THE BEST OF BROOKLYN
—Boasting a Brand New Cruise Ship Terminal, World-Class Museums and Much More, this New York City Borough is a Top Visitor Destination—
New York, NY (August 1, 2006) – All eyes are on Brooklyn with the recent opening of the new state-of-the-art Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook. With the addition of the new port, New York City’s cruise ship terminals are set to welcome more than 1 million cruise passengers annually, and Brooklyn will be a gateway for thousands of visitors to explore one of the city’s most beloved and storied boroughs that is home to some of New York’s greatest treasures.
What’s New in Brooklyn
The new Brooklyn Cruise Terminal opened April 15 and will be the gateway to New York City for thousands of cruise passengers annually. The terminal will be the home port to Cunard Lines’ Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2, and Princess Cruise Lines’ Crown Princess and Star Princess. Cruises departing from Brooklyn travel to England, Canada, New England, and the Caribbean.
Launched earlier this year, visitors can now get borough bargains with the Brooklyn Pass (877-714-1999, www.brooklynpass.com), a 2-day passport that offers admission to Brooklyn’s top attractions for just $25. In addition to admission at attractions including the Brooklyn Museum and New York Aquarium, the pass also includes value-added features such as a free slice of cheesecake at Juniors and a complimentary tour and glass of beer at the Brooklyn Brewery.
Arts and Culture
This fall the Brooklyn Academy of Music (718-636-4111, www.bam.org) in Fort Greene hosts the Next Wave Festival, an annual showcase of contemporary creative expression with 18 world-class events from October 3 through December 18. Plans are under way for the development of the Theatre for a New Audience, a 299-seat cultural facility designed by Frank Gehry and Hugh Hardy in the emerging Brooklyn Academy of Music Cultural District. The district is expected to house 15-20 cultural organizations once complete.
The Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway, 718-638-5000, www.brooklynmuseum.org) is the second largest museum in New York City with more than 1.5 million objects in its permanent collection will present Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005 from October 20 through January 21, 2007 featuring iconic images of public figures such as Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson and Nelson Mandela (718-638-5000, www.brooklynmuseum.org). The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (718-230-0492, www.mocada.org) is Brooklyn’s first and only museum dedicated to the art of emerging, mid-career and established artists of the African Diaspora. To learn about the fascinating history of public transportation in the Big Apple stop by The New York Transit Museum (718-694-1600, www.mta.info/mta/museum/), which is housed in a historic, decommissioned 1936 subway station and features engaging exhibits such as The Triborough Bridge Robert Moses and the Automobile Age on view through April 2008.
Kids of all ages love to take a break in Brooklyn. Located in the neighborhood of Crowne Heights, one mile from Grand Army Plaza, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum (718-735-4400, www.brooklynkids.org), was the world’s first museum for children when it opened in 1899. The Jewish Children’s Museum (718-467-0600, www.jcm.museum) gives kids the opportunity to learn about Jewish history and traditions in a fun, interactive environment. Permanent exhibits include a kosher supermarket and a discovery synagogue.
The great outdoors provides plenty of opportunity for bonding. Prospect Park offers fantastic activities with a carousel, the Leffert’s Homestead Children’s House Museum, an 18th century farmhouse; and the Prospect Park Zoo (718-399-7339, www.prospectparkzoo.com), home to kangaroos, Gila monsters, and more. Nearby, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (718-623-7200, www.bbg.org) is the perfect backdrop for family photos with the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden and Cranford Rose Garden.
Coney Island appeals to the young at heart with its legendary boardwalk, Nathan’s hot dogs, and Astroland Amusement Park (718-265-2100, www.astroland.com). Enjoy thrills on the Cyclone, the most famous rollercoaster in the world, or rides such as Dante’s Inferno. Afterwards, head to the New York Aquarium (718-265-3474, www.nyaquarium.com) and marvel at the jellyfish, sharks, beluga whales, walruses, and sea otters.
Reminders of yesteryear still exist throughout Brooklyn. Dating to 1653, the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House Museum (www.wyckoffassociation.org) is the oldest structure in New York State. Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-4pm April-October, the museum showcases Dutch colonial New York. Built in 1825, the Harbor Defense Museum (718-630-4349, www.harbordefensemuseum.com) is on the National Register of Historic Places. Marvel at the military history displays of army uniforms, weapons, cannons, and munitions; models and dioramas of New York soldiers; and artifacts relating to Fort Hamilton and the defense of New York City.
The Green-Wood Cemetery (718-788-7850, www.green-wood.com), established in 1838, spans 474 acres and is the final resting place for nearly 600,000 people including notable New Yorkers Jean-Michel Basquiat and Leonard Bernstein. Founded in 1863, the Brooklyn Historical Society (718-222-4111, www.brooklynhistory.org) houses the most comprehensive collection of Brooklyn-related materials in existence.
A Destination for Dining
The romantic River Café (718-522-5200, www.rivercafe.com) offers panoramic views of the New York skyline and harbor, and a fabulous menu featuring creative American cuisine. Nearby, Pete’s Downtown (718-858-3510, www.petesdowntown.citysearch.com), has served Italian fare since 1894. Another Italian favorite is Mambo Italiano (718-833-4432, www.mambo-italiano.com) featuring house specialties such as manicotti and penne vodka served family style.
Looking for the perfect USDA prime? Then make a reservation at Peter Luger Steak House (718-387-7400, www.peterluger.com) in Williamsburg. In business since 1897, this New York favorite draws in diners with porterhouses, strip steaks and filet mignons. Down the street, the Brooklyn Brewery (718-486-7422, www.brooklynbrewery.com) provides a selection of lagers, pilsners, ales, and more.
Have a sweet tooth? Indulge at Jacques Torres Chocolate (718-875-9992, www.mrchocolate.com), a factory and store specializing in handcrafted chocolates free of preservatives and artificial flavors. Or stop by Tumbador Chocolate (718-788-0200, www.tumbadorchocolate.com) where pastry chef Jean-Francios Bonnet creates fine chocolate delicacies.
Explore the best of Brooklyn with a tour of this diverse and fascinating borough. Gray Line New York (212-445-0848, www.graylinenewyork.com) takes travelers on the Brooklyn Loop via Gray Line Trolley, encouraging them to hop on and hop off, allowing ample time to enjoy the Brooklyn Museum, the Antique Furniture District, Fulton Mall, Grand Army Plaza, and other stops. Bike the Big Apple (201-837-1133, www.bikethebigapple.com) takes a more active approach with the Brooklyn Bridge and Skyline at Twilight Bike Tour which takes guests over the bridge.
Fill your belly as you take a bite out of Brooklyn on A Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour (917-678-9733, www.asliceofbrooklyn.com), the city's only guided bus tour of Brooklyn's best pizzerias. Taste the goods from top-ranked pizzerias while exploring some of Brooklyn’s most unique neighborhoods including DUMBO, Red Hook, Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Coney Island and more.
Savory Sojourns (212-691-7314, www.savorysojourns.com) appeals to foodies with its Atlantic Avenue itinerary that highlights Middle Eastern shops, bakeries and restaurants in the area. Discover the many sides of Williamsburg and the Jewish history of Flatbush with Timeline Touring (800-758-0098, www.timelinetouring.com), or enjoy a fascinating journey through Brooklyn's mosaic of ethnic neighborhoods with New York Visions (212-391-0900, www.harlemspirituals.com). Take a guided tour with Big Onion Walking Tours (212-439-1090, www.bigonion.com) through Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights or Prospect Park.
Where to Stay
On the accommodations front, Brooklyn offers visitors a variety of places to lay their heads at night. The Best Western Gregory Hotel (718-238-3737, www.bestwestern.com), located in Bay Ridge, is within a short walking distance to restaurants, lounges, shopping, and entertainment. The Days Inn Brooklyn (718-853-4141, www.daysinn.com) in Sunset Park is a short distance from all major Brooklyn attractions, as is the Holiday Inn Express due to open in Park Slope this summer. The New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge (718-246-7000, www.brooklynmarriott.com) in Downtown Brooklyn is located within Renaissance Plaza, and adjacent to Metro Tech Center, with nine major subway lines all within one block. The full-service hotel plans to expand by adding 282 guest rooms in 2006.
Planning a trip to this borough is simple and easy with assistance from the Brooklyn Tourism & Visitors Center (718-802-3846, www.visitbrooklyn.org). Visit the Brooklyn Visitors Center at Borough Hall to speak with a visitor counselor and pick up information on sites and attractions throughout the borough. For information about cultural events and opportunities throughout Brooklyn, contact the BRIC/Brooklyn Information & Culture (www.brooklynx.org, 718-855-7882). For more information on Brooklyn and other New York City boroughs, log on to nycgo.com.