Brooklyn (its name as borough of the city of New York; it is also Kings County, a county of the state of New York), the "Borough of Homes and Churches," is one of the five Boroughs of New York. It used to be and still feels much like a city in its own right, with approximately 2.5 million inhabitants. If separate from the rest of New York City, Brooklyn would be the 4th largest American city.
Brooklyn is situated on the westernmost point of Long Island and shares a land boundary with Queens which partially encircles Brooklyn to the north, east and south; Manhattan lies across the East River to the west and north of Brooklyn and Staten Island is across the Verrazano Narrows to the southwest.
Brooklyn is currently enjoying a period of growth and affluence not seen since before World War II. There's world-class theater at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the center of a proposed new arts district that will include a new art museum and a highly controversial Frank Gehry-designed sports area home for the NBA's Nets. Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Brooklyn's Prospect Park as well as Manhattan's Central Park, thought his Brooklyn creation the finer of the two. Elsewhere in the borough, Williamsburg is a hipster neighborhood and burgeoning art colony, and Brighton Beach is home to New York's largest concentration of Russian immigrants.
Brooklyn was once a separate City independent of the City of New York. The cities merged at the end of the nineneeth century, forever after lamented by Brooklynites as "the Great Mistake of 1898." However, Manhattan is frequently referred to as "the city" by residents of the other boroughs — for example, in the phrase "I'm going to the city." Many Brooklynites have a great deal of pride in their borough and most New Yorkers consider Brooklynites to have an identity distinct from that of other New Yorkers. Be careful not confuse Brooklyn and the Bronx - they are entirely different parts of New York City over 10 miles away from each other.
There are a variety of neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Small Town Brooklyn has a scrollable map of many of them:
Downtown Brooklyn, which is the central shopping and business area, anchored by Fulton St. west of Flatbush Avenue, 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. All subway lines and many 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.
Canarsie is a relatively quiet residential neighborhood. The neighborhood is often described as being the 'small town in the big city'. Canarsie is largely composed of 1 and 2 family houses. The major commercial streets are Rockaway Parkway and parts of Seaview Avenue.
Cobble Hill is a quiet neighborhood of bookstores, shops, and restaurants.
DUMBO is an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Once popular with artists for loft space, 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.
Park Slope Long a haven for interracial families, lesbians and gays, and everyone else with a certain kind of groove in NYC, this upscale but downhome neighborhood can be joked about as the Berkeley of New York City. Boutiques, cafés, bars, health food stores like the 30 year old Park Slope Food Coop . . . and attractive young people pushing strollers. Also home to a sizeable lesbian community since the 1970's. Take the Q to 7th Ave, the R to 9th St, or the F to 4th Ave or 7th Ave and walk the neighbourhood. Prospect Park is large, beautiful and green. Ice-skate here in the winter. Fly kites and enjoy free weekend concerts in the summer. While staying hip and vibrant, "the slope" as it is commonly referred to, also enjoys its share of wealth. The quaint, tree-lined streets closer to the park house ornate, bronwstones, townhouses, full service apartment buildings, and even a few full scale urban mansions on the parkside. These residences include the homes of names such as Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and famed actresses Jennifer Connelly and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Near the park is the Gaslight District, where old gas lights shine by night (and sometimes by day) outside the grand homes. Check out 5th Ave for the restaurants and bars.
Carroll Gardens Historians date the name to the 1960's and the real estate people like to enlarge its borders. It encompasses part of Smith St. and the nearby areas. In the 1950's and further back in time, this area was known as (to the dismay of many!) Red Hook and (as it still is) South Brooklyn. Smith St. has a newly charged restaurant row, but there are still plenty of old school Italian-American gems to be found.
Williamsburg Take L train from Manhattan to Bedford or Lorimer. Many restaurants, several popular music clubs and a burgeoning art gallery district. This is now what Greenwich Village used to be - including the artsy scene complete with eclectic galleries and off-beat bars. Have dinner at Sea (N6th & Bedford) and go to the Royal Oak for a drink (N11th & Union).
East Williamsburg Centered around the Morgan Ave stop on the L train. Seemingly a desolate industrial area, this neighborhood has a strong developing music scene. It is also home to the swinger's club Grego's. Brooklyn's natural food store can be found here.
Bushwick Rich in it's own history, Bushwick is home to many brownstones, mansions, and projects alike. As a low-income neighborhood, shopping can be done on Knickerbocker Avenue, whether for clothes, appliances, or food. The newly restored Maria Hernandez Park on Knickerbocker Ave. and Suydam St. is a nice spot to bring the kids and relax in the shade of the trees. While it's not like it's neighboring "East Williamsburg", Williamsburg, or Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick has it's own sense of community. Not to be confused with anything else.
Prospect Heights, just north of Prospect Park, features the Brooklyn Museum, which is first-rate but often overlooked due to the museums in nearby Manhattan; a block away from the museum is the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Take the 2 or 3 train to Eastern Parkway.
Red Hook is a formerly-bustling industrial area which is on the upswing. Settled in 1636 by the Dutch, it has seen many a boom and bust is today caught between those who like it as the sleepy part of town that time forgot vs. those who seek to restore its crown as the Queen of Kings County Commerce. Red Hook was the setting for Marlon Brando's "On the Waterfront." If you're looking for something off the beaten path, Red Hook is it. Many artists call Red Hook their home, so dont be surprised to see random sculputures, galleries, or creative gardens across from city housing or burned out buildings.
Coney Island Ah, the famous Coney Island. Take the D, F, N, or Q trains to the end to enjoy the beach or amusements or just get your official Nathan's hot dog. The Cyclone, a 1927 roller coaster, is the most famous of the amusement park rides at Coney Island, for good reason: It packs a lot of thrill into a small lot. There is also a great view of Manhattan from the top of the Wonder Wheel (a large ferris wheel). Otherwise, the amusement park is somewhat seedy, which is part of its appeal. http://www.coneyislandusa.com/
Brighton Beach - The largest Russian-speaking community outside of the former USSR. It's unlike any other neighborhood in the city. It can be reached by the Q (local) or B (express) trains by going to Brighton Beach Avenue. Mosey on along the famous boardwalk and have a shashlik (shish-kebob) with a shot of vodka for lunch. Find more information on the experience at Wikipedia's Brighton Beach page .
Bay Ridge Traditionally a residential Irish-Italian-Norwegian neighborhood, Bay Ridge has recently seen an influx of Arab and Russian families as well. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge connects to here from Staten Island, and Fort Hamilton, a United States Army Base, is here as well. There is a great variety of good values in food to be had in this neighborhood, especially on 3rd Av.
Sunset Park contains Brooklyn's main Chinese neighborhood.
Greenpoint At the northwestern tip of Brooklyn, a large Polish population calls this neighborhood home.
Flatbush, formerly a Jewish, Italian, and Irish neighborhood, and before that settled by members of the Dutch Reformed Church, and now a largely Jamaican neighborhood, is the home of Brooklyn College, one of the most beautiful campuses in the area. In the very center is the 18th Century Dutch Reformed Church at the corner of Flatbush and Church Avenues, and its original school house dating to 1787 and originally called Erasmus Hall. Now it is the administration building of the public Erasmus Hall High School, its own building over 100 years old. The neighborhood's eponymous commercial main street, Flatbush Avenue, is the longest street in Brooklyn, going from the Manhattan Bridge on the north to the Gil Hodges Marine Parkway Bridge leading to the Rockaway Peninsula section of Queens on the south.
Midwood is a quiet residential area with some commercial streets, located on the other side of the Brooklyn College campus from Flatbush and extending for some ways to the south. The neighborhood is ethnically mixed, but includes a substantial population of Modern Orthodox Jews and some Chasidim, and many shops are closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays. The area has one of New York City's largest concentrations of beautiful free-standing hundred-year-old Victorian and Edwardian homes. An interesting example of this is the Avenue H station house on the Q subway line, which was first built a century ago as the local real estate office selling these homes. It is a historic site and a unique fixture among the City's subway system. (See The Little Station House in the Woods for more information.)
Sheepshead Bay - Includes restaurants along the Bay and the famous El Greco diner.
Bensonhurst used to be Italian as far as the eye could see, but it now contains Albanian, Pakistani, Korean, Chinese, Mexican, and many Eastern European immigrants as well. The train runs above ground and it is a lively place with an Old New York feel.
Crown Heights is largely a mixture of West Indians and Chasidic Jews. Part of the neighborhood is near the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and the Brooklyn Museum.
Borough Park contains the biggest Chasidic community in the city. You will see lots of kosher food on sale, and shops that are closed every Friday night and Saturday but open on Sunday, due to religious rules. If these things are unfamiliar to you, a trip to Borough Park may be worthwhile.
Bedford-Stuyvesant is a major African-American neighborhood with some African presence. Bed-Stuy, as it is called by most New Yorkers, has been improving and gentrifying lately.
East New York, not a tourist attraction, is still one of New York's most dangerous neighborhoods, though crime is much reduced in recent years. You are very unlikely to do anything in this neighborhood except traverse it on the way from Kennedy Airport (JFK) to points west.
Brownsville is another mainly African-American neighborhood. It is just to the west of East New York, and like East New York, it remains among the more dangerous neighborhoods in New York, though with much-reduced crime statistics in recent years, and does not merit a visit from most tourists.
Kensington is located south of Prospect Park. It is the most diverse neighborhood in Brooklyn and is one of the most diverse in the United States.
From Manhattan, one can take the A, B, C, D, F, J, L, M, N, Q, R, 2, 3, 4, and on weekday rush hours, the 5 and Z, as well. From Queens, one can take the A, F, G, J, M, R, and on weekday rush hours, Z. In order to understand all the subway connections, it is best to download a subway map from the Metropolitan Transit Authority's website or pick one up for free at what New Yorkers still anachronistically call a token booth, even though tokens are no longer on sale or used in the New York subways.
Long Island Railroad
The Long Island Railroad has a major station at Flatbush Av., accessible from the Atlantic Avenue/Pacific Street combined subway stop, served by the 2, 3, 4, 5 (on weekdays), B, D, M, N, Q, and R lines and also near the Lafayette Avenue station of the C train, and the Fulton Street station of the G train. Other LIRR stops in Brooklyn are Nostrand Av. at Atlantic Avenue (served by the A and C subway lines) and East New York (served by the A, C, L, J, and Z). Eastbound trains continue to Jamaica Station in Queens, from where passengers can change to most LIRR lines for points further east or take the AirTrain to John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK).
Brooklyn is covered by an extensive network of MTA buses. Of particular note is the B51 bus, which runs between City Hall in Manhattan and Smith St./Fulton St. in Downtown Brooklyn, via the Manhattan Bridge. The trip is particularly beautiful on the way to Manhattan. Note that the bus operates only on weekdays, with the last bus leaving Smith St./Fulton St. at 7:10 P.M. and from Park Row at 7:40 P.M., according to the current schedule and depending on traffic. See the MTA website for bus maps and schedules of individual bus lines. B39 travels over the East River on the Williamsburg Bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Another route of note is the B15, which runs between JFK Airport and the Woodhull Hospital in South Williamsburg. Service on that route is provided around the clock. Possbily the longest mostly straight-line bus route in Brooklyn is the B41 which runs nearly the length of Flatbush Avenue from the line's northern terminal near Borough Hall just west of Flatbush Avenue itself to Kings Plaza at Avenue U (with a second branch to the Mill Basin area), about 9 miles away. Other long routes run a Limited-Stop service making stops at major intersections and points of interest. Limited-Stop service is provided on the B6, B41, B44 (along Nostrand/Bedford Avenues), B46 (along Utica Avenue) and the B35 (along Church Avenue). That pattern is in effect from around 6.00am to 10.00pm daily on these routes (5.00am-11.30pm on the B46). The B49 has southbound limited-stop service on weekday mornings, mainly tailored for college students traveling to Kingsborough Community College.
One can also take express buses to/from Manhattan ($5 one way). Most express buses serve Southern Brooklyn, for the most part an area that's somewhat subway deprived, especially to the east. The X27 and X28 run daily from around 6.00am to 11.30pm. Other express routes run everyday except Sunday.
The connections between Queens and Brooklyn are too numerous to mention. This is because the two boroughs share a land boundary, so almost every street on the border just continues into the other borough. (Prior to 1990, the street signs in each borough had different colors, but they have since become all green - with the exception of brown signs for historic streets - and can no longer be useful in distinguishing between the boroughs.)
The Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Bridges link Manhattan and Brooklyn, and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge links Staten Island and Brooklyn. Of those, only the Verrazano is a toll bridge. There is also a toll tunnel, the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, which links Brooklyn with the Battery (the southern tip of Manhattan).
Foot or Bicycle
All the bridges between Brooklyn and Manhattan are now accessible to both pedestrians and cyclists. Prospect Park has a main road which is closed to cars on the weekend and open to bicycles. There are numerous bicycle paths in the Park. Along New York Bay to the southwest, there are many sections where one can bicycle.
The Water Taxi, at Fulton Ferry Landing , will transport you to Brooklyn from various points along the East River.
You can cross the Brooklyn Bridge on foot
The Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch in Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn Bridge - 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."
Grand Army Plaza - the gateway to Prospect Park, laid out in 1870. The Soldiers and Sailors Arch was added in 1892 as a memorial to the victorious Union Army. The Plaza itself is a large traffic circle surrounded by trees, apartment buildings, the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library itself a large distinctive landmark building, and a memorial bust of President John F. Kennedy. Each June, Grand Army Plaza is the focus for the Welcome Back to Brooklyn Festival for those who lived in the borough.
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, Subway: 2, 3, Eastern Parkway / Brooklyn Museum, tel (718) 638-5000, admission: suggested contribution adults $8, students with valid ID $4, adults 65 and over $4, members and children under 12 free, open We-Fr 10am-5pm, Sa-Su 11am-6pm - housed in a 560,000-square-foot, Beaux-Arts building, the Brooklyn is the 2nd largest art museum in New York City and one of the largest in the USA. Its world-renowned permanent collections include more than one million objects, from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, and represent a wide range of cultures. Only a 30-minute subway ride from midtown Manhattan, with its own newly renovated subway station, the Museum is part of a complex of 19th century parks and gardens that also includes Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Prospect Park Zoo. On the first Saturday of each month, the museum is open until 11pm with free admission and special events.
Hogar Collection, 111 Grand Avenue (L train to Bedford Ave., located between Berry and Wythe), Phone: 718 388 5022, Hours: 12:00-7:00 Thursday through Monday (and/or by appointment), founded and run by artists (Todd Rosenbaum and Cecilia Biagini) American and International (especially from South America) emerging artists working in all contemporary artmaking practices including painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, installation, sound and video.
Parks and gardens
Cherry blossoms in bloom at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.
Prospect Park - established in 1867 and laid out by Olmsted and Vaux, the designers of Manhattan's Central Park. The Long Meadow is the largest continuous band of green space in New York.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1000 Washington Avenue - not vast at 50 acres, but well worth a visit. Designed by the Olmsted Brothers in 1910. Includes an authentic Japanese garden, donated by the government of Japan, and the Cranford Rose Garden.
Bargemusic, at the Fulton Ferry Landing.  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.
There are also many concerts at churches and synagogues (for example in Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope), as well as at colleges (such as Brooklyn College and New York Technical College). Check the listings in newspapers like the New York Press and Village Voice, which also have websites.
St. Ann's Warehouse, 38 Water St., DUMBO.  A nondescript building on the corner of Water and Dock Streets, St. Ann's Warehouse delivers consistently impressive avant garde theater, at the nice price.
Brooklyn Cyclones, New York Mets single-A minor league team, which plays in Coney Island right next to the Boardwalk.
Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge -- or if you prefer, the Manhattan or Williamsburg Bridge. The Brooklyn Bridge itself is beautiful, and the view is splendid.
Walk along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade for great views of Manhattan.
Take TheBrooklynTour.com, ☎ 1-800-979-3370 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . a comprehensive 3 hour guided tour of Brooklyn's food and culture. $75.
Visit some of Brooklyn's places of worship, including the Kane Street Synagogue (236 Kane Street, 718-875-1550), built in 1856, or the East Midwood Jewish Center (1625 Ocean Avenue; 718-338-3800), on the State and National Registers of Historic Places and home to weekly religious services and cultural happenings.
Sahadi's, on Atlantic Av., is 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 Av.
Cog & Pearl 190 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. A great place to find high quality hand-made designer items. A one-stop shop for last minute gifts.
Brooklyn Superhero Supply Store. It is what it says it is. Also home of 826NYC .
As the birth place of hip-hop culture New York has hundreds of records stores scattered around the area. Also, though vinyl has disappeared from the shelves of regular record stores, many stores still sell used and new vinyl.
Halcyon, 57 Pearl St., in DUMBO.
Earwax Records, 218 Bedford Ave., in Williamsburg.
SEA In a spacious and lively setting, complete with a reflecting pool and Buddha statues, you'll find some of the best Thai food---especially for the money---in the city. All of the curries are highly recommended, as are the emerald vegetable dumplings with black plum sauce and the exotic green salad with mesclun, bean sprouts, taro chips and peanut dressing. DJ's join the fray in the evenings.114 North Sixth Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York 718-384-8850
Bogota Latin Bistro Pan-Latin cuisine ranging the south American continent with main dishes from Colombia. Full service bar featuring New York's best mojitos, imported Latin American beers and wines, Bogota has become a dining favorite among Latinos and non-Latinos alike. Located along 5th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Bogota serves great food and drinks in a fun, funky and festive environment. Great happy hour and live music. Bogota Latin Bistro 141 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217, 718-230-3805; Bogota Latin Bistro website
Peter Luger Steak House Rated New York's No. 1 Steak House for 23 years in a row by Zagats! Located on Broadway, this over 100 year-old establishment offers the best steak in America.
Taci's Beyti Well-priced, fantastic Turkish restaurant located in Gravesend. Fast service; BYOB. Worth the trip, and a good opportunity to explore other areas of Brooklyn if you're staying in the Slope or the Heights.
8th Avenue (or Third Chinatown) Stretching from 50th Street to 62nd Street, the avenue holds its own against Canal Street and Flushing. Five-star gourmet restaurants to alleyway noodle shops, Malaysian to Vietnamese and fare from every Chinese province, the neighborhood has it all. Closest subway is the N-line's '8th Avenue' stop on 62nd and 8th.
Hunan Delight Neighborhood Chinese restaurant; excellent Vegetarian options (fake meat, etc) and sweet and sour soup. 748 Union St (between 5th and 6th Ave) in Park Slope. Subway F to 7th Ave. Delivers, 718-789-1400.
Schnack, 122 Union St, ("Gateway to Red Hook"), . Very yummy, very affordable burgers, dogs, sausages, and of course beer. Check out the menu online. Everything is fresh and well-chosen, the owner a big friendly guy (who likes to edit wikis), even if the waiters/waitresses are a bit abrupt (hopefully nicer now!). DIRECTIONS: From Smith St walk along Union St. against the traffic about 5 Blocks. From Atlantic walk down towards the water, left on Columbia, (go about 10 blocks) and then Left on Union. Or call 718 855 2879. Schnack has Free WiFi.
Junior's Restaurant and Bakery, 386 Flatbush Avenue Extension at Dekalb Avenue. Home to what is known as 'the most fabulous cheesecake', this restaurant has been a Brooklyn favorite for decades. It is located in Downtown Brooklyn.
Geido Restaurant, 331 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217. Excellent sushi bar in Prospect Heights. (718) 638-8866
Scopello, 63 Lafayette Ave (at Fulton St, near BAM in Fort Greene), . Delicious Sicilian / Italian food, also influenced by Greek, Spanish, and Arabic cuisines. Warm atmosphere. Dinner is usually under $20. The sardine appetizer is incredible. (718) 852-1100
Di Fara's Pizzeria, Av. J and 15th St. (a half block from the Av. J stop on the Q local train), is an old-school pizzeria. You will wait for Dom, the only pizzaiolo in the shop, to painstakingly make your pizza or calzone. It will be worth the wait. People returning to the neighborhood for a visit after moving to the four corners of the world stop by here to indulge their nostalgia for quality that never wavers. This is not really cheap pizza, but it is very good pizza. Toppings include baby artichokes, porcini when available, and baby eggplant, as well as more usual toppings that are unusually good. Don't let the worn appearance of the shop's exterior fool you.
L & B Spumoni Gardens, 2725 86th St ., is consistently rated one of the best pizzerias in the city. (718) 449-1230
Grimaldi's, 19 Old Fulton St. , located near Fulton Ferry Landing and DUMBO, only serves its delicious brick oven pizza by the pie, not the slice, and does not accept credit cards. It's still worth it. (718) 858-4300
Yemen Cafe, 176 Atlantic Av. (between Court and Clinton Sts.), (718) 834-9533, 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 very inexpensive ($13 for enough food for two people with hearty appetites).
John's Deli, 2438 Stillwell Ave, +1-718-714-4377. Great roast beef heroes.
Long Tan, 196 5th Avenue (between Union and Berkeley, West side of the street), . Excellent Thai/Fusion in Brooklyn's wonderful Park Slope. Truly inspired dark and stormys to drink, as well.
The Grocery, 288 Smith Street(between Union Street and Sackett Street). A tiny spot in the middle of Smith Street's restaurant row, with outstanding American food and caring service. Reservations highly recommended.
The Chip Shop, 383 5th Avenue  serves some of the best English Fish and Chips outside of London.
Press 195, 195 5th Avenue  serves 30 unique Panini's (including the ability to create your own Panini) in a high end style. Press 195 has a fantastic outside seating area that is ideal for enjoying great sandwiches on a sunny day.
Bonnie's Grill, 278 5th Avenue serves the best burger in Park Slope, and quite possibly, in all of Brooklyn (it matches Peter Luger's burger). The burgers are spiced nicely, and served alongside nice fries that go well with chipotle mayo. Bonnie's buffalo wings are also something worth savoring. 718-369-9527
Buttermilk 577 5th Ave. and 16th St. The main local for South Slope folk. Free pizza on Wednesdays. Sadly, the photoboth has been taken away.
Commonwealth 497 Fifth Ave and 12th St. A new bar worth looking into in southern Park Slope. Good Juke box.
Great Lakes 284 5th Ave and 1st. St. A Park Slope best, but a bit too crowded on the weekends.
Tea Lounge, 837 Union St. (Park Slope). +1 718 789 2762. By now it's a tried and true formula: a big room with lots of thrift-shop couches, an Italian coffee machine and the expertise to use it to make a well crafted mocha, pastries, bagels etc. and a nice selection of wine. It works great here as it should everywhere. Throw in cool ceiling fans and free wireless Internet access and you're set for a great morning windup to NYC sightseeing. $2 regular coffee
Loki Lounge, 304 5th Ave, Park Slope. A sports bar with a pool table in the front, and a pleasant lounge in the back with many sunken but elegant couches. This lounge has a good atmosphere for a date or a group of friends almost any size.
Patio Lounge, 179 5th Ave, Park Slope. A wine bar that makes a great sangria. It has a very relaxed atmosphere and the music is soft enough to allow talking. On the weekends there is a DJ providing an eclectic mix of music. Out back there is a very nice garden area that is especially nice during the warmer months. The best part is that they will even let you order take out to the bar and eat it out back! Patio only serves wine, beer and sake, but if you are looking for something with more of a kick ask for the Japanese "rice vodka".
Total Wine Bar, 74 5th Ave, Park Slope. A very upscale but reasonably priced wine bar that also serves fine cheeses among other small plates. The atmosphere is excellent for a date or just a great place to hang out with a few friends. It is not particularly conducive to larger groups however.
Barbes, 376 9th St. (Right at the corner of 6th avenue), Park Slope, . A truly wonderful neighborhood bar and live music venue. Barbes tends tends to bring in bands that play early swing, Balkan brass bands (which are fabulous), and singer/songwriter types. The shows tend to be very high quality, and the drinks are reasonable, and well made. The help is extremely friendly, and will make you feel at home in no time.
Jacques Torres, 66 Water St., DUMBO, . A small chocolatier located on a sparse street near some of Brooklyn's best views of the Manhattan skyline. Go for the goodies, but stay for the "Wicked Hot Chocolate."
Barcade, 388 Union Ave, Williamsburg, . Features at least 30-40 classic 70s and 80s arcade games, all for 25 cents! Also has 20 microbrews on tap and specialty beer nights. Many girls actually go there too!
Marriott Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, 333 Adams St., (718) 246-7000, (718) 246-0563 (fax), (800) 228-9290 (toll-free), in Downtown Brooklyn .
Holiday Inn Express Brooklyn, 625 Union St., (718) 797-1133, near Park Slope. .