September 02, 2020
Need a break from being locked up inside during quarantine? Whether you’re new to the city or a long-time resident, you’re always guaranteed to stumble upon something new. Try this walking route from Downtown Brooklyn to Manhattan for some fresh air, exercise and a new appreciation of your city and its details.
To start the route, we begin in Downtown Brooklyn. Currently, you can enjoy some more space in a normally packed area. If you need to take the train to get there, you’ll probably end up at Jay St MetroTech. Upstairs, you could stop for coffee outside the NYU building, or have the true local experience with 99¢ pizza or wings at Buffalo Boss on Willoughby St. I also recommend the DeKalb Market Hall on Fleet St and DeKalb Ave.
From there, feel free to walk down Jay St towards the river. Enjoy Dumbo and see great views of Manhattan from Main St Park. Now here’s the tough decision: You’ll probably want to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, and that’s great, but I think the Manhattan Bridge and where it leads you is a bit better than its bigger brother down the block. Yes, the Brooklyn Bridge… well, it speaks for itself. On the other end you have City Hall, and you can often watch groups performing flips and jumps. Now, the Manhattan Bridge is less crowded, yet very noisy. It’s a two level bridge with the subway running on it. I would recommend bringing headphones, to say the least.
Fun fact: You’ve probably seen a number of popular photos of lower Manhattan on Instagram, taken through a hole in the gate overlooking the highway right next to the river. If you want to take a few shots of your own, those were taken on Manhattan Bridge. The same goes for photos overlooking a certain street in Chinatown with lower Manhattan in the background.
At the end of the Manhattan Bridge, you’ll exit on Canal St in Chinatown. Chinatown is a great place with great food and little shops. Here, you can find anything. As you continue up Canal St, you’ll find a souvenir shop every five feet. Again, you can get anything. If you’re a woman, you’ll probably be asked by sellers on the street if you want a bag. Are you a guy? Do you happen to like watches? Royal Oak, Omega, whatever it is you’re looking for — they’ll have it. Or rather, something that looks a lot like it.
If you’re a sneakerhead like me, Mercer St is where you live. I love it there. You can often find daring outfits and photo shoots there on any given day. On Howard St, you can find Palace and Stadium Goods. If you’re lucky, you may be able to catch a celebrity filming an episode of Sneaker Shopping, along with skaters, and on occasion, bike riders trying out for the X-Games. They’re cool people, it’s a great place to relax, and it’s often in the shade. If you continue on Howard St over to Broadway, to your left is a deli called The Market, right after the G-Star Raw store. It’s one of my favorite delis in the city. It seems like many who work in the area have made it their lunch spot of choice. Just walk inside, the aisles seem to go on forever.
And that’s it — it’s not that long of a walk. On a nice day, it’s a way to not only see an active section of the city, but it’s a route that has something for everyone. You’ll pass plenty of restaurants and smaller stores. I also strongly suggest taking your time to explore Downtown Brooklyn across from Manhattan Bridge. Travel up Canal St, and if you’re up for it, Broadway. There’s a lot more to offer. You may find something I’ve never noticed, or a new personal favorite.