Happy Birthday to My Brooklyn Bridge

Image from the New York Times

I am filled with a mixed sense of nostalgia, sadness, awe and joy today. The Brooklyn Bridge turns 125 years old this weekend (May 24) and I am not in New York to celebrate. During the seven years I lived in New York, I cannot tell you how many times, I traversed this bridge - looking up at its grandeur, amazed at the engineering... and after 9/11, I prayed that this bridge would always stay safe.

Ironically, it was not until the infamous blackout of 2003 that I truly appreciated how majestic it is. Having walked from Midtown Manhattan to get home to Cobble Hill in Brooklyn, I crossed the bridge on foot. The sun was starting to set. By this time, I had been walking for close to five hours. Half way down the bridge, I turned around and saw against the mauve sky and Manhattan skyline and mighty cables and stone pillars, throngs and throngs of people, hundreds, thousands of people walking across the bridge. It was incredible. All colors of people, all heights, sizes, all socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds, walking together supported and protected by the Brooklyn Bridge. Its grand Gothic arches guarding us below. It is an image that sticks with me always; compensating for the other times, I zipped through in a taxi cab, mindless, in a rush to get somewhere else.

So to all the times you brought me home, for all the times I dined and shopped at your feet, for all the times I walked along the Promenade and gazed at your beauty and for all the memories, here's to you - Happy 125th Birthday!

© Ferdinando Scianna / Magnum Photos

No comments:

Post a Comment