The Globehunters Guide to Brooklyn
POSTED BY Adam | June 25, 2014
Label: City Breaks, New York City
Home to over two and a half million people, Brooklyn is the second largest of New York’s boroughs and has plenty to attract visitors to The Big Apple. Whilst the tourist crowds tread a well-beaten path through Manhattan, those in the know cross the East River to Brooklyn. With hipster magnet Williamsburg, stunning views from Brooklyn Heights, live NBA and more, there is plenty to see and do in New York’s coolest borough.
The Williamsburg neighbourhood is hipster central – the equivalent of the fashionable parts of east London, for UK readers. It’s very much an advert for ‘new Brooklyn’; that is, a softer version of what was once considered a tough area of the city.
As you’d expect from an area full of creative types, there is a thriving arts and music scene here. There is a plethora of cafes, live music venues, vintage clothes boutiques and restaurants to enjoy. The backdrop to this creative melting pot is former industrial buildings, which give the area gritty ambience.
Typical of Williamsburg’s quirky nature is the Brooklyn Bowl; an enormous and newly-renovated music venue that combines bowling with live music and dining, all under one roof. Beer and ale lovers should check out Brooklyn Brewery near Bedford Avenue subway for a taste of the popular Brooklyn Beer. Tours are every hour, with a generous happy ‘hour’ in the evening from 6pm – 11pm.
The best place in Brooklyn to photograph the unmistakeable New York skyline is the affluent neighbourhood of Brooklyn Heights. There’s not much to see in the area itself but the views across the bay to Manhattan are certainly worth it.
Head to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade – an elevated walkway that leads down to the East River – for an uninterrupted view of the Manhattan skyline. The promenade was made famous in films like Annie Hall and Moonstruck and is known as one of New York’s most romantic places.
brooklyn heights view
The view of Manhattan from Brooklyn Heights
The Barclays Centre
Home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, the 19,000 capacity Barclays Centre also plays host to some of New York’s most high profile gigs. Brooklyn Nets tickets are usually easier to come by than tickets for their cross town rivals the New York Knicks. If you’re hoping to catch some live basketball whist in the Big Apple, this may be your best bet. The two New York teams meet at The Barclays Centre on the final day of the regular season on April 15th 2104.
The Barclays Centre is also soon to be home to the NHL’s New York Islanders so live ice hockey will soon be added to the impressive roster of live sport in Brooklyn. Less impressive is its’ exterior; the arena’s ‘weathering steel’ façade had been likened to a ‘rusty tin can’ by locals.
brooklyn barclays centre
The Barclays Centre - home of the Brooklyn Nets
Coney Island isn’t your run of the mill beach destination; Burlesque at the Beach, Coney Island Tattoo and Motorcycle Festival and Creepshow at the Freakshow are just a sample of some of the events held throughout the year!
As well as a sizeable beach, Coney Island also features a more traditional amusement park known as the Luna Park, which typically runs from Easter to Halloween. The Cyclone roller coaster and Deno’s Wonder Wheel are the centrepieces of the Luna Park, which has been credited with attracting visitors and regenerating the area after it fell into disrepair. Nowadays, Coney Island is once again a popular place for Brooklynites to soak up some sun by the sea.
If you’re thinking of visiting New York, check out Globehunters’ New York flights, departing from UK airports throughout the year.
Have you been to Brooklyn already? Let us know what you thought of it below!