August 7, 2011

Thoughts on Brooklyn...

New York City can be overwhelming, but it is also a rewarding place to travel to. It is a vast city with many distinctly different neighborhoods, a diverse population, and fabulous food. I have visited the borough of Manhattan many times and am fairly familiar with my favorite areas. However, there are four other boroughs - Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island - of which I knew very little. So, I am glad that on our trip I was able to explore a bit of one of these parts of the city.

I found Brooklyn very welcoming - almost like a less busy and more relaxed version of its neighbor to the west (Manhattan). During the few days we were visiting this area of New York we stayed in the neighborhood of Park Slope. I loved the brownstones on tree-lined streets here and the shops, cafes, and restaurants along 5th Avenue. It felt like a homey neighborhood with parents out for a walk with their kids, neighbors stopping to say to chat, and people going about their daily lives.

In Park Slope we enjoyed relaxing at a local cafe, dinner and wine at Al Di La Vino, and some fantastic treats at The Chocolate Room. (More about chocolate in New York City soon.)

I also enjoyed wandering around the Williamsburg neighborhood. This part of Brooklyn seemed somehow edgier - a place where you can find something cool, new, and almost undiscovered. This is where we walked by tattoo shops, clothing boutiques, and cafes. This neighborhood is home to Diner (where we enjoyed a fabulous dinner) and Dressler (a fashionable restaurant and bar where we stopped for a glass of wine one night). There was definitely an energetic vibe in this neighborhood - not the high energy hustle of Manhattan, but a strong feeling of local culture and a spirit of innovation.

And then our short visit to Brooklyn had to come to a close leaving other areas of this cool borough unexplored. I hope to be able to return to Brooklyn sometime soon to have the opportunity to experience some of the other neighborhoods, spend more time in Park Slope and Williamsburg, and visit The Chocolate Room again...

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