This morning, thanks to NYC & Co, we arrived promptly at Highbridge Park in Manhattan just before 8am for a small, private and intimate walk along The High Bridge which was just hours away from officially opening.
It was a pleasant walk across to The Bronx as we enjoyed the panoramic vistas of The Bronx, The Harlem River, and Manhattan (no ‘The’ for you). It indeed was and is NYC’s original High Line.
Soon enough, however, residents began congregating on either side of the bridge in the Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights and Highbridge in The Bronx.
Once the clear was given, both crowds began to walk across The High Bridge until we all met in the middle, Manhattan meeting The Bronx with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr leading the way with Congressman José E Serrano and other elected officials along with school children as Manhattan Borough President Gayle Brewer did the same.
Congressman José E Serrano was instrumental in securing the initial and necessary funds to get the project off the ground so a big thanks goes to him for that.
It was a joyous occasion of an opening of a bridge that has been shuttered to the public for 45 years and to many if us our entire lifetimes.
Bee Bee Jay, a resident of Highbridge for over 30 years said, “I couldn’t be happier, this is something I’ve been waiting for so long.”
It was the sentiment echoed by many residents.
At one point, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr mentioned how The High Bridge would not only connect communities and neighborhoods but also families.
He spoke of the Fuentes family who lived on either side of the span and I now they had easy access to each other.
The opening of this landmark, the oldest standing bridge in New York City, older than the Brooklyn Bridge, the bridge that brought life into Manhattan and helped New York City with its explosive growth that eventually led to The Bronx being absorbed into its fold along with the other boroughs, is really a historic moment for all.
It is a victory on how community can band together and demand better and get it.
Many of us look forward to taking long walks along the promenade and enjoying the beautiful breezes almost 100 feet above the river but most of all we see this as a catalyst for expanding our greenways in The Bronx.