As its name implies, Brooklyn Bridge Park is located under the Brooklyn Bridge. It is an 85-acre world-class park that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each week. They come for the breathtaking views of Manhattan, family barbecuing, and idyllic picnic spots along the East River waterfront.
The park also offers almost every sport imaginable: from kayaking, volleyball and basketball, to soccer, hockey and roller skating. Special events include free Movies With a View and live theatre and dance performances. For kids there are giant sandboxes, lots of slides and swings, and the beautifully restored Jane’s Carousel, originally built in the 1920s.
When we entered the park’s headquarters at 334 Furman Street, we were treated to a historical slide show by the park’s President, Eric Landau.
Eric said the park was originally a shipping area with six waterfront piers. By the 1980s, the piers had outlived their Industrial Age role. The timber wood piles that held the piers up were rotting, and the marine life was dying.
In 2002, the decision was made to turn this blighted area into a park. The park opened in 2010 and today it is 90% complete. The park is supported by city funding as well as revenues from the retails stores, hotels and extravagant condominiums that surround it.
Over seventeen million people visit the park each year. Whether you’re interested in lush gardens, rolling lawns, or birdwatching, or more active adventures such as jogging, eating (there’s lobster, ice cream and pizza concessions) or Frisbee-ing with your dog – it’s all here for you to enjoy.
Another enticement? Ferries! The ferry at Pier 6 will take you to Governor’s island, and because of a new city law, you can now drink beer on the ferries. This means you can get sloshed as well as splashed!
Brooklyn Bridge Park is accessible by bus, subway or ferry. It’s too special to miss. To learn more, visit www.brooklynbridgepark.org or call 718-222-9939.