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One of the five boroughs of New York City just across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan, Brooklyn has the largest population of the five, numbering almost 2.5 million.
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11238
The Brooklyn Museum, housed in a 560,000-square-foot, Beaux-Arts building, is the second-largest art museum in New York City and one of the largest in the country. Its world-renowned permanent collections include more than one million objects, from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, and represent a wide range of cultures. Only a 30-minute subway ride from midtown Manhattan, with its own newly renovated subway station, the Museum is part of a complex of nineteenth-century parks and gardens that also includes Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Prospect Park Zoo.
The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
"BBG blooms in the middle of one of the largest cities in the world. Each year more than 750,000 people visit the well-manicured formal and informal gardens that are a testament to nature's vitality amidst urban brick and concrete. More than 12,000 kinds of plants from around the globe are displayed on 52 acres and in the acclaimed Steinhardt Conservatory. There's always something new to see."
At the Garden by Jason Wiggins
If you're brave enough to venture off the island of Manhattan, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a wonderful treat; the ponds are full of fish and turtles, the fountain in front of the conservatory has giant goldfish, and rabbits wander through some of the gardens. This large park exhibits numerous plant species from all over the world, almost all of which are neatly labeled with scientific and common names. There are a lot of meandering paths with maps and signposts at various points; pick up your own map at the visitor's center to make navigating easier.
Themed areas include a Japanese garden, a rock garden (which has flowers as well as rocks, unlike Zen rock gardens), a rose garden and a native flora garden. There is also a cherry tree lined lawn which visitors are officially allowed to sit on, and a conservatory where various ecosystems, tropical, desert, aquatic, are recreated in greenhouses.
New York Transit Museum
Boerum Place & Schermerhorn Street
The New York Transit Museum, one of the city's leading cultural institutions is the largest museum in the United States devoted to urban public transportation history, and one of the premier institutions of its kind in the world. The Museum explores the development of the greater New York metropolitan region through the presentation of exhibitions, tours, educational programs and workshops dealing with the cultural, social and technological history of public transportation. Since its inception as a temporary exhibit in 1976, the Museum has grown in scope and popularity. The museum is housed in a historic 1936 IND subway station in Brooklyn Heights.
Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
In October, the Brooklyn Historical Society reopened after four years of renovations. The National Historic Landmark building was originally built in 1881 by George Post as the Long Island Historical Society. Founded in 1863, the Brooklyn Historical Society, BHS, is a nationally renowned urban history center dedicated to the exploration and preservation of documents, artwork and artifacts representative of Brooklyn's diverse cultures past and present. BHS provides access to its unparalleled collection through extensive educational programs, exhibits, neighborhood history guides, community outreach and its distinctive Brooklyn Walks and Talks series.
Brooklyn Academy of Music
30 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Dating from its first performance in 1861, BAM has grown into a thriving urban arts center that brings international performing arts and film to Brooklyn. The first BAM facility at 176-194 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights was originally conceived by the Philharmonic Society of Brooklyn as a home for its concerts. It housed a large theater seating 2,200, a smaller concert hall, dressing and chorus rooms, and a vast "baronial" kitchen. BAM presented both amateur and professional music and theater productions. Performers included Ellen Terry, Edwin Booth, Tomas Salvini, and Fritz Kreisler.
New York Aquarium
Surf Avenue & West 8th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11224
It is the only aquarium in New York City and is part of the largest network of metropolitan wildlife parks in the country. With exhibits featuring over 8,000 animals, the New York Aquarium offers diversity, superb viewing, and world-renowned scientific expertise that assures a rewarding experience and the knowledge that people can make a difference in the ocean world around them. Learn about animals living as far away as the Southwest coast of Africa and the Arctic to those found locally in our own Hudson River.
95 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Prospect Park is a 526-acre urban oasis located in the heart of Brooklyn, New York City's most populous borough. The masterpiece of famed landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who also designed Central Park, Prospect Park features the 90-acre Long Meadow , the 60-acre Lake and Brooklyn's only forest. The nation's first urban Audubon Center, the Prospect Park Zoo, and the Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival are just a few of the cultural attractions that make their home here at the Park. Collection gives opportunities to outside curators who bring into the dialogue new voices. Along with exhibitions the gallery hosts cultural events including music/sound performances, video/film screenings and performance art.
Jacques Torres Chocolate
66 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
In December 2000, Jacques opened his own chocolate factory serving the wholesale and retail markets. Jacques Torres Chocolate, MrChocolate.com LLC specializes in fresh, hand-crafted chocolates that are free of preservatives and artificial flavors. Jacques has given new life to classic recipes. He uses state-of-the-art technology in his custom-designed chocolate factory. Jacques Torres Chocolate is located at 66 Water Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 in the fashionable neighborhood of D.U.M.B.O. (down under the Manhattan bridge overpass).
386 Flatbush Avenue Extension at Dekalb Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Junior's landmark restaurant is known as the home of New York's best cheesecake. And there are lots of 'em: classic, brownie marble swirl and many other cheesecake lovelies to tempt you. In 1993, Presidential nominee Bill Clinton took a cheesecake break from his campaign trail to visit Junior's. Many other New York luminaries have visited Junior's for a delicious meal and kibbitzing with family and friends. It's a true Brooklyn landmark and now with the recent closing of the famous Gage & Tollner, it's the main restaurant name along the Fulton Street Mall. Junior's is almost always crowded, so don't go if you're in a hurry. And if you're on a diet, there's no reason to go, you'll be miserable watching the parade of desserts go by.
Peter Luger Steak House
Peter Luger's is possibly the country's finest steakhouse, drawing happy carnivores to its tavern like, old New York premises since 1887. Each perfect, butter-tender prime beef steak is hand-picked and dry-aged onsite, then prepared to perfection and served by amiable waiters who aren't half as gruff as the guidebooks claim.
The River Café
One Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
The River Café is one of New Work's most unique locations. Nestled under the Brooklyn Bridge with sweeping views of the New York skyline and the Statue of Liberty, this elegant restaurant has, since 1977, been a favorite destination to New Yorkers and visitors from around the world. The River Café serves a wonderful classic American menu using, the finest, freshest, and exceptional ingredients. With an award wining and outstanding wine list, romantic piano music nightly, breathtaking floral arrangements and spectacular garden, The River Café is simply a magical experience.
The Brooklyn Bridge
This bridge is considered by many to be one of the greatest works of architecture in New York. It was the first bridge to cross the East River and connect the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Easily the most historic and fascinating of the five major bridges connecting the island of Manhattan t other shores, the Brooklyn Bridge is a synthesis of art and engineering. Even before it opened, the Brooklyn Bridge became a symbol of the greatness of New York and American ingenuity. It has been the inspiration for poets and artists.
The Brooklyn Cyclones
A minor league baseball team in the short season single "A" New York - Penn League, the Cyclones are affiliated with the New York Mets. The Cyclones play at KeySpan Park just off the boardwalk on Coney Island. In 2005, the Brooklyn Cyclones became the major partner of The High School of Sports Management, a new small school located down the block from KeySpan Park on West 19 Street and Mermaid Ave.
The Brooklyn Public Library
As an independent system, separate from the New York City and Queens libraries, Brooklyn Public Library serves the borough's 2.5 million residents, offering thousands of public programs, millions of books and use of more than 850 free Internet-accessible computers. Just some of the many things you can do at BPL:
- Use the Articles & Databases to conduct research;
- learn about Brooklyn's rich history at the Brooklyn Collection;
- get all the information you need to start your own enterprise at the Business Library;
- learn a new language at the Multilingual Center;
- attend an author reading, poetry discussion or other public program offered throughout the year.
The Brooklyn Heights Promenade
The city is filled with amazing views, but few can top the ones from this scenic third-of-a-mile stretch along the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Postcard-like views of lower Manhattan, South Street Seaport, the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge draw photographers, couples on romantic walks, and New Yorkers who want an inspiring place to sit and think. The sound of cars whizzing by directly below on the BQE provides an oddly soothing soundtrack. Sandwiched between pricey Brooklyn Heights properties, pretty tree-lined streets, and rows of conveniently placed benches, the Promenade is also a convenient place to start sightseeing in Brooklyn. On the northern end, you can venture off the path to the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge; to the south of the Promenade, you can explore the cobbled streets of the charming and historic Brooklyn Heights. Or, you can refuel at classic Brooklyn eateries, like the famous Grimaldi's Pizzeria or the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.
One of the five boroughs of New York, Brooklyn is known for its neighborhoods, homes, and churches. Brooklyn was originally an independent city, and with more than 2.5 residents, still feels like its own city. In fact, if it was still independent, Brooklyn would be the fourth largest American city.
In 1898, Brooklyn became a borough of New York, or "the great mistake," as Brooklynites have called it ever since the merger. Brooklyn natives and current Brooklyn residents show great pride in their borough, and they have an identity distinct from all other New Yorkers. Whatever you do, don't confuse Brooklyn and the Bronx - they're 10 miles apart, and a world of identity away from each other.
Brooklyn lies on the westernmost point of Long Island and shares a land boundary with Queens, which partially encircles Brooklyn to the north, east and south. Manhattan is across the East River to the west and north of Brooklyn, and Staten Island is across the Verrazano Narrows to the southwest.
Brooklyn currently enjoys a period of growth and affluence not seen since before World War II. Young people are flocking to the borough, and it's now considered hip to live in Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick. The following is a brief peak at some Brooklyn communities:
Considered to be the nation's first suburb, Brooklyn Heights is Brooklyn's crown jewel and most posh (and expensive) neighborhood. Only a five minute subway ride to downtown Manhattan, this prime location is perfect for those who desire the convenience and amenities of living in Manhattan but with lower prices and room to raise a family. And while the subway (an ample nine lines run through the area) may be packed with suits during rush hour, Brooklyn Heights is hardly just Manhattan lite - the neighborhood possesses its own distinct character and neighborly charm. The streets are lined with a splendid mix of brownstones, Greek and Gothic Revival, and Federal-style houses, giving the neighborhood an atmosphere of historic New York that is only enhanced by knowledge of the area's literary history, which includes one-time residency by Thomas Wolfe, W. H. Auden, Arthur Miller, and currently by Norman Mailer.
Brooklyn Heights runs between Atlantic Avenue and Clinton Street up to the East River, where the Promenade provides the best view in the city of the spectacular Manhattan skyline, all in the vicinity of three playgrounds and marvelous townhouses. Construction is set to begin this year for an 85-acre park on the shore of the East River, including beaches, playgrounds, and restored natural habitats, all of which is guaranteed to make the area even more desirable than ever.
As suggested by its name, Park Slope's most coveted asset is its eastern border: the enormous 526-acre Prospect Park, an oasis in the middle of urban Brooklyn designed by the Central Park architects that includes a 60-acre lake and a nearly century old botanical garden that helped to make Park Slope one of Natural Home's 2006 top 10 best "eco-neighborhoods," in addition to the neighborhood's generous supply of farmer's markets, green space and public transportation. The neighborhood has an abundance of townhouses filled with families and young singles attracted to its friendly atmosphere and diversity, contributing to its recent boom of Zagat-listed restaurants and general trendiness. Park Slope has historically been understood to be the downward sloping area west of Prospect Park, with borders at Flatbush Avenue, Prospect Expressway, and 3rd Avenue. As locals succinctly put it, "if it don't slope, it's not the Slope." Most of the recent development in Park Slope then, has ironically taken place in what locals would characterize as Gowanus, a quainter, more industrial neighborhood to the west of Park Slope. Given its huge desirability and the strict preservation of green space, look for most of Park Slope's development to take place here and on its northern border on Flatbush, where a greater array of subways and amenities make it perhaps more attractive.
DUMBO, the popular acronym for the less scenic sounding "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass," is a rapidly changing neighborhood that stretches in one section between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges and another from the area east of the Manhattan Bridge to the Vinegar Hill area. Historically an artists' haven because of low rents, the area has recently started to become gentrified as prices rise in other areas, although it has managed to maintain its artistic, experimental spirit (although not necessarily the poor artists themselves). The area's cardboard factories and empty warehouses of years past have been transformed into fantastic lofts and creative spaces where independent manufacturers or artists craft furniture or design clothes. Situated directly on the East River, DUMBO boasts spectacular views of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge, which can be viewed publicly from Fulton Ferry and Empire-Fulton State Park, both named after Robert Fulton, who introduced steamboat service to the site in 1814 from a pier that is still preserved here. This, combined with aforementioned iconic warehouse architecture, has made the area into a set for The Sopranos, Law & Order, and Sex in the City. DUMBO's quiet streets are hugely appealing to families, and the neighborhood is set to become more so with the imminent expansion of the Brooklyn Bridge Park, complete with children's playground. DUMBO offers an eclectic and enticing dining scene, such as Pete's Downtown Restaurant and Grimaldi's Pizzeria, as well as specialty shops such as Jacques Torres Chocolate.
BoCoCa (Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens)
Although many locals resist attempts to refer to the three neighborhoods of as the more trendy-sounding BoCoCa, these areas' close proximity and similar character make a combination tempting. They were all first heavily developed in the late 19th century to serve the burgeoning Brooklyn maritime commercial industry, and since the 1960s have transformed into a lovely, upscale historic area filled with unique shops, restaurants, and tree-lined broad streets with brownstones and row-houses that make this area one of the best places to live in Brooklyn. Most of the action takes place on three major routes that transverse the entire area, each with its own character: Smith Street, known for its restaurants, night life, and French influence; Court Street, with a wealth of Italian shops; and Atlantic Avenue, studded with antique stores and Middle Eastern cuisine and specialty shops.
Visitors to Carroll Gardens find a vibrant, eclectic neighborhood alive with the history and character of the area's history of immigration from Ireland, Norway, and Italy. Named after the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, Charles Carroll, this area is distinguished by magnificent brownstones and their 30-40 feet long front lawns, the best examples of which can be found in the Carroll Gardens Historic District, a block-sized area located between Carroll Street, President Street, Hoyt Street and Smith Street. Carroll Gardens has an undeniable Italian character complete with the chance to hear the language spoken on the streets, although the one-time dominance is fading as more outsiders move into the area. Al Capone was married in 1918 in the St. Mary's Star of the Sea Church, and the nearby Gowanus Canal is rumored to have been the burying place of many of the mob's victims. Such doings are now far in the past of this upscale neighborhood, in which its Italian character means primarily shops and great restaurants. Carroll Gardens borders Cobble Hill at Degraw Steet and Boerum Hill at Warren Street and extends south to Hamilton Avenue and Red Hook.
Cobble Hill lies adjacent with Brooklyn Heights and Boerum Hill and north of Carroll Gardens, with borders on Atlantic Avenue, Smith Street, Degraw Street, and Hicks Street, to the north, east, south and west, respectively. This prime location allows for a quick commute into Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn, with slightly lower prices than those found in Brooklyn Heights. Attractions include Cobble Hill Park, designed with 19th-century materials such as blue stone, cast iron, and herringbone-patterned brick walkways, as well as its exceptional schools, including the Brooklyn School for Global Studies and the School for International Studies. Well known for its unique family owned restaurants and shops with names such as Stinky Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens offers a sophisticated and convenient lifestyle.
Between Smith Street and Third Avenue, Degraw Street and Atlantic Avenue and centrally located near Downtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill has slowly transformed itself from a blighted district in the 1960s to a chic area sporting French bistros and trendy restaurants, although a few undeveloped patches still exist juxtaposed directly against graciously renovated homes. The extensive presence of Middle Eastern shops, mosques, and culture on Atlantic Avenue, taken together with the Brooklyn High School of Arts and the neighborhood's annual "greening day" pay tribute to the area's diverse past and present. Those looking for deals should look towards Gowanus, where the number of trees falls and the number of warehouses rises.
Hiding in the shadows of its pricier neighbor Park Slope, Windsor Terrace is a slightly secluded and decidedly residential piece of authentic Brooklyn. Having largely escaped the skyrocketing prices of neighboring districts, this neighborhood has preserved its traditionally Irish and Italian character while in recent years adding more Hispanic (and yuppie) families. Residents have deep roots, with many homes having remained in the same families for generations, making available real estate scarce. The area has just begun to be discovered, attracting buyers with its small town atmosphere and rows of porch-fronted one-family homes, which can allow families to attain their dreams of home ownership that would be otherwise unattainable in pricier areas.
Windsor Terrace stretches between Green-Wood Cemetery and Prospect Park east to west (at its widest eight blocks) and Prospect Park West to Fort Hamilton Parkway north to south, with the choicest real estate found near Prospect Park, a magnificent 526-acre space complete with a botanical garden and children's ball games in the summer. Those, however, who are drawn to the area's feel of seclusion will have to be ready to pay the price: the commute to Midtown Manhattan lasts a crowded 35 to 40 minutes on the F line, on which both of the area's two subway stations lie, and the neighborhood has few big retailers or especially noteworthy restaurants.
Clinton Hill is a small, fashionable, and wealthy neighborhood located to the east of Fort Greene, west of Bedbord-Stuyvesant, north of Atlantic Avenue and south of Wallabout Bay. Its prosperty and affluence has deep roots; by the 1840s it was already a fashionable neighborhood, and the late 1880-90s oversaw the construction of many mansions, including four by millionare Charles Pratt, who built a mansion for himself and three of his sons as wedding presents. The Pratt Institute of Art, a world-famous art and design school, also bears his name, and is located along with St. Joseph's College in this district. Students from these institutions, as well as a diverse mix of those with Italian, African, and Caribbean backgrounds live in the area.
Besides mansions, Clinton Hill contains magnificent brownstones and churches. Residents justly take great care and pride in their neighborhood and its historic district, as demonstrated by the Society for Clinton Hill, "a 30 year-old organization dedicated to preserving our wonderful neighborhood, its architectural history and structures, its friendly environment, and the safety and progress of all our residents." Clinton Hill is about 40 minutes to Manhattan, with convenient car access over the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.
Those who can no longer afford the skyrocketing prices of Park Slope have been discovering neighbouring Prospect Heights, a small, triangular neighborhood with borders on Fort Green and Crown Heights. While lacking the posh restaurants and scene of Park Slope, Prospect Heights also borders on Prospect Park, giving residents the same close access to this landmark's wide spaces and Botanical Garden (read more under Park Slope). Although at times criticized for its lack of a distinctive culture - a charge levied more often in the last 5 years as young, mostly white refugees from more expensive areas flood in - Prospect Heights has a Caribbean character, and hosts a portion of the West Indian Day Parade, New York City's largest parade. The neighborhood is also home to the Brooklyn Musuem of Art, the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Grand Army Plaza, with its Saturday farmer's market. Homes in the area are mostly brownstone residential buildings that rarely exceed five stories, with some multi-unit apartment buildings.
Prospect Heights is aptly one of Brooklyn's highest neighborhoods and contains Mount Prospect, an approximately 8-acre park that was formerly a Continental Army lookout post. Views of Brooklyn and Manhattan are especially spectacular from the top floors of some buildings. Some of those views might be threathened by the Atlantic Yards development project, an enormous 22 acre project that will include a new stadium for the New York Jets as well as office and residential space. Construction began in February 2007, despite continued litigation over concerns of eminent domain abuses and over its possible destruction of Brooklyn's character. The project has caused prices in Prospect Heights to rise, but will also increase the area's importance and especially congestion, as no new major public transportation will be added to deal with the increased flows.
Fort Greene is one of those neighborhoods that manage to combine it all without the outrageous prices of others - for now, at least. Architecturally it impresses with rows of the coveted brownstones, mid-19th century Italianate and Eastlake homes, tree-lined streets, and two beautiful churches, St. Michael and St. Edward. Thirty acre Fort Greene Park, the first urban park in the United States and founded at the urging of Walt Whitman by the designers of Central and Prospect parks, Frederick Law Olmstead & Culvert Vaux, is equipped with tennis courts and playgrounds and offers a popular gathering place for concerts and other events. The area is culturally packed with institutions such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Music School, the Brooklyn Technical High School (one of New York City's most competitive public schools), and the Paul Robeson Theater, as well as the world-famous Pratt Institute located only a few blocks away in Clinton Hill. Fort Greene has weathered gentrification well, preserving an eclectic racial and socioeconomic mix whose diversity has been preserved despite rising rent prices - and whose rarity in the city is a major draw for newcomers. This diversity has a long history, with Fort Greene being the site of Brooklyn's first school for African-Americans and site of much abolitionist work. To top it all off, the neighborhood is not only extremely well served by subway lines, but lies concurrent to Downtown Brooklyn, which is emerging as an alternative to Manhattan in its own right. More specifically, Fort Greene encompasses the area north of Atlantic Avenue, south of Nassau Street, and between Flatbush Avenue and Washington Avenue.
The neighborhood of Midwood extends from the Brooklyn College campus of the City University of New York in the north to Kings Highway to the south, and from Ocean Parkway to Flatbush Avenue from west to east. It is a fantastic area to raise a family, with a secluded country-suburban feel created by the rows of shingled two-story houses with driveways and front lawns with flowers and over 18,000 shade trees. Midwood schools are top-notch: Midwood High School is distinguished for its numerous Intel science talent search awards; Murrow High School admits outstanding achievers from all over Brooklyn, with a special preference for Midwood residents; and Brooklyn College, which also includes the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, has a community membership project which allows residents to take advantage of its library, athletic, and fine arts facilities. Midwood has a healthy share of famous one-time residents, including Woody Allen, Arthur Miller, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Marisa Tomei, and three US Senators. The area boasts vibrant racial diversity, with an established Orthodox and burgeoning Sephardic Jewish population, as well as new immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Pakistan, and India. As a result Midwood contains more than a dozen yeshivas, numerous kosher restaurants and shops that observe the Jewish Sabbath, and a large mosque. The selection, while diverse, may be found insufficient by those who enjoy the more refined cuisine found in Park Slope or Manhattan. For those who can't live without certain amenities, Midtown is 45 minutes away on the Q express.
Trendy hipsters. Burgeoning artists. Working class ethnic communities. Williamsburg, located on the northern part of Brooklyn between Flushing Avenue, Bushwick, and Kent Avenue, is a neighborhood in flux, full of contradictions. The area has historically been known for its high crime and working class, ethnic neighborhoods, which were primarily settled after the opening of the Williamsburg Bridge to Manhattan, which made Williamsburg for a time the most densely populated neighborhood in the country. Beginning in the 1970s, and accelerating in the 90s, artists and musicians began entering the area to take advantage of low rents and warehouses converted into lofts, so that today Williamsburg is considered the hippest place in New York. The area has produced innumerable indie bands such as Interpol or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and is the best place in New York to hear live music from new groups. There is a tremendous amount of development, with both warehouses and current apartments alike being converted into new, often luxury, offerings. The North side area and Greenpoint Waterfront was just rezoned in 2005, primarily for mixed use high rises with residential space. All of this change has created a neighborhood with an enormous social and ethnic diversity. Unfortunately, the area's long time (less affluent) residents often resent the forced evictions and higher prices that newcomers have brought with them. These tend to be professionals or wealthier artists, making the area no longer ideal for poor struggling artists. Despite the controversy, Williamsburg is an as varied and interesting neighborhood as one can find. To the south one finds mostly Yiddish-speaking Hasidim; to the north Polish, Italians, and (increasingly) yuppies; to the east Italians, African-Americans, and Hispanics; and around Bedford Avenue Williamsburg's hipster core. Furthermore, residents are able to enjoy this diversity one short metro stop from Manhattan.
Flatbush / Ditmas Park
A large neighborhood located in the heart of Brooklyn encompasses Prospect Park South, Ditmas Park, Ditmas Park West, and Midwood. Made up of large Victorian homes with surrounding yards and front porches and garages, many Park Slopers migrate to these spacious homes. It should be noted that Ditmas Park is one of three Flatbush neighborhoods which have been officially designated a Historic District. Located on land that remained rural until the early 20th century, it is a suburban housing development consisting of large, free-standing, fabulous Victorian homes built in the 1900s. Additionally, the Flatbush area boasts rich in culture and is a virtual melting pot overflowing with Caribbean immigrant influence.
Bay Ridge's traditionally Irish-Italian-Norwegian neighborhood is primarily residential and now includes Arab and Russian families. Originally called "Yellow Hook" because of the yellow clay in the soil, the name was quickly changed in 1853 after New York suffered a Yellow Fever epidemic. Fort Hamilton,
New York City's only active Army post, is located beneath the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, the second longest single span suspension bridge in the world. There's a wide variety of restaurants to choose from, especially on Third Avenue.
Bedford-Stuyvesant or ("Bed-Stuy"), Brooklyn's largest African-American neighborhood, was formed after a merging of two rural communities: "Bedford" and "Stuyvesant Heights" in 1931. A mostly residential neighborhood, Bed-Stuy features many beautiful and historic brownstones that have been recently renovated.
Bensonhurst natives consider their neighborhood the true "Little Italy," although it now includes Albanian, Pakistani, Korean, Chinese, Mexican, and Eastern European immigrants. Home to the historic New Utrecht Reformed Church, Bensonhurst still feels like an old-time Brooklyn neighborhood.
Brownsville is a mainly African-American and Caribbean-American neighborhood, located on the eastern edge of Brooklyn. At the turn of the 20th century, Brownsville was known as "Jerusalem of America," for its mostly Jewish population. It was politically radical in the 1920s and 30s, electing socialists and American Labor Party candidates to the state assembly. The neighborhood fell on hard time after World War II, but community groups have worked to revitalize the area.
After a hard day of work, whether you unwind over a cocktail in one of Brooklyn's gorgeous neighborhoods, go for a run in Prospect Park, or do some window shopping in Park Slope, there's no shortage of afterhours activities for residents. Over the years the residency has started building up a repertoire of events and activities. Everyone has their opinions of which is the best, but without a doubt, Graduation and Dr. Goldfinger's BBQ are at the top. During graduation, which has been held at different function halls including Steiner Studios, where Sex and the City and Boardwalk Empire were filmed, and even the Brighton Beach Russian classic, Tatiana's Restaurant and Rasputin, we spend a whole evening honoring the graduates, notable services, eating, and, most importantly, dancing up a storm! In addition, Dr. Goldfinger hosts an extravagant BBQ for incoming residents in his Prospect Heights home and yard, inviting all residents, faculty, and family to join!
Some newer traditions we have established in the past years include a post PRITE party, post-didactics dinner, and most recently, collaborating with the Family Medicine residents, to attend Phantom of the Opera on Broadway with cocktails afterward!
In addition to going out as a group, our residents get involved in mental health community events. Two classics are participating in the American Society for Suicide Prevention walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, and in the National Alliance On Mental Illness walk in the spring. Residents have even started the popular Metabolic Syndrome booth at the walk! This year, residents have started volunteering to supervise medical students for psychiatric evaluations of patients at the student run Brooklyn Free Clinic! Some residents even run a 15k as part of the SUNY Downstate team for the Colon Cancer Challenge! Being part of such a huge university hospital, we get a number of extra perks! Some are the SUNY Student Center, with a gym, pool, and fitness classes. Also, if exploring the 100s of shows and exhibits that New York has to offer is your thing, you can check out the Theater Ticket Service, which offers markedly reduced rates for the theater and ballet! Use the link for the Student Center for more information.
Another benefit is the opportunity to be part of the largest and oldest hospital staff union in the USA, the Committee for Interns and Residents, CIR. While representing our rights and fighting for better working conditions, CIR has a number of events and benefits that we can take advantage of. In addition to the health benefits and prescription drug cost reductions, there is a yearly stipend for books or mobile devices, a conference stipend, and a greatly reduced New York Sports Clubs membership rate! Not to mention a holiday party where you get to meet residents from other New York programs! Committee for Interns and Residents link for more information.
We're such a diverse group, that it's difficult to list where everyone lives and what everyone likes to do after hours. Most residents tend to live in Brooklyn, but we do have some that commute from Manhattan and some even from Staten Island! For the Brooklynites, there seems to be a great divide between the Bay Ridge devotees and the Prospect Heights/Park Slope devotees. Bay Ridge has a bit more space, offers some great restaurants and parks, but is a bit further from the hospital; whereas Prospect Heights and Park Slope are areas that have a pretty good night life, good shopping, is closer to the main Brooklyn attractions, hospital and to the city! You can probably tell where this writer chose to settle down! A good in between, distance wise, which is also quieter and a great place for residents with families, is Midwood, just a few miles south of the hospital.
As for after work and on weekends, Brooklyn's diversity offers an incredible array of activities to get involved in! The big ones are surrounding gorgeous Grand Army Plaza, with its beautiful arch and Fountain lit up a beautiful purple at night. There is Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Public Library, the Brooklyn Museum and Brooklyn Botanic garden, all of which are within 10minute walk of each other, about 2 miles from the hospital. Below is a link for important Brooklyn attractions.
Now, if you think that New York City is simply an urban jungle, you're wrong! You can be on the beach within half an hour, skiing down a mountain slope within 2 hours, or hiking any of the gorgeous trails outside the city within an hour! In Brooklyn, Queens and further up Long Island, residents have spent many summer days under the sun, swimming, jogging or just walking down the board walk. Most famous is Brooklyn's Coney Island, a staple for any visit to New York. Although the famed 'Shoot the Freak' got torn down some time ago, the boardwalk has been newly renovated, with a plethora of activities, whether it be the amusement park, aquarium, jet skiing, or just people watching into the sunset. Other beaches include the Rockaways are a direct 45 minute subway ride on the A/C line from Brooklyn, and there you can rent surf boards, umbrellas, and even sea kayaks! For a little more of a relaxing weekend, take the famous Hampton Jitney or the Long Island Rail Road anywhere from closer beaches like Long Beach, to the very tip of Long Island, Montauk, and stroll down the boardwalk and enjoy their gorgeous beaches. Or to get out of New York state, period, some residents enjoy a soothing Bed and Breakfast in Cape May, New Jersey!
And for any hard core skiers or snowboarders, there are plenty of organized trips run by ski shops in the city up north to New York and Vermont mountains, that include ticket and bus trip (or, if needed, rentals and lessons) at hugely reduced group rates! They even give you warm classic New York bagels on the bus in the morning! Below are some links for the above activities.
Now, if you have explored the boroughs to exhaustion, there are gorgeous cities just outside New York to discover on weekends off of work. Beautiful, cobblestone streets in Historical Boston are just 4 hours away; Philadelphia is just 2 hours, and our nation's capital is just under 4 hours away! Whether you take the Bolt or Megabus, or the classic Chinatown buses, tickets are cheap ($10-30$ each way, usually) and buses run often!
The range of activities around Brooklyn is just phenomenal, and it makes residency life just that, residency and a life. Enjoy your stay with us, explore the links, and come back soon!
Brooklyn: The New Manhattan
For those of who moved to NYC less than a generation ago, the age old feud between Manhattan and Brooklyn was relatively new. That said, we caught on pretty quickly and Brooklyn being described as "The New Noir" and the dizzying array of new restaurants, bars, and galleries opening almost weekly is hard to keep up with in this amazingly diverse borough. How does one stay afloat with the social scene in residency?
Here are a few websites that can help you stay in budget while exploring some of what Brooklyn-and the rest of the city has to offer: