I have been to New York many times as Keith is from Long Island, I have family upstate, and we have friends who live in Manhattan. Depending on traffic, it is about a 4 to 5 hour drive from DC. You can also take the Amtrak train from Union Station straight to Penn Station. We recently went up to New York but stayed "across the bridge" in Brooklyn. It was my first visit to the borough and so here is an overview of my travels there to summarize not only all the good eats, but also some of the fun activities to do and sights to see.
Brooklyn is connected to Manhattan by three bridges, the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges. With gentrification, many of Brooklyn's neighborhoods are becoming increasingly mixed, due to an influx of yuppies and hipsters into the already immigrant-filled neighborhoods. What started as a trend may now be the permanent equilibrium. Brooklyn contains dozens of distinct neighborhoods, representing many of the major ethnic groups found within the New York City area.
|Brooklyn is about 23% Jewish.|
Once home to industrial warehouses, Williamsburg has evolved over the years and has become quite the destination for new restaurants and bars. We enjoyed a modern Italian meal at Aurora, had lunch at Vinnie's Pizzeria, and indulged in beautiful cakes from Fortunato Brothers.
On Sunday, we checked out the Brooklyn Flea Market. Hopping around a couple locations, we visited the one at the East River State Park in Williamsburg. Founded in April 2008, Brooklyn Flea has grown into one of New York City's top attractions, operating outdoor flea markets every weekend of the year that feature hundreds of top vendors of antique and repurposed furniture, vintage clothing, collectibles and antiques, as well as a tightly curated selection of jewelry, art, and crafts by local artisans and designers, plus delicious fresh food.
|Left: bottling machine, Right: various antique bottles they've collected|
|Left: Summer Ale, Right: 25th Anniversary|
Keith also sampled the Brooklyn Weisse, Pilsner, Radius, and Sorachi Ace.
|The Brewery encourages patrons to bring in their own food to enjoy with the beer. Picnic table seating is available.|
After the brewery tour, we walked around the neighborhoods and I just love seeing the old brownstones and large building facades with fire escapes. This architecture is so typical of East Coast and New York, especially.
For kicks, I had to take a snapshot of this sign. Can you spot the anomaly?
The Park Slope area of Brooklyn is considered the upper class neighborhood and features historic buildings, top-rated restaurants, bars, and shops, as well as proximity to Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, and the Central Library. We ventured out there for dinner on our last night and had a great time at a Top Chef's restaurant called TALDE.
The borough has played a major role in various aspects of American culture including literature, cinema and theater. The Brooklyn accent is often portrayed as "typical New York" in American television and film. I enjoyed my quick weekend trip there and look forward to returning more often. Have you visited Brooklyn before? What are some of your favorites things to do and places to eat? Please share in the comments below!