Brooklyn Bridge

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In Breakfast at Tiffany’s:

“Frequently when he was out of town (I’d developed hostile attitudes toward him, and seldom used his name) we spent entire evenings together during which we exchanged less than a hundred words; once, we walked all the way to Chinatown, ate a chow-mein supper, bought some paper lanterns and stole a box of joss sticks, then crossed the Brooklyn Bridge, and on the bridge, as we watched seaward – moving ships pass between the cliffs of burning skyline, she said: ‘Years from now, years and years, one of those ships will bring me back, me and my nine Brazilian brats.'”   Page 80

In Real Life:

Holiday Golightly and Fred moseyed across the Brooklyn Bridge in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. And they’re not the only characters in literature – or movies, for that matter – to make the trek. Everyone seems to do it. When I looked it up – I found it particularly fascinating that a woman played a gigantic role in building it. The story of Emily Warren Roebling is so interesting David McCullough marveled over it in a book called The Great Bridge. Her father-in-law and chief engineer on the project, John Augustus Roebling, died while building the bridge. That left his son Washington Roebling in charge. However, he got what is nowadays called the bends from going down into the caissons on the bridge. He became bedridden so Emily spent eleven years acting as the chief engineer on the project while he gave input from his bed.

I visited locations for Breakfast at Tiffany’s  over a span of a few years when I was in and out of New York City. And for some reason, the Brooklyn Bridge fell off the list on visit after visit. Finally – one April afternoon I convinced the crowd I was with to walk the bridge with me. Somehow – in my mind – don’t know how it got there – I was imagining us dodging traffic or something to get across. It never occurred to me pedestrians have their own walkway. And it’s above the traffic. It’s was a spectacular walk – and crowded. I looked seaward for the ships Holly and – and a guy she called Fred – may have spotted which would bring her back with “nine Brazilian Brats.” I saw a few. And I scanned the crowd at the young people trying to find a modern-day Holly and Fred. I think though – they were probably one of a kind.

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