we love visiting! It is a wonderful place...

salmagundi said...

Enjoyed the tour. I clicked and enlarged and went back and forth on the pictures envisioning the twin towers. I've never been to NY, but would love to go someday. Thanks for sharing your outing. Sally

Cori G. said...

Hi Pat,

Hey where did all the snow go? I'm glad your enjoying some warm weather instead of freezing. We've been in the 80's again, but the weather man says were going to have rain this weekend. The promenade looks like a beautiful place to bask in the sun.

xo Cori G.

M.Kate said...

Pat, your pictures are amazing. Makes me want to visit you desperately, thanks so much for sharing. Much love, M

Judy said...

Thanks for the great tour! I had lunch with a friend today...who was telling me all about their weekend trip to New York and how fantastic it was. They liked it so much, they are planning to fly their whole family out next time. It's starting to sound like quite a good idea!

We are having beautiful weather out here right now as well.

Strider said...

I always enjoy your trips! Thanks again for taking the time to share them.

Donna said...

Oh, it looks like you had a wonderful day, Pat! We were in Boston walking around Sunday afternoon and the weather was gorgeous there as well!... Donna @ An Enchanted Cottage

Gracie said...

Watching at your pics is like see again one of the many movies I enjoyed over the years, settled in NYC! Thanks again for bringing me there (till the day I will be there in person).

Melanie said...

What a well mannered bird! :-)

Thank you for sharing this part of NY. Love that old building you parked near.

Lisa B. said...

Thanks for the walk! That sure is a tight squeeze putting a highway through those buildings!

supplies overflowing! said...

hi Pat,
Loved the tour- the photos were beautiful. Looking forward to a visit of my own! Perhaps in the Spring-
jenny

aliceinparis said...

What a gorgeous place to go for a walk!!! The skyline!!!!!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

That was a beautiful tour on a lovely day. Today, of course, it would be looking a little different. Hope you are not too buried in the snow. It really is pretty, but a pain to drive in.
♥, Susan

la petite perle said...

The pictures you show look so lovely! For me i have to dream and wish that i one day will visit New york and see the things i can see on your pictures! Your blog is lovely!
Warmly,
la petite perle!

Cori G. said...

Oh yes! Now I see the snow. So lovely.

Hi Pat,
I'm commenting on your comment...that's one of my favorite quotes too! I once saw it in a garden magazine on a sign hanging in a beautiful garden. I've always wanted to paint one for my own yard, but haven't gotten around to it. All those fun things we always want to do, but never have time for. And yes, I did my little graphic. I love all the sweet pinks...thanks!

I hope you're having a fun Wednesday. I can't believe it's Wednesday already. Where does the time fly?

xo Cori

Bo said...

Hi Pat...what a pleasant drive you gave us through that beautiful area
and getting to see the skyline was spectacular. I did vote for your precious little grand dog...my Lil Bear didn't make it...sniff-sniff...the weekly winner had over 600 votes...we don't even know 600 people! That's OK, he's still a winner to us... ;-) Bo

Rosie's Whimsy said...

I never knew that existed. Hubby and I would have a great time strolling there and taking pictures with all the great views. Thanks for sharing!

Lavinia said...

Oh that bird is too cute! Pat, I thought of you today, someone gave me an article on a famous wedding dress, made out of a parachute, by a poor Jewish woman in a European refugee camp at the end of WWII. The dress was worn by many different women, and the original owner and her sister nowadays live in Brooklyn! See, now when I hear or read of Brooklyn, I always think of blogdom's most famous Brooklyn resident---you!

These pics on this post are so clear and sharp, nothing like those bright bracing winter days...

Those pics of your grandson melt my heart. Hugs and kisses to the little guy!

Darius T. Williams said...

I loved this - I think I really want to move to Brooklyn.

Mmm said...

I love the 2nd and fourth pics. We hope to get to NY this summer for first time--maybe we can hook up for a few hours and you show us around? I don't know.

thanks for your lovely, thoughtful comments recently btw. Very appreciated.

Lucy said...

How cool that your sister lives here. Email me and tell me what area they live in. Do you suppose I've talked to them? Probably not.

Picket said...

Morning Pat...as always I throughly enjoyed my tour...your pics are so beautiful and you describe everything in such a way that I feel like I have been there! Hope you are having a great week!

Rhonda said...

Hi Pat,

I'll be in NYC tomorrow morning! I'm so excited and hopefully the weather will be great! I'm taking an art workshop at the Art Student's League.

Rhonda

Melissa Miller said...

Hi Pat,
They are all breaktaking photos! New York is such a stunningly beautiful city.

Thanks for visiting my Roo table. I always appreciate your kindness.
~Melissa :)

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Pat, little Leo looks so sweet in the blue sweater. What a cutie Pie! I always love your tours. I pray someday I'll get to NY. I'd love to see all those things.

dana said...

Hello Pat! How I LOVED this tour!! I get such a lump in my throat when I looked at your skyline photo and the twin towers are not there. I have a sweat shirt I purchased on my trip to NYC. I haven't worn it since the attack. It is an embroidered outline of the buildings in the skyline--of course the towers were in that group as my trip was before 9-11.
I so enjoyed the history that you so kindly share with your posts--this one was great, just like all of your others! Dana