I’ve been staying in NYC since the end of May, and needless to say, I fell in love with the city – I’ve never met anyone who’s been here and hasn’t.
I’m staying in Queens at my friend’s place – I would start most of my days with a cup of coffee from a coffee shop next to Jamaica Center and head off to Manhattan – Soho, East Village and Midtown being my favourite places. In fact, I’ve been spending so much time there that I started to think I wasn’t giving the rest of NYC enough attention so today I decided to explore Brooklyn. I didn’t want to do the boring touristy stuff and concentrate on the main attractions – when I travel I like to get to know the ‘real’ city, so instead I decided to stroll around, take it all in and just enjoy the atmosphere.
I started off in the Carroll Street/3rd Ave area, a wonderfully eclectic mixture of tree-lined streets, charming brownstone houses and rusty, industrial estates and quirky antique stores.
I stopped at Film Biz Prop Shop on 540th President Street, a warehouse turned shop, filled with random and really cool film & TV props that would otherwise be thrown away after the shoot. You can find some amazing things there – remember when you were a kid and used to rummage around your Grandma’s attic? Walking around this store gives you a similar feeling 🙂 Here are some of the things I particulary liked:
I then took a stroll down the Carroll Street, paid a quick visit to the artsy Clariware Pottery and stopped by Proteus Gowanus Gallery – unfortunately, it turned out the place is closed till September so I just looked around and continued on to the Carroll St. Bridge. There’s an interesting river view facing a local factory and you can see red-brick apartment blocks peeking over the factory buildings.
A quick train ride took me to Fort Greene – but if you take a G train in the opposite direction, towards Church Ave, you will see amazing views of Brooklyn with Manhattan’s skyscrapers skyline – they are particularly pretty once you’re passing Smith Street station.
Walking down Fulton Street, I found this really cute Cuban cafe called Habana Outpost– they serve tasty smoothies and there are free movie screenings every Sunday at 8 PM. I love the vibrant colours and the lively atmosphere – it’s a perfect place to relax on a hot sunny day!
Another train ride and I was walking down the Front Street in Dumbo, a quiet street with a slight bohemian feel, packed with galleries, bars and lots of quirky stores, tucked near the Brooklyn Bridge. As I was walking down Front Street towards the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, I stopped at this vintage store called Miritika Boudoi’r, whose lovely owner told me about the Gallery Walk that takes place in Dumbo every first Thursday of the month– basically, all galleries and art studios are open to the public free of charge, from around 5:30PM till late at night. There’s music, drinks, and you can meet the artists – it sounds great and I will definitely be there on Thursday, 4th August!
I finished my walk at the Brooklyn Heights Promenade – I recommend this place particularly at night, when you can see the Manhattan skyline in its full glory, with shining lights and the Brooklyn Bridge lit up – it looks magical:
I finished my day at Pete’s Candy Store, a bar/pub in Williamsburg, where I enjoyed an evening of poetry reading. From the outside, the bar looks slightly grubby and inconspicuous, but once you walk inside you will love the friendly, relaxing atmosphere – the narrow corridors and dim lights create this nice, cosy feeling – it’s a great place to listen to live music, poetry readings and mingle with a really friendly, mostly local, crowd.