Best Things to do Around the Brooklyn Bridge.
The City Below the Brooklyn Bridge
Popular worldwide for its iconic status and place in history, the Brooklyn Bridge is walked by more than two million people each year. Having been featured in over 15 movies, like Transformers and Sex and the City, it is no surprise that the Brooklyn Bridge is as popular as it is. But history aside, a big part of the charm of visiting the Brooklyn Bridge is the world beneath the bridge. Beneath the bridge lives a curious mixture of small eateries, apartment homes, tiny art galleries and businesses occupying old factory buildings and modern glass structures; all set against the backdrop of the East River with Manhattan in the distance. The happy result is a scenic area filled with treasure and ripe for exploration. This is a list of some of the best things to do after walking the famous bridge.
Walk the New Brooklyn Bridge Park Boardwalk
The best thing about being under the Brooklyn Bridge is the views of Manhattan and the East River. Walk along the boardwalk for amazing views of the city, including a good view of Lady Liberty herself. Water lovers will love watching the many types of boat that traverse this section of the river. Look out for long barges, bright yellow water taxis and ferries, and small colorful sailboats on any given day. To get closer to the river, there are a few sandy and rock strewn areas on the bank of the river that are open to the public.
For a lesson on the area's geography and wildlife, visit the Environmental Center which is a small building filled with information and staff who give scheduled lessons. This is great for families who want their kids to leave with a bit more educate about the Brooklyn Bridge area. Find the center at the Washington at Washington and Plymouth entrance to the boardwalk. For more information, visit brooklynbridgepark.org.
View of the Statue of Liberty from Brooklyn Bridge Park's Boardwalk
See a Play at St. Anns Warehouse
St. Ann’s theater, a local favorite, literally sits right below the Brooklyn Bridge, and is easily accessible by taking the boardwalk towards the bridge. From outside, the theater does not seem like much, but venture inside for some of the coolest concerts and small plays in the city. Housed in an old tobacco warehouse, the theater is small compared to Broadway standards, but the quality of its plays is anything but substandard. At the time of writing, this writer was excitedly waiting for the opening of A Streetcar called Desire, which opens on April 13. For show and concert schedules and more, stannswarehouse.org.
Watch or Ride the Horses at Janes Carousel
Sitting right next to St. Anns Warehouse, and also accessible from the boardwalk is the Brooklyn institution.The beautifully restored horses in Janes Carousel have been delighting local families for years. Families exploring the Brooklyn Bridge area will be equally enthralled with this colorful Brooklyn Bridge icon. Watch the kids ride to beautiful music, or visit at night when the carousel is lit up in an almost romantic way with New York City for its background. Taking the boardwalk towards the bridge will lead right into Jane’s Carousel which is also right below the bridge, and next to St. Anns theater.
In the summer,Jane's Carousel opens at 11 am everyday except Tuesdays. In the winter, it opens only Thursdays to Sundays from 11 am to 6pm. For more information, www.janescarousel.com
Have Pizza Like a Local.
Eating pizza in New York sounds cliché, but the fact is that eating pizza is on the to do lists of most visitors to New York City. For the best pizza this side of Brooklyn head to Front Street Pizza at the intersection of Front street and Washington street. Being a small eatery, and well loved by locals, the wait for a seat may be long. However, the wait is well worth it for the fresh, delicious pizza served in a lively atmosphere. An added bonus is that unlike the more popular pizzerias, Front Street Pizza will serve pizza by the slice.
For those who want to visit the more popular, touristy pizzerias, taking Front street two blocks towards the water will lead straight into Grimaldis and Ignazios. As these restaurants are very popular with tourists expect waiting in line for upwards of an hour to get a seat.
Have Strawberry Ice Cream at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
This very popular ice cream store is right across the street from Grimaldis. For desert after dinner, or just a delicious, cold treat on a hot day, have some of Brooklyn Ice Cream factory’s delicious homemade ice cream. This very popular ice cream store is well liked for good reason: the ice cream is delicious and creamy. While all the flavors are good, the strawberry ice cream stands out for its pure, natural flavor and perfect combination of sweet and tart.
The Brooklyn Ice Cream factory is located in a ferry boarding area that is filled with small eateries like the awesome Lukes Lobster below.
Eat Lobster and Cab Rolls from Luke’s Lobster.
Luke’s isn’t so much an eatery as it is a small shack by the water. Located across from the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory and accessible by taking Water street towards the water (Lukes will be at the end of Water street) this tiny spot opens only in summer, but the lines start forming before then. There is good reason for the long wait-- the rolls are arguably the best seafood rolls in New York City.
Luke’s boasts getting a fresh catch every day and using freshly made rolls in all its sandwiches. For those who love crab rolls, Luke’s are a must try. In fact, it is this writer’s opinion that Luke makes the best crab rolls in New York City.
Delicious Lobster and Crab rolls from Luke's under the Brooklyn Bridge
See Artwork done in pencil at Natchie
Away from the water, and more inland, there is also much to explore. Art lovers will love the tiny Natchie. Natchie is a minute art gallery that specializes in artwork done in pencil. Admire and buy colorful, simple artwork all done in pencil. Each piece of art tells a story about, or features a place in New York City. Because this is Brooklyn where everything is uber creative, there is a small section dedicated to an artist (Natchie) who draws her songs. Each piece is the artist’s conception of how her music looks, and comes available with a free download of the song it depicts.
To get to Natchies, take Front Street away from the water and walk to Pearl street. Natchies is at the intersection of Pearl and Front streets.
Have Mexican food at Pedro’s
Heading up past Natchies, there is a small Mexican eatery with good Mexican food and a loyal local clientele. This one is off the beaten track, but worth it for some their spicy offerings and good margaritas. Pedros is located at Front and Jay streets, and is a great way to end a day of exploration.
Getting Around the Brooklyn Bridge area
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