Admittedly, I don’t know much about Brooklyn. To tell you the truth, aside from the famous Brooklyn Bridge, the only “real” point of reference I have is that Brooklyn was once the home of my least favorite NY Housewife, Alex McCord, and her nutty husband, Simon van Kempen (Bravo’s Real Housewives series). And, yes, I know this is shameful and unacceptable. Guilty as charged! 🙂 Despite this fact, I’ve always liked the idea of Brooklyn. In my mind, it seems like the likeable, livable borough in NYC. The one where you can relax, be cultured (but not snobby) and enjoy good food and romantic views. Is any of it true? Am I making this all up? Luckily for me (and you), one of my best friends, Sarah Wurzburg, lives in Brooklyn and has shared some of her favorite places and spaces with IDOPT.
Sarah might as well live in her suitcase. Her thirst for adventure and wanderlust has always been a major force in her life. She’s traveled extensively within the US as well as across the world from Germany to the Ivory Coast. Her ability to find the most fun and unique activities, shops and restaurants makes Sarah one of the best people to travel with! She’s called Chicago, Seattle and DC home and is now residing and thriving in Brooklyn. If you’re thinking of planning a trip to New York, make sure you visit some of Sarah’s favorite places and spaces!
The Best of Brooklyn
Contributor: Sarah Wurzburg
SMORGASBURG, A BROOKLYN FOOD FLEA MARKET
Local food vendors set up shop on Saturday and Sunday, which allows visitors to get an authentic taste of Brooklyn. On Saturday, Smorgasburg is in Williamsburg at 90 Kent Ave. (at N. 7th St.). This is a fun hipster mecca with lots of nearby shops. Rough Trade is a great record store you could stop by or perhaps you’d like some ice cream from Odd Fellows down the street. This location is on the water, you can see across to the Manhattan skyline. If you want a better view and a drink, go to the top of the Wythe Hotel.
On Sundays, Smorgasburg is at Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. If you have a hankering to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge it could lead you to tasty delights. This gives you a great view of the city and allows for some exploration of the cool neighborhood Down Under the Bridge, which is lovingly referred to as DUMBO.
If you prefer to venture to Williamsburg on Sunday (10 am – 5 pm), you can go to Williamsburg Flea which features over 100 flea vendors and 30 food vendors. You can definitely find some great vintage items at the Fleas, but keep in mind it is still New York City pricing. 🙂
Fort Greene Flea is a great opportunity to explore another good neighborhood (Saturdays 10 am- 5 -pm). There are tons of fantastic restaurants in this area and several beer halls where you can grab a drink. The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is a few blocks away where there are independent films, dance recitals and comedy shows. Check their website often to see what is showing on the dates you are in town.
Prospect Park was designed by the same person who designed Central Park, Frederick Olmsted, who was rumored to have said this was his favorite park. The Botanical Gardens are located in the park in addition to an outdoor ice skating rink, which opens in the fall. In the summer there are also free concerts and movies in the park brought to you by Celebrate Brooklyn! Make sure to check out the schedule because you can bring a blanket and picnic basket for a cheap and fun night!
For kids (or adults) who are interested in super heroes, Dave Eggers’ Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. is located in Park Slope several blocks west of the park. You can feel great about your purchase, too. Superhero Supply Co. serves as the storefront of 826NYC, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting students, ages 6-18, with their writing skills. Their volunteers and efforts help 2,300 New York students a year. Your purchase goes toward supporting their wonderful programs.
GREEN-WOOD CEMETARY, A NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK
While you may have never heard of this cemetery, it is actually a huge tourist attraction boosting half a million visitors a year (second to Niagara Falls). This 1838 cemetery became a prestigious place to be buried. All New Yorkers are familiar with the names Bergen, Schermerhorn, Martense, Havemeyer, Berry, Tompkins, etc. They are all buried at Green-Wood and there’s a tour that talks about their lives and how they became so influential.
It is pretty place to wander and get lost with some guiding markers for historic areas. Green-wood is also a Revolutionary War battle site because the Battle of Brooklyn took place where the cemetery now stands. There are walking and trolley tours that go around the park and fantastic events held regularly from circus acts to string quartets to bourbon tastings.
Still have more time to explore?
If you’re staying for a while and looking for other events, be sure to check out the following sites for a fantastic lineup of events that are unforgettably Brooklyn.
After reading through all of Sarah’s suggestions and recommendations, I’m committed to packing my bags and making it up to Brooklyn soon. It’s been years since I’ve been back to NYC and I think Jillian would enjoy the bright lights of the big city! I think it’s fair to say that I think Brooklyn really is the borough to visit if you’re looking for good food, good company and lots of culture.
IDOPT wants to know: Have you ever visited Brooklyn? What are your favorite places? Share below in the comments section!
I Dream of Pretty Things