After landing at New York’s JFK airport, the most common hub for international arrivals, most tourists hop onto the subway or jump in a taxi and head right into Manhattan. What you may not realise is that you’re missing out on one of the best hotspots in NYC: Brooklyn. You’ve heard of the Brooklyn Bridge, but have you explored beyond the Brooklyn shoreline that offers those hard-to-beat views?
On a recent trip, I got to explore just a little bit of Brooklyn, and I can’t wait to go back as my time was cut short! And that’s saying something – Brooklyn would be one of the largest cities in America if it weren’t part of NYC. More to come – here are some quick highlights.
You’ve seen the name, and you’ve heard about it, and you’ve got to go. Coney Island is an old school classic. I love the old signs, the creaking coasters, and walking on the boardwalk eating hot dogs and cotton candy. (Not at the same time. Ick.) Coney has managed to hold on despite the changing times. If you want to make it out to the shore for a day, this is a great place to visit – it’s the end of a subway line, so easy to get here as well.
In case you’re wondering, there’s plenty of beach out here, and in summer it can be very warm – and humid. Walk the promenade of Brighton Beach for a unique experience – it’s one of the largest Russian communities outside of Russia.
This is currently the “it” neighbourhood destination, where you’ll find heaps of trendy bars and top restaurants. The area has some charming architecture, so I suggest enjoying a walk around the area (Bedford Ave. or Lorimer St subway) for great photography moments, and keep wandering further off the beaten path for lower prices and less crowds.
Have you heard of Etsy, the huge marketplace where crafters sell their handmade creations online? They’re from Brooklyn, and they’ve helped setup what’s called Dekalb Market. Here you’ll find a bunch of old shipping containers transformed into small shops, bakeries, and other eateries. It’s a hopping place, where you can find some genuinely unique souvenirs as well as a bite to eat. This is a must-see in Brooklyn, just take the subway to Deklab Ave or Jay St. Metrotech.
Yup, you’ve guessed it – that’s an acronym for the area “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.” Wordy, isn’t it? But this is where you can get those iconic views of the Manhattan skyline. If you head south, you can enjoy the views while walking along the tree-lined promenade. Pointing your toes in the other direction, you’ll find some nice parks, art galleries, and more on your way to the Manhattan Bridge.
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to just walk around the entire shore of Brooklyn – there’s quite a bit of industry as well as the ferry docks and terminals. But that’s also part of the charm of Brooklyn – you’ll find rustic, historic, industrial and quirky, all on the same block.
Photos by: Olivermj_697 & Andy Hayes
Posted : Thursday, July 12th, 2012 at 10:00
Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.