It was a little more than a quarter to 1:00 AM when I descended to one of the platforms in 5th Avenue/53rd Street Station and started waiting for a train. I was capping off my fourth day of solo travel with a wide grin after the person I asked to take a photo of me at the Top of the Rock (tripods were prohibited!) *insert adverb of your choice* nailed it. The only problem? I wanted to cross the Brooklyn Bridge that late but needed to take a dump. And as you ought to know, New York is not a place for public toilets.
It was around 30 minutes later when I was on my way to the World Trade Center Station, hoping to make it back to Brooklyn in one piece. Fortunately, my shitty predicament (obviously no pun intended there) was banished to the Ministry of Magic in due course as the station had a restroom. (If you’re not a Harry Potter fan, I’m not even sorry for that analogy.) For being a terminal station on the rail system that goes to New Jersey, that must be why the loo was still open. What a relief, it was!
The World Trade Center Station was also where I wound up on my first day in New York and it was also in the wee hours of the morning, but that’s gonna be for another shitty story (not literally this time). The point of mentioning it was to establish that I already shot myself with the utopic interior of the Oculus, the main station house, as seen from one of the balconies.
Before my ungodly-hour walk to the Brooklyn Bridge, I took photos of the station’s exterior—something I didn’t do in detail on day one—and its neighboring buildings, namely the One World Trade Center and Spotify’s.
I was actually in Lower Manhattan the day before, but for not having planned my day and route, I didn’t realize at all that the Oculus was just in the neighborhood. That was after my first attempt at taking dreamy pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge while crossing it. I had all the intention of getting to the bridge before daybreak but it’s always the toughest for me to get up at my earliest when the weather’s freezing my balls.
As I leisurely made my way to the hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge, I came across St. Paul’s Chapel, the New York City Hall, and the Surrogate’s Court again.
At 23 minutes past two, I started strutting down the runway to the Brooklyn Bridge. It was desolate in a post-apocalyptic kind of way, the utmost opposite of how it was in the morning of the previous day. Not long I spotted the familiar lights of a police car, making me sigh, and someone on a bicycle.
When crossing the bridge to Brooklyn at night, you have to turn around at some point to ogle the city lights of the Financial District
and wish you could take away some of its moolah.
With the bridge’s stone towers and multitude of suspender cables, I just had to stop from time to time to take pictures and savor the sight. Twelve minutes after I started my modeling career on the elevated promenade, I did my first bid with my tripod. ‘Course there also had to be a selfie.
Sixteen minutes before three, after many attempts at holding my breath and not budging from the moment the timer starts until the phone’s camera is done with its thing on night mode, I was super pleased with a shot and decided to finally call it a day.
Unbeknownst to no one, I managed to snap another one—with the fan-like thingamajigs that only God knows what they’re for—and it’s the sickest. As my very first corporate boss described it, it looks as if I’m about to fight the final boss in a video game.
Aside from the person pedaling, I only came across a single crossing soul. My night shift in the city that allegedly never sleeps paid off altogether, that’s for sure.
- Avoid the rush hour, be it in the morning or in the evening.
- Rely on a tripod. You can’t go wrong with it on a solo travel.
- If you’re not meticulous with the framing of your photos or don’t mind nuisances in the background (or actually prefer it that way), you can simply ask strangers to take pictures of you.
- If you know image editing and have all the time in the world, you can always purge people like what I did at the Parthenon.
- When going at night, make sure your camera can handle the dark. I was using a Huawei P30 (not the Pro); its night mode is astounding.
Visited: December 2019