A praise to Brooklyn!
I first came to Brooklyn on Christmas Eve 1974 when German TV showed “A Tree grows in Brooklyn”. I was a little girl then and didn’t really understand what the movie was about but I liked it. Liked poor Francie Nolan, a little girl like me. Liked the sound of the borough’s name – Brooklyn.
More than 30 years later when I planned my first trip to New York the movie crossed my mind again and I ended up staying in Brooklyn. Since then I came back several times.
Brooklyn is huge. If it would not be a borough of New York, it would be the fourth populous city in the US. Its neighborhoods are probably more diverse than those in Manhattan. And because it is bigger there are much more of them. Many of them have a strong ethnic imprint, others are mixed. South Williamsburg, Midwood and Borough Park have a strong Jewish population. Crown Heights has a Jewish and a Caribbean part. Greenpoint is Polish. Russians live in Brighton Beach. Bedford Stuyvesant is Brooklyn’s Harlem. Bensonhurst has a strong Italian tradition. Bushwick an Hispanic one. They all are well worth a visit. For staying there many of them are simply too far out. So I’m considering just those having good connections.
Brooklyn Heights, New York City’s first Historic District, offers breathtaking views of Manhattan’s skyline from its Promenade, especially at night. Picturesque brownstones and other well maintained townhouses provide an elegant atmosphere. The neighborhood has been home to lots of famous actors and writers.
Fort Greene has many faces, is friendly, open-minded and just one stop from Manhattan. Brownstones provide architectural charm, the Brooklyn Academy of Music is a source of culture. Fort Greene Park, the Farmers’ Market and Flea Market invite for a stroll.
Idyllic Park Slope is a brownstone microcosmos where happy kids are happy mothers’ pride and everything you need is just around the corner. Prospect Park gives the neighborhood a lot of green as well as a Botanic Garden.
Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens (aka BoCoCa) is where the literary scene currently is said to be. All three are charming, right in the middle of everything and provide good food and creative shopping.
Williamsburg, once a dreary tenement neighborhood like the Lower East Side across the East River, now hip, alternative and absolutely trendy day and night. Deserted industrial spaces attracted many young artists. Williamsburg Bridge offers easy connection to Manhattan.
Greenpoint, known as strongly polish is quieter than it’s neighbor Williamsburg but as well has developed from an industrial area to a lively and creative neighborhood.
Clinton Hill, once a wealthy suburb, now a peaceful residential neighborhood offers stunning architecture and two colleges.
Red Hook, long forgotten after having been cut off the rest of Brooklyn by the Brooklyn -Queens Expressway. Now it is reinventing itself. It’s great plus is the waterfront. Red Hood’s maritime past is still alive with the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. Old warehouses give room for everything creative.
Well, I could easily spend six months just in Brooklyn…