Historically in New York, the waterfronts have been working waterfronts, which is why in neighborhoods from Red Hook to Greenpoint, so much shoreline access is blocked by heavy machinery or factory fencing. But southern Brooklyn, thanks to its distance from the center of commerce that is lower Manhattan, developed residentially, as suburbs, which means its waterfront is more open. Sure, the automobile-loving Robert Moses built his Belt Parkway along the Brooklyn coast, so you can’t enjoy it without also enjoying the smell of exhaust and the hum of turning tires, but still: in Bay Ridge, you can walk right up against the waterfront (well, ok, there’s a low fence, just so you don’t fall in) from the equivalent of 69th Street to 101st Street, where you can stand beneath the Verrazano, still the longest suspension bridge in the US, and marvel at the grandeur of its modernity. (The promenade continues over into Bath Beach.) As a bonus, on the other side of that highway is a system of parks—leafy trails that open up into ballfields—that stretches the same length, all combining for 58 acres of waterside open space.