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Best Bridge to Run

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The minuses generally outweigh the pluses for running on the city’s East River bridges. The Brooklyn Bridge is beautiful, but so unbearably crowded that you’ll either mow down a tourist trying to run or slow down to a crawl. Running in the exhaust of the Queensboro Bridge (except on Marathon Day) will make you feel like you’ve smoked a pack of cigarettes. Coming off the Manhattan Bridge, on either side of the river, feels like you’re running into the middle of a freeway. But the Williamsburg Bridge is a nice compromise: It’s not too crowded, and the blend of hipsters on bikes, Hasidic families out for a stroll, and runners is manageable. The view of the lower two bridges can’t be beat, especially in the early morning. Coming from Brooklyn, it’s fun to realize that you have climbed a couple hundred feet into the sky and are parallel to the 17th floor of apartment buildings. And once you’re off the bridge, it’s not a terrible run to connect to either the East Side paths in Manhattan or the trails of McCarren Park in Brooklyn.

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