The Ten Best Things About Brooklyn, New York or Brooklyn, U.S.A. !
Brooklyn, New York-Jewel in the Rough!
When people think about New York City, the first thing that comes to mind is Manhattan. Manhattan is New York City to most people. This is because Manhattan has millions of restaurants, movies, and shopping centers. Manhattan is the apex of New York City. Manhattan, in fact, is the destination of most people who travel to New York.
However, there are other boroughs in New York City besides Manhattan. One of the best known of the other four boroughs is Brooklyn. Brooklyn? Yes, Brooklyn is one of the better known of the 5 boroughs in New York City, the other 4 are Manhattan(New York City proper), the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. Brooklyn is located on Long Island along with Queens. Brooklyn has a small town ambience within a large city.
Furthermore, Brooklyn has a neighborhood feel which is often missing in Manhattan. Brooklyn is not just Coney Island and Junior's Restaurant. Brooklyn contains noted museums, restaurants, chic shopping centers, and out of way arcane places which is unique to the borough. To me, Brooklyn is more interesting than Manhattan, my home borough! Now let me tell you the ten best things about my favorite borough!
1) The Brooklyn Public Library located at Grand Army Plaza, corner of Flatbush Avenue and Eastern Parkway. This is the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library System. This library is one of the best in New York City. It has miles and acres of books, especially in History. Besides having acres of books, the library also has an immense CD and DVD section of any type of music you wish to listen to and movies you wish to view. One can spend days in this library. The library is located adacent to the Brooklyn Museum-this museum contains artifacts on .Mexican and Egyptian art. In fact, you can make a whole day of touring both the Brooklyn Public Library and the Brooklyn Museum.
(2) Going on an indivualized walking tour of Park Slope, Brooklyn. Park Slope, Brooklyn is one of the upscale Brooklyn neighborhoods. Park Slope is also one of the most diversified and eclectic neighborhoods in Brooklyn. In fact, it is analogous to Manhattan's Greenwich Village. The environs of Park Slope stretches from 3rd Avenue to Prospect Park West and from Union to 17th Streets. This neighborhood contains a plethora of bookstores, restaurants, and chic shops. The avenue to be on Park Slope is 7th Avenue where the finest restaurants, bookstores, and shops are.
(3) A leisurely tour of 86th Street in Brooklyn from 5th Avenue to Bay Parkway. 86th Street is one of the main shopping streets in Brooklyn. Stores along the pathway of 86th Street contain Century 21 and Lane Bryant. This area contains some very good cheap discount clothing stores and very lovely restaurants!
(4) Going on a tour of Borough Park, Brooklyn. The neighborhood stretches from Dahill Road to New Utrecht Avenue and from 36th to 60th Streets. This is one of more upscale Hasidic Jewish neighborhoods. This area contains shopping centers, restaurants, and bookstores. Caution: one should dress modestly when touring this area and DO NOT THINK of shopping there on Friday nights and Saturdays as the shops and other commercial areas are closed for Sabbath observance. I hate to give you the bad news: Kosher Delight Restaurant, one of the main stays in this area is out of business as of March 11, 2011-how sad indeed!
(5) Touring Brighton Beach. The neighborhood stretches from Brighton Beach Avenue to Boardwalk East and from Brighton 1st Street to Ocean Avenue. Brighton Beach is a very interesting neighborhood which has gone through many metamorphoses from a strictly Eastern European Jewish neighborhood to a Russian one. There are some good Russian restaurants and clothing stores in the area. This area also has some excellent Russian language periodicals. Furthermore, if you want to purchase Russian movies, there is a store, ST. PETERSBERG BOOKSTORE(located at 605 and 230 Brighton Beach Avenue at Brighton 6th and 2nd Street-www.ruskiga.com) , which specializes in Russian cinema.
(6) Going to Madina Perfume Oil Store a/k/a Madina Industrial Corporation which is located at 568 Atlantic Avenue. This is one of the best perfume oil stores in New York City. Their perfumes oils are copies of the designer originals at a fraction of the price. An ounce of perfume oil usually is $3.95. The oils last all day. If you want Indian Musk Oil (my all time favorite perfume oil)-this is the place to get it! Across from Madina Perfume Oil Store is the Atlantic Avenue Mall. This mall has everything including cheap eats including Chuckee Cheese for those with little children!
(7) If you love Japanese cuisine, Brooklyn is loaded with more of its share of Japanese restaurants. I have discovered that in Brooklyn, the portions served in the Japanese restaurants are larger than the portions served in Manhattan and the price is cheaper. Some of my favorite Brooklyn Japanese restaurants are: (a) Osaka, located at 272 Court Street between Kane and DeGraw Streets, in Cobble Hill which serves some of the largest portions of sushi in Brooklyn. The sushi there is very fresh and flavorful- it is so good that you often order seconds! Also there is an outside patio for the summer seasons for romantic dining. (b) Wasabi, an excellent restaurant located at 205 Bedford Avenue between North 5th and North 7th Street in Williamsburg. They also serve gargantuan portion; however, their prices are among the cheapest in Brooklyn, if not anywhere in New York City. (c) Nanatori, my old time favorite restaurant, located at 162 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights. They serve huge portions of sushi at a very reasonable price. Also they have the best, sweetest, and tastiest eel sushi this side of Brooklyn and/or New York City for that matter! Oh dear, I have omitted One Greene Japanese Restaurant which is situated in the Fort Greene area adjacent to the Atlantic Avenue Mall. Their sushi is extremely flavorful and sooo delicious that you often order seconds and thirds! Bon appetit!
(8) On a serious note, while in the Sheepshead Bay area, please stop by the Holocaust Memorial Mall Park located at Emmons Avenue at Shore Blvd. It contains plaques commemorating those who perished in the Holocaust. I went there on a particularly cloudy fall day in 2003. I was profoundly affected by this memorial!
(9) On a lazy day, take a leisurely bus ride through Coney Island Avenue. This avenue contains an eclectic mix of neighborhoods from West Indian, East Indian, Central Asian to Russian. As I recall the bus going through this avenue is the No. 68 bus. The last stop on this bus is Brighton Beach Avenue. So indulge in an extremely leisurely tour of this area and stop at some excellent restaurants such as Sahara Restaurant located at 2337 Coney Island Avenue between Avenues T and U. They serve Middle Eastern food. They have the best kabobs and felafels around! Stop by this wonderful and delicious restaurant and give the food a try! Once you sample it, you will keep returning and returning......
(10) Brooklyn has an interesting Chinatown area which is located in the Sunset Park area on 8th Avenue. This area has some of the best and authentic Chinese restaurants in Brooklyn. One of the best restaurants in this area is Jade Plaza located at 6022 8th Avenue between 60th and 61st Streets. Their cuisine is spicy and delicious and is well worth the travel!
Now you have my take on the ten greatest things about Brooklyn, New York! No it did not include the usual places that one associates with Brooklyn such as Coney Island and Junior's Restaurant. Brooklyn is so much more than that! I want to show the readers a side of Brooklyn which is off the beaten path! Enjoy!