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Charlie... you are correct. The North Side allows for separation between bridge and Verizon building. Further down on the southside along the walkway will allow for a little more separation between the bridge and Verizon building, but clear separation is best achieved along the north side close to the Manhattan Bridge. Below is a shot from that vantage point to see how it would look. You gain on one hand and lose on the other. That glassed carousel house, which is somewhat new to the landscape, distracts from the shot IMO.
On your first shot of the bridge, since your focus is on the bridge, there's not enough of the night skyline to separate it from the BG. I'm finding the brige to be too underexposed, which against a dark city, doesn't stand out enough for me. I'm liking the second one better, but maybe go with no foreground of the walkway railing since there's that also the pilon in the foreground which takes away from the bridge. Just my humble opinion.
BTW... I'm just down the road from you in Coram.