Thursday, September 20, 2012

Manhattan Bridge

The Manhattan Bridge doesn't get much attention in the popular imagination. The Brooklyn Bridge is a world-famous icon of New York City. The Queensboro Bridge gets its moment every time they make a new Spider-Man adaptation, as they re-create the scene from Amazing Spider-Man #121 when the Green Goblin tosses Peter Parker's girlfriend off the bridge (In that original comic book, though, she dies!). Even the Verrazano Bridge to Staten Island gets its moment in the spotlight once a year at the start of the New York Marathon. But no one pays much attention to the Manhattan Bridge.

I love the Manhattan Bridge, though. I spend a lot of time near it in DUMBO. I like its dull blue steel color. I love the complexity of its structure and engineering coupled with the intricacy of its Beaux-Arts architecture, and overlaid with a haphazard, utilitarian spider-web of pipes and electrical cables and other infrastructural gack. It's not so pleasant to walk or bike across, because every five minutes the subway thunders by mere feet from you. On the other hand, unlike the beloved Brooklyn Bridge, it's not completely clogged with tourists, and the view is just as good, if not better.

Here's a bunch of sketches of aspects of the bridge that I've done over the past couple of months.

On the walkway, by the Brooklyn-side arch

Arch and suspension, Brooklyn side.

Giant cable anchor

Under the bridge at Sands St.

 Top of the anchorage at Water St. and Adams St.

Balustrades at Manhattan Bridge Brooklyn Plaza. According to architects Saratoga Associates, it is "a bold, graphic space that serves as a convenient resting spot for pedestrians." Also, a homeless guy in a red shirt lives there.

"Manual Dry Standpipe INL Manifold Brooklyn Bound Roadway. Fire Dept. Use Only"

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