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Whenmagazine Travel writer Carol Andrews recent travels.
Are You Cool Enough for Brooklyn?
When most people think of New York, they think about Times Square, the Yankees, crowded streets, subways and big department stores. Spending a long weekend in the Big Apple is a trip everyone should do sometime in his or her life. However, if you have “been there, done that” or are one of those travelers who likes to get off the beaten path, you might want to consider trendy Brooklyn.
Brooklyn has become a not so hidden gem outside Manhattan where the cool kids live and hang out. Just a short L train ride away, Brooklyn offers a chance to eat, listen to music, shop and hang out away from the crowds and tourists.
Brooklyn is one of the 5 boroughs of New York with 2.5 million residents. Manhattan has about 1.6 million, but add in all those business commuters and on a typical day hosts over 3.6 million. Keep in mind Manhattan’s land mass is not nearly as large as Brooklyn, so the city can be packed with tons of people. The Williamsburg neighborhood is particularly hip. I recently visited for a long weekend and found Williamsburg to be a charming mix of old and new restaurants, bars and shops. I stayed at the Hotel Jolie, which was very reasonably priced with modern rooms and a convenient location.
If you are into vintage clothing and other items you will not be disappointed here. Check out 10 Ft. Single. I have never seen so many vintage jackets anywhere! Brooklyn Denim Company is another favorite of the locals with tons of jeans to pick from, plus they do alterations and fix any holes you may get in them from wearing them everyday. I am not cool enough to pull off a hat (unless it is a boring visor), but if you are, pop into Goorin Brothers and try some on. The guys in there are beyond cool, and will help you find the perfect hat to unleash your inner Bruno Mars.
There are so many shops in this area you could spend days going in and out of cute, little stores, so you may need some food and drink to keep up your strength….
Radegast Hall and Biergarten is fun place to wet your whistle. Serving 22 beers on tap and over 58 bottled beers, with tables made of 150 year old beams, this beer hall feels more authentic than the ones in Austria! Of course they serve food too and often have live music. If you are part of the brunch crowd try Allswell or Sweet Chick. Even this Southern girl was impressed with their chicken and waffles.
One of the best restaurants around for lunch and dinner is Rye. The meatloaf sandwich is to die for, or try the grass fed ribeye, short ribs and brussel sprouts. If you eat here, ask for John for attentive, friendly service.
You can see that Brooklyn is a hotspot, but you can always head into the city to take in a Broadway show then head back to finish the night with some music and a nightcap at St. Mazzie’s or the Knitting Factory.
Spending a weekend here may not be the most “touristy” option, but staying here makes you feel more like a real New Yorker. Brooklyn is the best of both worlds really with an authentic feel infused with a young, hipster vibe. Your “it” factor will go up a few notches after visiting here for just a couple of days.
Whenmagazine travel writer Carol Andrews…