Now that it’s October (and the subways are flooding), the summer of 2010 seems to be receding into the realm of nostalgia. One great thing about it? This summer saw the emergence of the newly expanded Brooklyn Bridge Park as one of the most inviting public spaces in the city.
Thanks to 20 years of community advocacy efforts, Brooklyn Bridge Park is undergoing a major renovation, which isn’t expected to be complete until 2013. All in all, the project as planned will be a 1.3-mile, $350 million park stretching between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge. The park is divided into several areas, including Pier 1 (which opened this March), Pier 6 (opened in June), the Main Street Lot and the Empire-Fulton Ferry lot (closed for renovations until 2011) all of which have awesome views of the downtown Manhattan skyline and the harbor.
The changes to Brooklyn Bridge Park are especially good news for bikers: a new bicycle and pedestrian parkway, opened in August, stretches from Atlantic Avenue to Old Fulton Street (around 15 blocks), and connects to an existing half-mile bike lane along the Columbia Street waterfront at DeGraw Street, connecting Pier 1 and Pier 6. The path is the latest phase of the Brooklyn Greenway Project, which will link a number of Brooklyn neighborhoods along the water (from Sunset Park to Greenpoint) via a greenway encircling the borough.
With lots of room for sunbathing, picnicking, walking and biking, Brooklyn Bridge Park also saw a ton of cultural action this summer, with Pier 1 hosting the Metropolitan Opera, film screenings and other cultural performances. The last performance of the season is coming up on Monday, October 4, when the cast and band from the hit Broadway production “Fela!” take the stage for a free concert featuring the music of Nigerian afrobeat legend Fela Kuti.***
And if you’re already suffering from summer withdrawal, a video of the park’s first summer season will take you back to your happy place.
***UPDATE: Due to rainy weather, the Fela! concert has been moved to St. Ann’s Warehouse, at 38 Water Street in Brooklyn.