This is a fun and scenic walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn across one of the country's most famous bridges. This can be a crowded or mellow stroll across the East River. Drink vendors line the bridge, which can be helpful in warm, humid weather. To your right, you can spy the Statue of Liberty in the distance, along with dozens of boats and helicopters. To your left is the Manhattan Bridge. Completed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was originally designed by German civil engineer John Augustus Roebling. The bridge's construction became a family affair, when Roebling fell ill and enlisted his adult son, Washington, to lead the project. Not long after Washington assumed the charge of the bridge did he also need to pass the baton after he suffered permanent physical damage while working in the sealed underwater foundations for the two towers (an ailment known as caisson disease, decompression sickness or more commonly "the bends"). Washington put his wife Emily in charge, and for more than a decade she managed the day-to-day operations of the bridge construction, bringing instructions from her bed-ridden husband to the job site and updates back to him. She became highly knowledgable about the engineering intricacies of the bridge, impressing politicians and other engineers with her capabilities and leadership. In the official opening ceremony, on May 24, 1883, Emily was the first person to cross the bridge.