Card no. 50 - photos
"Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass" is Brooklyn's "newest" new neighborhood.
Begin at the north end of Brooklyn Heights Esplanade (Walk 48).
For most of the 19th century, the main portal to Brooklyn lay at the foot of what is now Cadman Plaza West (Old Fulton Street), where steam ferries from Manhattan discharged passenger onto Fulton Landing. The little hub grew in importance, only to decline after the Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883. Follow the curving ramp to Columbia Heights, turn left, and walk downhill to Cadman Plaza West. To your left are two neighborhood institutions - Bargemusic, a live music spot located on Fulton Ferry landing, and the River Cafe (1 Water), beloved by romantics for its view and its food. Follow Water Street under the bridge past such new landmarks as St. Ann's performance space (#38) and Jacques Torres, a chocolate shop that seems sto have been airlifted straight from the Boulevard's St. Germain. Continue up Water to Main, where the 1915 Clocktower Building fills the block. Bought by a developer for a reported $6 a square foot in 1981, its lofts now go for as much as $750 a square foot. Continue on Water to Washington, turn left and then right onto Plymouth to contemplate the dazzling view of lower Manhattan, and you'll understand why. To see what the new locals are filling their spaces with, continue north on Plymouth and left onto Pearl Street for 20th Century Modern, then left on Prospect and left again on Jay Street to ABC Carpets' latest outpost, at 20 Jay. Return up Jay to York, turn left, then right on Pearl to Front Street, and left onto Washington to return to Cadman Plaza West.
From City Walks: New York: 50 Adventures on Foot by Martha Fay