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mistybleu Brooklyn - A travel report by Amanda
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Brooklyn,  United States - flag United States -  New York
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mistybleu's travel reports

New York, New York is a wonderful town!

  14 votes
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6
For me New York is best enjoyed in small doses; what I mean is, it’s a fantastic city to spend a long weekend, over and over again, but any longer than that you out stay your welcome.


New York from the Empire State Building
New York from the Empire State Building
My first visit to New York was back in the 80s; I remember walking from 94th Street and Amsterdam Avenue all the way down to Union Square, past the Twin Towers through to Wall Street (anyone who knows New York will know that was an incredibly long way); and that was the last time that I really did anything touristy there. Since then I have been to New York more times than I can count and I really love it - mainly for the shopping.

New York is wonderful city; it is split into five boroughs – Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island and of course Brooklyn. Brooklyn is the largest and most densely populated; and is home to around 2.3 million people. Over the last decades it has seen an increase of migrants - settling in specific cultural areas. For each pocket there is a different flavour, whether it is Creole, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese or Korean.

I tend to visit the West Indian areas, like on Nostrum, Flatbush or Franklin Avenue. Some would say kind of rough areas but for me it was where I could get the sounds and smells of the Caribbean without actually going there; with each island being represented it was like a home away from home. You can find all sorts of delicates that the reminds to locals of their homeland, like curry roti, sugar cake, coconut tarts, mangoes, sugar cane, poulories, doubles, jerk chicken and pork - the list is almost endless.

For us in the UK this is the best time to visit America as the exchange rate is so favourable; just last week it went up to £1=$2.01 and €1=$1.56 (not sure how this has now changed).

I suppose I'm also lucky as I stay with family and friends when I go, so there aren’t any hotel bills. It's kind of win / win!

Favourite spots:
Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium
My favourite thing to do in New York is shopping; it really doesn’t matter where it just depends on what I’m looking for.

Around Christmas I love to head for Macy’s department store on 34th Street. The window displays are fascinating and there is always at Santa Claus outside collecting for the Salvation Army – it’s just like in the classic film ‘A Miracle on 34th Street’.

Another great department store is Bloomingdales on Lexington Avenue. I’ve only been there once, but I remember the experience being exhilarating and buying a little brown bag as a souvenir. But you can get almost everything here.

I found my way to 14th St as well as Canal St for a little of everything – kind of a bric-a-brac, but fun to interact with New Yorkers.

Then to Fashion Avenue (aka Seventh Avenue), where you find all the clothing retailers/wholesalers for things that are typically 'New Yorkan' fashion.

I love going there for the January sales, where the bargains are usually really great.

What's really great:
Driving through Central Park
Driving through Central Park
Labour Day celebrations are held in Brooklyn and everyone heads for the Eastern Parkway. The carnival atmosphere (known as the West Indian Labour Day Parade) is electric and has a mix of Caribbean music and dance is celebrated on the streets. The event is the largest of its kind in North America and is held in September.

The parade travels along Eastern Parkway, down Utica Avenue and ends at Grand Army Plaza.

They have food stalls that sell West Indian food, with lots and lots of music; specifically soca and calypso which is pumped loudly from trucks passing along the route. Brooklyn really comes alive this weekend.

At 200 Eastern Parkway is the Brooklyn Museum of Arts and at any other time of year is interesting to visit but for carnival it is where the judging of costumes competition takes place.

It's easy to get there, just walk across Brooklyn Bridge or take subway to Crown Heights - Utica Avenue and basically just follow the crowd.

Sights:
The Chryslar Building
The Chryslar Building
I personally didn't find many places of interest in Brooklyn and tended to head for Manhatten Island - to be honest that is where everything is happening:

There are so many things to do and see in New York City, it’s almost impossible to list them, but here goes:

42nd Street, Time Square, Broadway, Carneigh Hall, Central Park, Chinatown, Empire State Building, Ground Zero, Guggenheim Museum, Madison Square Garden, New York City Fire Museum, Prospect Park, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Centre, Staten Island Botanical Gardens, Statue of Liberty, The Chrysler Building, Wall Street, Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn History Museum.

It is also fun to do the TV tours like the Sex in the City or Soprano’s and tour around the city to some of the famous spots where the series were filmed. Then there is attending the taping of a local TV show like the Tonight Show with David Letterman. Well that is if you are into that sort of thing.

Nightlife:
Late night in Brooklyn
Late night in Brooklyn
There are so many nightclubs and bars to go to, but if you look young you must take some ID. A couple of years ago I felt very flattered when I was asked to prove I was over 21 - way cool. I can't remember the name of the club, but it all depends on what sort of music you like to where you end up. It it's also nice to have someone take you to their favourite spot.

Then there is always going to the theatre on 42nd Street or go to a local production off Broadway or even head to Harlem and go to the infamous Apollo theatre. Amateur night can be quite fun.



Restaurants:
JFK
JFK
My favourite restaurant in Brooklyn is Juniors, located downtown. Getting there is quite easy; either take the ‘A’ train to Jay Street and Borough Hall or hail a taxi. A quote from the restaurant says "Hail a taxicab anywhere in New York City and tell the driver, "Take me to the best cheesecake in New York." Odds are you'll end up at the corner of Flatbush and DeKalb Avenues in Brooklyn, at Juniors".

It also possible to drive and there are a few car parks located quite close by, but be sure to check the closing time. I didn’t and ended up have the car locked in over night – nice.

Back to the restaurant, the food is really good, kind of traditional American and the portions are huge – the last time I was in New York I had to walk away with a doggie bag and definitely the cheesecake is to die for.

Juniors Restaurant
386 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 852-5257

Other recommendations:
Abraham Lincoln Memorial
Abraham Lincoln Memorial
I always try to see as much as possible when I visit a country, it’s fun to explore some of the neighbouring states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts or Marlyland and go to the nation’s Capital.

Washington DC is about 228 miles from New York and has a population of over 572k; it is a fascinating place to go. The main things to do is visit Capitol Hill, the White House, the reflecting pool and the Abraham Lincoln Memorial. The 19 foot statue depicts the 16th President and is located on Independence Ave. & 23rd St NW) and is the site of where Martin Luther King Jr made his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech.

To be honest there are many memorials to visit in the area. The White House has a visitors centre which gives an insight into the govement but you have to book before you go. It is located at 1450 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

Published on Monday March 24th, 2008


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Sun, Feb 21 2010 - 03:27 AM rating by porto

Amanda, so good they named it twice! This also would apply here in your report, job well done. :)

Mon, Mar 31 2008 - 03:23 PM rating by eirekay

Amanda, this is excellent and you are absolutely right - New York is best in small doses. Beautifully written and great photos!

Fri, Mar 28 2008 - 07:09 AM rating by jorgesanchez

This report, this report is a wonderful report!

Thu, Mar 27 2008 - 05:26 AM rating by downundergal

I always enjoy your reports as I enjoy your warm chatty style of writing and are always full of travel tips - this one is no different. Thanks again, Kerrie

Tue, Mar 25 2008 - 12:04 PM rating by marianne

Amanda, It was a pleasute to look at your photos , because they show unusual sights. Tip-top report with loads of useful information.

Tue, Mar 25 2008 - 08:58 AM rating by rangutan

Our 26th report about New York yet a lot of new tips. With the good exchange rate and offers like at www.ltur.com for flight&hotel from €500 makes New York truly an attractive shopping spree, or blitz-trip.

Mon, Mar 24 2008 - 01:27 PM rating by christianj.

Amanda, it's always a pleasure for me to read one of your reports - actually this one, because I'm going to visit NY in May; but only for the second time. Although you're not a resident your report is refreshing non-touristy. Even so it would be nice to learn something more about your personal 'insider-tips', especially music-clubs, restaurants and, of course, the hotels you like to stay in. Well, I'm curious about the cheesecake at Juniors Restaurant - I'll definitely go there (if I have the opportunity to)...

Take care, Chrsitian

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