A couple of months ago we decided to spend a few days in Manhattan over the Christmas holidays. Have you tried to book a hotel room in the city during the holidays? No! I could buy a small car for 4 nights hotel. Ok I exaggerate…but only slightly. Luckily we have cousins who live in Park Slope, Brooklyn who graciously offered us the use of their house while they were away on vacation.
I have a confession to make. I enjoyed Brooklyn much more than Manhattan this time around. Now don’t get me wrong, I really do love New York, but the throngs of people and the frantic tourist frenzy that takes place in the city at this time of year just got to me. Now of course I don’t consider myself a tourist. I have friends and family in New York. I’ve been there more times then I can count. I know the city inside and out (kind of). Anyway, on to the point of this post…the Top 10 Things that I Love about Brooklyn & why you should visit if you can:
10. Home of the Brooklyn Nets – seriously have you checked their standings lately
9. Barcleys Centre – a state of the art arena that opened in Sept 2012. Its home to the Nets and starting in 2015 will also be home to the New York Islanders. The modern design and architecture make this building worth visiting. Just a bit of trivia for you…the first regular season NBA game took place in November 2012 where the Nets beat the Toronto Raptors…Hmmm.
8. It’s close to Manhattan – under a 20 minute subway ride gets you to midtown.
7. It’s the calm amidst the chaos that is the city.
6. World Class Restaurants – whether you’re looking for a quite romantic spot or a deli, Brooklyn has much to offer the foodie.
5. It has great neighborhoods – whether its East, North, South or Central Brooklyn there are too many neighborhoods to name. Brooklyn is New York’s most populous borough. I stayed in Park Slope with its brownstones and family friendly atmosphere but had the chance to explore Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO and Prospect Heights as well. All unique in their own way.
4. Prospect Park – designed by the same designers who designed Central Park, Prospect Park includes Brooklyn’s only lake, the Prospect Park Zoo, sports facilities including baseball diamonds, tennis courts and soccer fields. It’s a great place for a run, stroll, cycle regardless of the season. It’s also a great place to take pictures –says yours truly J
3. You can walk just about anywhere. Maybe it’s where I was staying but we didn’t move our car for 4 days. Living in a suburban neighborhood in Toronto, where I usually get in the car to grab a cup of coffee, this was a real bonus.
2. Brooklyn Heights Promenade for the best views of lower Manhattan, The Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and The Statue of Liberty. A must for photographers.
1. DUMBO – which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Yes the rumbling trains thunder overhead but this has become a cool place to hang. Sandwiched between the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge, with its cobblestoned streets, galleries and fashionable boutiques, DUMBO is a must for any visitor (and photographer) to Brooklyn.
I went down to DUMBO one evening with the intention of photographing the bridges at night. I could have spent the whole night just staring out at the city and lights.
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