July 26, 2012 by Colleen Morris
You have probably learned just from my few brief posts that my second love in life is the Brooklyn Bridge. The tranquility from running over it at the right time of day sends me instant gratification about life. I feel closer to God. I feel closer to my community. It reminds me that I belong to a vibrant, thriving, intellectual, curious, energetic village of people in New York City. And the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Manhattan Bridge is priceless.
I rarely run what I call the bridge loop in the evening. My typical run is an early morning dash over the Brooklyn Bridge, and if time permits, I continue down past City Hall up Canal Street through Chinatown, over the Manhattan Bridge back to DUMBO. It’s a nice 3-mile run with a few decent hills.
Even though I was exhausted from the sun and sand today, I managed to put on my favorite Lululemon running pants and electric blue top. After kissing my kids goodnight, half-motivated, I went out the door. Thanks to an unusually inspirational Pandora playlist including Cee Lo Green‘s Forget You, the Give Me Hell song, and Bruno Mars‘ Just the Way You Are, I was able to push through and do the full loop.
The sun was setting as I peaked at the Manhattan Bridge. While tourists and photographers mob the Brooklyn Bridge, especially at sunset, the Manhattan Bridge remains desolate, always. I usually sprint over it in fear that I will be mugged, or worse, raped. (Yes, this is NYC, and I still turn my Tiffany’s cushion-cut diamond ring towards my palm. And look behind my shoulders.)
Well, tonight, I didn’t feel intimidated by this less fan favored bridge, even with the darkness growing thick. Nor did the Cypress Hills gang bangers zig zagging across my path fear me. I wasn’t scared of the rumbles and screeching rails of the Q train as it passed me by. Knowing for those 10 seconds, no one could ever hear my calls for help.
Tonight, I was not going to sprint. After realizing that my runs over the bridges were far and few between, this evening’s run was extra special. I watched the lights twinkle on the Brooklyn Bridge from afar, and the night traffic on the FDR speed up. I watched the boats gently glide under the bridges. I watched the reflection of the sunset and Manhattan city lights on the East River. I looked at my neighborhood, DUMBO, and the glass-enclosed carousel shimmer next to the water. It was all breathtaking.
I was nearly alone on the Manhattan Bridge, yet I felt so connected to my city, like never before. I ran a little more. Then walked down the steps, and paused at the bottom of the bridge. It was a bittersweet moment. And I am not good with farewells.