Manhattan may be known as the glamorous part of New York, but Brooklyn is highly underrated. There’s multiple neighborhoods to explore, and almost every store you can imagine is there. You can also save some cash by booking a hotel here versus the city. With over 2.5 million people in Brooklyn alone, the subway system is more than adequate to get everyone around and into the city. Here are a few things Brooklyn has to offer:
Probably the most well-known part of Brooklyn, this iconic bridge has been around since 1883, making it one of the oldest bridges in the United States. You can bike or walk across it, which is well worth your time. It’s one of the few times you can step back from the busy city and look at Manhattan from a distance. After you cross the bridge, walk north to explore the neighborhood of Little Italy. I highly recommend getting lunch at Lombardi’s, otherwise known as America’s first pizzeria. The margherita pizza is absolutely delicious.
The second best thing to people watching in New York is heading to a rooftop bar at night for a completely different view of the city. It’s even more stunning at night to see all the buildings and bridges light up. This picture is from the Kimoto Rooftop Bar on the top floor of the Aloft Hotel in Brooklyn. You can even see the Statue of Liberty lit up from here.
There are also several great places for those who love beer. Brooklyn Brewhouse has a chill vibe with soft red lighting and sports games playing constantly on the TVs. Brooklyn Brewery has a good location (right by the East River) and a great selection of beers, including seasonals. I had the Pumpkin Ale that came with a honey-coated, cinnamon, and brown sugar rim-by far the best pumpkin beer I have ever had!
Cafe Grumpy (in Greenpoint)
Fans of the HBO hit show Girls will love this cafe. This is the actual cafe the earlier episodes were filmed at. You’ll be amazed at how small it is and wonder how they fit all the cameras in there. The coffee is actually pretty good, and this is coming from a coffee snob. Keep your eyes open while you’re here for celebrities; Brooklyn Studios is right next door. While I was there, I saw Danny Pudi outside on his phone.
Views of the Manhattan Skyline
I absolutely love going into the city, but there’s something about looking at it from across the East River that can’t be beat. For a second, you can forget how busy the people-and-taxi-filled city is and admire all the buildings. It’s easy to see why it’s nicknamed the “Iron Jungle.” Grab a coffee and find a bench on the riverfront to sit and relax for a bit.
I had never tried this before, but when a group of friends said I had to do it for “a true New York experience,” I was sold. This is all over New York, but I chose the Williamsburg studio. The citrus-scented studio was very clean, and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful. They do cram a large amount of bikes in a small space, but when the lights go down you forget how close you are to other people. They often do themes for class, and it just so happened to be Billy Joel for mine. There was a good mix of fast songs for getting your heart rate up, as well as slower songs for recovery. Give it a try next time you’re in NYC, and grab brunch afterwards!
Brooklyn is home to the Barclays Center, which hosts concerts and sports events. The Brooklyn Nets play here during the winter season if you like basketball. If you’re more into hockey, you can catch a New York Islanders game here as well. Big name music artists can be found at this venue as well. In the next few months, Muse and Def Leppard will be putting on shows at Barclays.
Next time you’re in New York, consider staying in Brooklyn or at least visiting for a day! You won’t be disappointed.
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