We celebrated the last day of the summer on the waterfront, comparing the views and skyline of New York to our beloved Chicago. At home we love to ride our bikes along the lakefront and admire the skyscrapers, so we rented bikes and aimed for a similar experience here. Although there are some lovely spots and park lands between South Street Seaport and Battery Park, much of the water front is dilapidated buildings and in need of repair. But renovation is taking place and every time we come here, more of it is finished. Unlike Chicago, here you can ride over the East River on the Brooklyn Bridge and return to Manhattan on the Manhattan Bridge. The views from the bridges were amazing as was the look back at lower Manhattan from Brooklyn.
While most of the bike ride today was off road, the approaches to the bridges were on streets with well marked bike lanes. Somewhat disconcerting with the volume of traffic, but it works. The Brooklyn Bridge has a bike lane and a pedestrian lane above the car lanes. We were surprised how many people were walking the bridge on this weekend and grateful for a lane of our own. The bridge deck view was remarkably familiar; we have seen it so often on TV. This was the escape route for many workers from the WTC area on 9/11.
The New Jersey skyline across the Hudson River is impressive in spots. Probably because the real estate is a bit less pricey over there, many businesses have built innovative looking skyscrapers with corner offices that boast great views of the Big Apple.
Our final day here would have been incomplete without an evening of theater. We've seen six shows in five days. It's so easy when you live within walking distance of the half price ticket booth and all of the theaters. As we walked back after the performance, the streets were full of traffic and pedestrians. The restaurants were full at 10pm with customers spilling out onto the sidewalk dining al fresco. This truly is the city that never sleeps. After five days here we will be in need of a nap ourselves!