Urban Hiking: The 4 Bridge Challenge, Part 2

And you thought this wouldn't be a challenge.

And you thought this wouldn’t be a challenge.

ratpag is back with the second part of our exciting 4 Bridge Challenge excursion, journey, what-have-you.  We began here, talking of our travels from Manhattan to Brooklyn to Manhattan all over again.  So exciting.  Well guess what?  Part 2 really picks up – there’s booze, food, someone almost dies – and that’s just the start of it.  So settle in, crack a cold one, and be prepared to let this beautiful summer Friday at work just melt away…

You have to remember that this whole urban hiking thing, and ratpag as a whole, is just one big boner-fest over non-car transportation.  So imagine how we felt as we came upon this scene:

J trainSubways and traffic jams!  How so very wonderful.  The trail continued along the bridge and down into Williamsburg, Brooklyn and all of the over-used jokes that come with it.  We wandered north on Bedford Avenue before the crowding and vacant, unenthused eyes became too much and shifted west to Berry as we made our way to Berry Park, the first bar of the hike.  Though the reviews are average the views from the roof are terrific and the beer selection quite nice.  Remember – you have to follow ratpag’s route exactly to ensure the integrity of the hike.

Feeling much better about ourselves, we set north through Greenpoint up Manhattan Avenue, with a stop at Peter Pan Bakery for a donut, before cutting east on Eagle and heading over the Pulaski Bridge (the donut was quite good though, despite some of the overboard reviews by, we’re certain, “foodies” (how unique – you like food!), we’re sure you’ve lived even if not having been there before).

Though we did cross the Pulaski Bridge we decided not to count it as one of the bridges in our “challenge”.  Why?  Because, to us, “Four Bridge Challenge” has a better ring than “Five Bridge Challenge”.  It also can create debate over the real reason it wasn’t included.  Is it because it crosses a Superfund site?   In the end, it’s because we don’t think anybody gives a shit about the Pulaski Bridge.  We did stop and thank those who were taking the Midtown tunnel for their contributions, via toll, to the MTA (and, through surplus revenue, MTA-operated public transit):

Thank you, drivers, for contributing to public transportation funds!

Thank you, drivers, for contributing to public transportation funds!

Onward and upwards we continued through Long Island City as we made haste to the 59th Street Bridge (also conveniently named Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, formerly just the Queensboro Bridge).  The last bridge of the hike!


From the 59th Street Bridge, heading towards Manhattan, with the Roosevelt Island Tramway to the side.

The walk across went as well as we could’ve hoped.  Upon crossing over Roosevelt Island, one is treated to a view of its aerial tramway just off to the side.  The tram is not a part of this hike – taking the tram will void a ratpagger’s fulfillment of this hike, or pilgrimage, as we’ll now properly refer to it.

Meander down the bridge and onto First Avenue as you make your way to the final destination of the pilgrimage, the arbitrarily-chosen Ahana, featuring happy hour sushi amongst Chinese, Thai, and other Japanese choices.

You have now completed your journey and are one step closer to full initiation as a Level 6 (bronze) ratpagger.  Congratulations!  It’s up to you to find your way home.

The ratpag pilgrimage map:


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