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The youngest of all the main bridges that span the East River, the Manhattan Bridge was finished in 1909 and it runs from Canal St. in Manhattan to East Flatbush in Brooklyn. It carries thousands of passengers each day, from cars and MTA train riders to cyclists and runners. The neighborhood in Brooklyn known as DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) provides amazing views of the bridge and the Manhattan skyline, a real reward after walking from the other side.
Named after Thomas F. Foley, former leader of the Democratic Party, Foley Square is one of the most iconic squares in the city. Flanked by prominent buildings like the New York County Courthouse, the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse, and the Church of St. Andrew, this square is also a notable tourist attraction. It also features the Triumph of the Human Spirit and the Tom Paine Park, while the sidewalks surrounding the square are embedded with five historical medallions that narrate some significant stories of the neighborhood.
The Williamsburg Bridge is one of the best and fastest ways to get from Brooklyn to Manhattan. A great alternative to the more well-known Brooklyn Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge offers great views of the city when crossing the river. A pleasant pedestrian and biking path places bi-peds above all the cars, and even the MTA uses the bridge to cross. The railings are painted pink (although this is sometimes more of a red color) and it was finished in 1903. On the Manhattan side, visitors reach the Lower East Side and Nolita, while on the Brooklyn end, they can visit the hip enclave of Williamsburg first.Â
Built in 1846, the Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza is the oldest building in Brooklyn which was designed by Gamaliel King. Built over a span of five years, this four-story building covers 55,000 square feet (51,000 square meters) and boasts stunning Greek Revival architectural facades. Previously known as the Brooklyn City Hall, tourists are overwhelmed by the towering bronze statues, Ionic columns, dome ceiling and iron cupola. This sight is a must-see! For those interested in fresh fruits, vegetables and hormone-free dairy products the plaza holds a farmer's market three days a week. The market is open year-round and has been part of this thriving community for 25 years.
This tiny square actually shaped like an obtuse triangle is named after Civil War Union General Philip Sheridan. Appointed by Ulysses S. Grant and known for his strategem in defeating the formidable Robert E. Lee at Appomattox, the city of New York declared this space in honor of him in 1896. In the 20th Century it was used for various purposes, most notably as a soapbox site for protests, especially during the Stonewall Riots in 1969. In 1982, the city converted the square into a public viewing garden and though the statue of General Sheridan sits in nearby Christopher Park, the 4,200-sq. ft. space still serves as a reminder of why this General was so beloved in the North.
Unlike many other squares of its kind in the U.S., this Union Square does not take it name for the labor movement or the integration of the Federal states, it was named for the unification of two major streets in 1815. The square underwent several refurbishments and renovations throughout the 19th Century, with the addition of the fountain in 1842 and Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmstead (landscape architects of Central Park fame) replanted the park in 1872. It is also known as a place for rallies, demonstrations and other events, with too many to count since its inception. Moreover, Union Square hosts street chess, open-air markets and there are plenty of retail stores around the entire area which makes it a perfect place to shop.
Gansevoort Plaza is a charming cobblestone square in the heart of New York’s Meatpacking District, located just two blocks away from River Hudson. This quaint European-style plaza offers a respite from the snarling traffic and large crowds of Big Apple. In fact, it is hard to believe the plaza was once a busy traffic junction until a multi-partner public project helped redevelop it. Today, this cobblestone square is surrounded by fashionable boutiques, cafés and restaurants. Charming potted plants and flowering shrubs also encircle it. Some of the cafés have set tables, chairs and garden umbrellas in the plaza so that visitors can enjoy alfresco dining. The calm and quiet make it an ideal place to dine alone while watching people or reading a book. Occasionally, Gansevoort Plaza is also the site of cultural and community events.
Located to the north of Madison Square, the Worth Square is dedicated to General William Jenkins Worth, who fought in the Seminole and Mexican Wars respectively. A monument has been built in his honor and is the second oldest monument in the city after the George Washington equestrian monument.