Downtown Brooklyn, which is the central shopping and business area, anchored by Fulton St west of Flatbush Ave, looks similar to the downtown of almost any other major American city, with department stores, clothing and electronic shops, a Borough Hall, two universities, a major railroad station, the Brooklyn Academy of Music concert hall, many office buildings, and municipal, state and federal buildings and courthouses. Many subway and bus lines go to or through Downtown Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Heights is a residential neighborhood with elegant buildings and historic churches. It is an expensive neighborhood to live in, partly because of its great views of the Lower Manhattan skyline. The area's brownstone buildings and shopping district give it a quaint yet thriving feel. This is the richest neighborhood in Brooklyn, and more expensive than parts of Manhattan.
Cobble Hill is a quiet neighborhood of bookstores, shops, and restaurants. Old time Italian neighborhood with great pizza and Italian ices. Great restaurants and quite a number of bars along Court St and Smith St.
DUMBO is an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Once popular with artists for loft space, it has now become popular with a richer, trendier crowd. Walk along the riverfront park for a unique and unforgettable view of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and the Manhattan skyline.
Fort Greene has some great restaurants and the Brooklyn Academy of Music which features an art-house cinema, theater, and concerts.
Almost every line that runs in Brooklyn runs through here. The major station here is Atlantic Ave (sometimes called Pacific St), the biggest station outside Manhattan and a major transfer point. The B (weekdays only), D, M (rush hours only), N, Q, R, 2, 3, 4, and 5 (weekdays only) all stop here. There's little to see around it, but if you need to change trains this is the place to do it.
Another major station is Borough Hall, served by the 2, 3, 4, 5 (weekdays only), and R. This station will put you near most of the attractions.
Clark St, served by the 2 and 3 is the station closest to the Brooklyn Bridge.
The A, C, F, and G also ply parts of this neighborhood, but transferring to or from them can be a pain (although transferring between them can be done more easily). The closest points to transfer between these and the lines stopping at Atlantic Avenue are at Fulton St in Manhattan (which is a very difficult station to navigate), Jay Street/Metrotech (a new transfer has been built between the R and the A, C, and F), and the Franklin Ave shuttle in Bed-Stuy.
Many buses connect Downtown Brooklyn with other neighborhoods of Brooklyn (see a PDF map here , and note the separate inset for Downtown Brooklyn at the upper right corner), but the B51 bus that used to traverse the Manhattan Bridge and connect Downtown Brooklyn with Manhattan was discontinued in the recent round of transit cuts.
Both the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges can be crossed by bicycle and on foot. Wire mesh limits the view from the Manhattan Bridge, and you will be repeatedly rattled by crossing subways, so the Brooklyn Bridge is much more recommended for pedestrians.
Brooklyn Bridge, (Pedestrian access at Tillary and Adams, or via staircase on Prospect Street between Cadman Plaza East and West; Subway: A/C trains to High Street-Brooklyn Bridge, 2/3/4/5 trains to Borough Hall, M/R trains to Court Street-Borough Hall, or F trains to York Street), . Work started in 1870 on the first bridge crossing of the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn, finally completing in 1883 - a 1,595 ft suspension bridge and, as a plaque on it says, a "structure of beauty."edit
Brooklyn Historical Society, 128 Pierrepont St (at Clinton; 2/3/4/5 trains to Borough Hall, A/C/F trains to Jay St-Borough Hall, or M/R trains to Court St-Borough Hall), ☎ +1-718-222-4111 (fax: +1-718-222-3794), . W-F Noon-5PM, Sa 10AM-5PM, Su Noon-5PM (Library open W-F 1PM-5PM, appointments recommended). A museum and library dedicated to the history of Brooklyn.$6, $4 seniors/students/teachers, free for under 12. edit
Micro Museum, 123 Smith St (between Pacific and Dean; F/G trains to Bergen St or A/C trains to Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts), ☎ +1-718-797-3116, . Su-F 9AM-9PM, Sa Noon-7PM. edit
Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), 80 Hanson Pl (at Portland; C train to Lafayette Ave, G train to Fulton St, 2/3/4/5/B/Q trains to Atlantic Ave, or D/M/N/R trains to Pacific St; LIRR: Flatbush Ave), ☎ +1-718-230-0492 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +1-718-230-0246), . W-Su 11AM-6PM. Suggested donation $4, $3 students (16 and under), free for children 12 and under. edit
New York Transit Museum, corner of Boerum Pl and Schermerhorn St (entrance is on the NW cnr through a stairwell going down into the former subway station; 2/3/4/5 trains to Borough Hall, M/R trains to Court St-Borough Hall, A/C/G trains to Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts, or A/C/F trains to Jay St-Borough Hall), ☎ +1-718-694-1600, . Tu–F 10AM-4PM, Sa Su Noon-5PM, closed M and major holidays. A self supporting arm of the MTA, it is housed in the Subway's former Court Street Station, on a spur line from the current A and C lines. Closed to passengers in 1946, it was reopened in 1976 as the New York Transit Exhibit and was popular enough to be made permanent. The museum is made up of two underground levels: the Mezzanine, which hosts exhibits on the construction of the subway, surface transportation in New York, fare collection and rotating exhibits on various transit-related subjects; and the station platform, which houses about 20 retired subway cars dating as far back as 1903 and a working signal tower. The museum sponsors events throughout the year, including simple art projects, walking tours on the subway, and rides on the museums' fleet of retired trains. There is also an annex of the museum in Grand Central Station in Midtown Manhattan.$5, $3 children (3–17) and seniors (62+). Seniors free on W. edit
Bargemusic, at the Fulton Ferry Landing (A/C trains to High St-Brooklyn Bridge or F train to York St), (email@example.com), . A truly hidden gem. This barge, moored permanently just under the Brooklyn Bridge, has chamber music fare every week with cheese, wine, plush seating, a fireplace, and gentle rocking to assist in your peaceful slumber. It also has a dynamite view of the lower Manhattan skyline.edit
Brooklyn Academy of Music, (G train to Fulton St, C train to Lafayette Ave, 2/3/4/5 trains to Nevins St, 2/3/4/5/B/Q trains to Atlantic Ave, or D/M/N/R trains to Pacific St; LIRR: Flatbush Ave), . edit
BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Ave (btwn Ashland and St Felix; G train to Fulton St, C train to Lafayette Ave, 2/3/4/5 trains to Nevins St, 2/3/4/5/B/Q trains to Atlantic Ave, or D/M/N/R trains to Pacific St; LIRR: Flatbush Ave), . A good cinema in an old opera hall. Films shown are in between arthouse and mainstream.edit
St. Ann's Warehouse, 38 Water St (btwn Dock and Main; A/C trains to High St-Brooklyn Bridge or F train to York St), ☎ +1-718-254-8779, . A nondescript building on the corner of Water and Dock Streets, St. Ann's Warehouse delivers consistently impressive avant garde theater.$140 for five shows $119 for four, etc. edit
Halcyon, 57 Pearl St (at Water; F train to York St or A/C trains to High St-Brooklyn Bridge), ☎ +1-718-260-9299, . Tu, Th F Noon-9PM, W, Sa Noon-8PM, Su Noon-6PM, M by appointment. Record store.edit
Sahadi's, 187 Atlantic Ave (btwn Court and Clinton; 2/3/4/5 trains to Borough Hall, M/R trains to Court St-Borough Hall, or F/G trains to Bergen St), ☎ +1-718-624-4550, . M-Sa 9AM-7PM. The most famous purveyor of Middle Eastern foodstuffs in New York City. Across the street, there is another store which is open later. If you like Arab food, don't miss a trip to Atlantic Avenue.edit
Bien Cuit (the Smith St Bakery), 120 Smith St (btwn Pacific and Dean) (F or G to Bergen St), ☎ +1-718-852-0200, . Su-Th 7AM-8PM, F Sa 7AM-9PM. Bien Cuit offers a variety of house-baked breads and pastries served in a central Smith Street location with wifi and Crop to Cup coffee and espresso drinks. edit
Grimaldi's, 19 Old Fulton St (btwn Water and Front; A/C trains to High St-Brooklyn Bridge, F train to York St, or 2/3 trains to Clark St), ☎ +1-718-858-4300, . Su-Th 11:30AM-11PM, F Sa 11:30AM-midnight. Only serves its delicious brick oven pizza by the pie, not the slice, and does not accept credit cards. It's still worth it. For best results, line up before their noon opening time, when their coal oven is at its hottest.edit
Junior's Restaurant and Bakery, 386 Flatbush Ave Extension (at Dekalb Ave; B/Q/R and late night D/N trains to Dekalb Ave, 2/3/4/5 trains to Nevins St, or A/C/G trains to Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts), ☎ +1-718-852-5257, . Su-Th 6:30AM-Midnight, F Sa 6:30AM-2AM. Sure, you can eat their famous cheesecake in Grand Central, but why not try the original? With an ad announcing loud and clear that this is it, it's one of the first places you'll see coming off the Manhattan bridge. Home to what is known as "the most fabulous cheesecake," and also featuring New York deli items like tongue sandwiches, this restaurant has been a Brooklyn favorite for decades. The gracious waiters, dressed immaculately in suits and ties, are part of the atmosphere.edit
Madiba, 195 DeKalb Ave (btwn Carlton and Adelphi; G train to Clinton-Washington Aves or C train to Lafayette Ave), ☎ +1-718-855-9190 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +1-718-855-8610), . South African food in a township chic setting. Enjoy such dishes as Biltong and Droewors, Samosas South African style, Bobotie, and of course, Peri Peri. Accompany dinner with South African wine and finish it off with a milk tart.Splurge. edit
Scopello, 63 Lafayette Ave (at Fulton St; G trains to Fulton St, C trains to Lafayette Ave, 2/3/4/5/B/Q trains to Atlantic Ave, or D/M/N/R trains to Pacific St; LIRR: Flatbush Ave), ☎ +1-718-852-1100, . Su-Th 5PM-11PM, F Sa 5PM-11:30PM. Delicious Sicilian/Italian food, also influenced by Greek, Spanish, and Arabic cuisines. Warm atmosphere. The sardine appetizer is incredible.Dinner is usually under $20.. edit
Yemen Cafe, 176 Atlantic Ave (btwn Court and Clinton Sts; F/G trains to Bergen St, 2/3/4/5 trains to Borough Hall), ☎ +1-718-834-9533. M-Sa 9AM-11PM. Serves as an informal community center for the local Yemeni community, but don't be put off by the social club atmosphere; the staff are very friendly and welcoming, and the food (especially the lamb) is very tasty and inexpensive (two people can pig out for about $40). Note: This is a halal establishment that serves no alcohol and would not be an appropriate place to bring your own. Have the spiced tea, instead.edit
Jacques Torres, 66 Water St (btwn Dock and Main; A/C trains to High St-Brooklyn Bridge or F trains to York St), . M-Sa 9AM-8PM, Su 10AM-6PM. A small chocolatier located on a sparse street in DUMBO near some of Brooklyn's best views of the Manhattan skyline. Go for the goodies, but stay for the "Wicked Hot Chocolate."edit
New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, 333 Adams St (at Fulton; 2/3/4/5 trains to Borough Hall, M/R trains to Court St-Borough Hall or Lawrence St-MetroTech, or A/C/F trains to Jay St-Borough Hall), ☎ +1-718-246-7000 (toll free: +1-800-228-9290, fax: +1-718-246-0563), . checkin: 4PM; checkout: 11AM. The hotel’s luxurious accommodations boast a relaxed but modern atmosphere with state-of-the-art amenities.edit
NU Hotel, 85 Smith St (at Atlantic; A/C/G trains to Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts, F trains to Bergen St or Jay St-Borough Hall, or 2/3 trains to Hoyt St), ☎ +1-718-852-8585 (fax: +1-718-852-8558), . checkin: 3PM; checkout: Noon. $199+. edit
Brooklyn Public Library, 65 locations in Brooklyn, . edit
Business Library, 280 Cadman Plaza W (at Tillary; 2/3/4/5 trains to Borough Hall, M/R trains to Court St-Borough Hall, or A/C/F trains to Jay St-Borough Hall), ☎ +1-718-623-7000. M 10AM-6PM, Tu 1PM-8PM, W 10AM-6PM, Th 1PM-6PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM. edit
Clinton Hill, 380 Washington Ave (at Lafayette; C train to Clinton-Washington Aves or G train to Clinton-Washington Aves), ☎ +1-718-398-8713. M 1PM-8PM, Tu-W 10AM-6PM, Th 1PM-6PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM. edit
Pacific, 25 4th Ave (at Pacific; 2/3/4/5/B/Q trains to Atlantic Ave or D/M/N/R trains to Pacific St; LIRR: Flatbush Ave), ☎ +1-718-638-1531. M-Tu 10AM-6PM, W 1PM-8PM, Th 1PM-6PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM. edit
Walt Whitman, 93 Saint Edwards St (btwn Myrtle and Park; 2/3/4/5 trains to Nevins St or B/M/Q/R trains to DeKalb Ave), ☎ +1-718-935-0244. M-Tu 10AM-6PM, W 1PM-8PM, Th 1PM-6PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM. edit
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