NFT New York Greater Brooklyn

Greater Brooklyn

The Great Mistake of 1898, Brooklyn is no longer its own city, but that little technicality hasn't kept the Borough of Kings down. As Manhattan becomes prohibitively expensive and middle-Americanized, Brooklyn's popularity is at an all-time high. Scores of recent college grads, immigrants, ex-Manhattanites, and even celebrities are calling Brooklyn home, whether in a row of brownstones, a pre-war house, or a brand-new loft. Along with the residential boom, Brooklyn has firmly arrived as a cultural and entertainment mecca, and it boasts some of the hottest bars, astounding cultural diversity, and stellar parks. Atlantic Yards is now a reality after much protest, but Brooklyn won't let go of its unique character that easily.

As the largest borough by population (over 2.5 million!), Brooklyn holds a special place as one of the nation's most remarkable urban areas. As many as one in four people can trace their roots here! In Brooklyn, you can find pretty much any type of community--for better or worse. As gentrification marches deeper into Brooklyn, the borough is changing fast. Neighborhoods most likely to see their first baby boutiques open soon include Red Hook, East Williamsburg, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, and Crown Heights.See more.

The first thing you notice when looking at Brooklyn on a map is the sheer size of it. Yet much of Brooklyn is largely unknown to most New Yorkers. Yes, Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg, and Park Slope are nice communities that are fun to explore. However, if you've never ventured further out into Brooklyn than the obligatory trip to Coney Island, you're missing some fantastic neighborhoods. For instance, Bay Ridge (4) has beautiful single-family homes along its western edge, a killer view of the Verrazano Bridge, and a host of excellent shops and restaurants. Dyker Heights (6) is composed of almost all single-family homes, many of which go all-out with Christmas light displays during the holiday season. Brighton Beach (8) continues to be a haven for many Russian expatriates. The quiet, tree-lined streets of both Ocean Parkway (10) and Midwood (11) can make one forget all about the hustle and bustle of downtown Brooklyn, or downtown anywhere else for that matter. Finally, Bedford-Stuyvesant (12) has a host of cool public buildings, fun eateries, and beautiful brownstones.

No, the Dodgers are never coming back. This is still hard for many older Brooklynites to accept and accounts for much of the nostalgia that is still associated with the borough. If you can get beyond the fact that Ebbets Field is now a giant concrete housing complex, then you will enjoy spending a fine summer evening watching the Cyclones at Coney Island (7). But really, Brooklynites need to get over it: The Barclays Center (15) already captured one major professional sports team (the Nets) and soon another will begin playing there (the Islanders). Elsewhere, Kensington Stables in Prospect Park (1) provides lessons for wannabe equestrians.

Coney Island's (7) redevelopment is well underway but has left untouched the Cyclone, the Wonder Wheel, Nathan's, Totonno's pizza, movies at the Coney Island Museum, the beach, the freaks, and The Warriors. Close by is the Aquarium (13). Nature trails, parked blimps, views of the water, scenic marinas, live events and overnight camping all make historical Floyd Bennett Field (9) a worthwhile trip. For more beautiful views, you can check out Owl's Point Park (3) in Bay Ridge, or the parking lot underneath the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (5) (located right off the Shore Parkway). The Verrazano might not be New York's most beautiful bridge, but it's hands-down the most awe-inspiring. Both Green-Wood Cemetery (2) and Prospect Park (1) provide enough greenery to keep you happy until you get to Yosemite. Finally, Brooklyn Heights (14) is the most beautiful residential neighborhood in all of New York. Don't believe us? Go stand on the corner of Willow and Orange Streets and find out for yourself.

Here are some restaurants in some of the outlying areas of Brooklyn:
Bay Ridge: Casablanca Restaurant, 484 77th St, 718-748-2077--Highly recommended Moroccan.
Midwood: DiFara's Pizzeria, E 15th St & Ave J, 718-258-1367--Dirty, cheap, and fresh as hell.
Sunset Park: Nyonya, 5223 Eighth Ave, 718-633-0808--Good quality Malaysian.
Sheepshead Bay: Russian Bath of NY, 1200 Gravesend Neck Rd, 718-332-1676--Delicious Russian food after a schvitz.

1 Prospect Park
2 Green-Wood Cemetery
3 Owl's Point Park
4 Bay Ridge
5 Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
6 Dyker Heights
7 Coney Island
8 Brighton Beach
9 Floyd Bennett Field
10 Ocean Parkway
11 Midwood
12 Bedford-Stuyvesant
13 New York Aquarium
14 Brooklyn Heights
15 Barclays Center


This Neighborhood Featured in...
The BQE: Not Just For Traffic

By Sarah Enelow
What's underneath the BQE, besides an entire society of filthy pigeons? North Brooklyn's tastiest risotto balls, modern art, karate, and a lot more. Come with NFT Editor Sarah Enelow as she finds East Williamsburg's choice attractions along the expressway.

On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Andrew Savage
Photo:  Andrew Savage

Boneshaker's was one of those places that was recommended to me time and time again by foodie friends whose opinions I hold in high regard. After finally stopping by, I kicked myself for being so late in the game on this Greenpoint hotspot. Whether it's hot sandwiches, healthy green salads, or Sunday brunch you seek, Boneshaker's will not disappoint. The fare is mostly vegan and vegetarian, but is inviting to all diet types. A cyclists' hangout, the store's atmosphere is decorated with artifacts of the sport, including lots of Team Poland paraphernalia. How's that for community spirit?

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