DUMBO, or Directly Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, is resplendent with spectacular views everywhere you look. Walking the pedestrian walkway on the Manhattan Bridge is a very different experience than the Brooklyn Bridge. The walkway is narrow and is alongside the train, which comes every minute or two and is very VERY loud. Approaching the pedestrian stair one passes through the Brooklyn Bridge Park, which, believe it or not, has a beach, albeit rocky, fronting the East River. Hard to imagine swimming there, but it is a neat place to hang out.
The Manhattan Bridge was the last of the East River crossings, built in 1910. was designed by Leon Moisseiff, who later designed the infamous original Tacoma Narrows Bridge that opened and collapsed in 1940. Now get this - since the tracks were on the outer part of the bridge, passing trains caused the structure to tilt and sway. The wobble worsened as trains became longer and heavier. The City failed to maintain the bridge properly, and the tracks were closed for repairs beginning in 1986, blocking the paths of trains that crossed the bridge and reducing the number of trains passing between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Repairs lasted 18 years. Safety aside, the beautiful symmetry of the cables, viewed up close from the walkway, is amazing. This is a colossal structure. The Bridge is featured prominently in director Sergio Leone's gangster epic Once Upon a Time in America.