by Louise, Community Manager
Throughout my life in NYC, I’ve lived in Manhattan (where I grew up), Queens (for two years after college) and Brooklyn (for the past six years). I also commuted to a high school in the Bronx, so except for Staten Island I’m pretty well-rounded in my knowledge of New York. And I have to tell you, if you visit New York City without visiting the borough of Brooklyn, you are missing out. Here are just a couple of the reasons why I love BK so much:
The restaurants of Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens
If you’re a foodie like me, you have to take the F train to Bergen Street or Carroll Street (just 3-4 stops from Manhattan, or 1 stop from the Sheraton Brooklyn or Nu Hotel). The only problem you’ll have is choosing which of the amazing restaurants to enjoy, so here are some of my top choices:
Pre Dinner Cocktails
Char No. 4 – specializing in bourbon and bourbon cocktails such as the Spicy Buck (Weller Antique bourbon & Blenheim SC spicy ginger ale)
Clover Club – a HUGE list of vintage cocktails in a romantic setting. I almost never get past the first page of the menu, but try the Parchment Fizz (Gin, pear eau de vie, bianco vermouth, lime juice, simple syrup, dash of absinthe)
Buttermilk Channel uses seasonal & local ingredients to offer tasty dishes that tend to be exactly what you’re craving. Start with snacks like their addictive maple & bacon roasted almonds, then enjoy an ever-rotating menu of first and second courses (if the duck meatloaf is available, you should definitely try it). Plus, they offer three courses for $25 on Mondays
Seersucker is also seasonal and local, but the menu is inspired by southern cuisine. The chef/owner came to Brooklyn from Arkansas and does a great job giving New York’s seasonal offerings a southern flair.
And because I find it hard to narrow it down but don’t want to go on forever: also check out Chestnut, Frankie’s Spuntino, Prime Meats, and The Grocery.
Additional Dessert (you know you want it)
Head to the Brooklyn Farmacy, located in an actual former pharmacy and decorated like an old timey soda shoppe, serving up delicious ice cream and traditional egg creams.
If you’re in the area during the day you can also take the Eat Like a Local tour of Carroll Gardens and visit many local spots!
The Brooklyn Flea
If it’s a nice day, or really even if it’s not, you should definitely check out the Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene on Saturdays from 10 AM – 5 PM. Just about 10 minutes into Brooklyn on the C train (to Lafayette avenue). At the Flea you’ll find everything you can imagine: hand-made crafts, vintage clothes, art, unique jewelry, and of course my favorite: local food artisans. You could spend a whole day wandering the stalls and collecting amazing finds, interspersed with stops for coffee, porchetta sandwiches, Solber Pupusas (2011 Vendy Award champions!), Calixto Huaraches, McClure’s pickles, King’s County Jerky, Blue Marble ice cream, and many other delightful treats.
The Prospect Park Zoo
Prospect Park is my favorite park in the city. It’s less crowded than Central Park so if you go for a picnic with your friends you’ll have more space to spread out. Then, situated on the north side of the park we have the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, always a beautiful place to visit, and then my favorite spot, the Prospect Park Zoo. Every weekend families crowd into the Central Park Zoo, meanwhile about half an hour south on the Q train (Prospect Park stop) there is a beautiful zoo that has just as wonderful animals without having to fight nearly as hard to see them. Sea lions, golden lion tamarins, wallabies, emus, red pandas, Meer cats and prairie dogs are just some of the animals you’ll encounter in your walk around the zoo. They also host animal encounters and sea lion feedings and have three areas where you can feed the animals yourself, for up-close and personal encounters. While not as big as the Bronx zoo or as, well, central as the Central Park zoo, you’ll find this zoo is really worth the trip, especially when combined with a walk through the Botanical Gardens and a delicious picnic lunch in the park.
Just take the F, D, N, or Q train to the end of the line and you’ll find yourself in one of the most famed areas of the city. Coney Island has been a destination for well over a century, and while it has changed a lot in that time there is still a great deal of old-world charm to be found there. The “side shows” are still there if you want to find them, and you can still see a Burlesque show, but you can also relax on the beach (which is kept very clean, but it does tend to get crowded on weekends), head to Luna Park to ride the world-famous Cyclone and Wonder Wheel and many other rides, grab a Nathan’s hot dog, and check out all the marine life at the New York City Aquarium. There’s definitely no shortage of things to do!
The Brooklyn Academy of Music
There is always something amazing going on at BAM, and it is conveniently located near one of NYC’s biggest public transportation hubs, the Atlantic avenue/Pacific street station. The latest indie movies will be showing in the BAM Rose cinema, while avant garde dance troupes will be performing in the Harvey theater. Many live theater and opera performances are scheduled, but you can also catch a live HD screenings of operas being performed at the Met in Manhattan for less than ¼ of what you’d pay to see it live. BAM also hosts art shows, lectures and live music. Rest assured you’ll be able to find something unique and interesting to see or do there during your visit!
These are just a few of my favorite features of Brooklyn – there are so many more! Stay at the Sheraton Brooklyn or the Nu Hotel and make Brooklyn the focus of your next trip to NYC – you won’t regret it! Got questions about visiting Brooklyn? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be glad to assist!