Thursday, June 23, 2011

Brooklyn: The Other New York


View of Brooklyn Botanic Garden

New York is truly a city that never sleeps. There are few places like it. While London comes closest to describing its vitality and Berlin has many of the same cultural activities, New York is genuinely distinct and apart from these other great cities.

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Bug Sculpture in Children's Garden
However, one problem I have with New York is the feeling that I need to continually do things while I'm there. All that “doing” can be tiring, and it's nice to take a break. But where do you go to escape all that energy? Central Park is nice, but it's too exciting to be restful, even on weekdays.

I go to Brooklyn, and my favorite neighborhoods are Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights. These places have many of the same amenities that make Manhattan wonderful, including plenty of restaurants, cafes and shops, but they also have quiet, tree lined streets with less noise and traffic.

Enjoying summer at BBG
If I'm really in need of an urban break, I go to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, in the heart of Brooklyn. It's seldom crowded, and it's an oasis from all the grit and grime of the city. It's hard to imagine you're in the middle of a huge metropolis while surrounded by trees and grassy knolls. And for the record, the cafe in the Garden turns out to be an affordable restaurant with a rather good salad nicoise. So next time you're in New York don't forget Brooklyn.

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