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Can of worms?!

Carlisle, United...
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Can of worms?!

Hiya Guys,

I've visited NYC a couple of times (having fabulous trips EVERY time!) and I've been reading all your tips/ trips avidly for this time visit in November.

I'm hoping I'm going to get chance to explore a little more this time round, so I'm wondering if there's one of the suburbs that you would recommend we head to first? Harlem/ Brooklyn/ Bronx/ anywhere else?! I know this is a big ask, as I'm sure you'll all have different views!

It might be worth mentioning, that this time I'm travelling with my 60yr old (but young at heart) mam, but I'm a 34yr old independent traveller who likes fun and to explore and not afraid to go a bit further. I want to see a bit more of the "real" NYC, but safely too. I'm going to do some of the usual tourist stuff (as it's mams first trip to your amazing city), but would like some advice for something a bit more for myself.

Thanks in advance!

New York NY
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1. Re: Can of worms?!

Brooklyn is a huge borough and it is very diverse.

Brooklyn is very much becoming the "in" place to go for dining and shopping. Home prices and rents are rising at a much faster rate in some Brooklyn neighborhoods than Manhattan. Brooklyn is red hot now.

There are still some sections of Brooklyn that haven't been transformed.

The real New York lies outside Times Square. I live in Manhattan (born and raised) but I love to go into Brooklyn for great food. New York used to be (and still is) the culinary capital of the world but it is becoming just all too fabulous. Sometimes I'm craving something really good without all the fabulousness. Sometimes I want something called value for money (a concept becoming more and more unfamiliar in Manhattan).

One of my favorite Brooklyn neighborhoods is Carroll Gardens - awesome. Smith Street - OMG! Such great restaurants and shops and bars / lounges / wine bars. Fun, casual, relaxed, reasonably priced, down to earth, easy to get to. Smith Street from say roughly Third Street north to Atlantic Avenue is where its at. The next block west of Smith St. is Court St. and it too has some great restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges, wine bars, dessert places, etc. The F train to Bergen St. is best for the restaurants along Smith St. I particularly liked Lunetta a couple weeks ago - very good Italian food and wine. www.lunetta-ny.com/

Park Slope is another great place. F train to 7th Avenue station. I love the area now known as South Slope which is sort of south of 9th Street I guess. I do not know the delineations so I'd rather leave this to the Brooklyn locals. I think of 7th Avenue between Union St. and roughly 3rd, 4th or 5th as the heart of Park Slope and then as the streets get higher in number I tend to think of it as South Slope (what does a Manhattanite know about Brooklyn though) : )

I've had good luck at Brookvin (for wine) and Fonda (for solid Mexican cuisine) www.brookvin.com/ www.fondarestaurant.com/

5th Avenue in Park Slope is another great place for eating and drinking.

There are two locations of a place called The Chocolate Room. One in Carroll Gardens and one in Park Slope. Really worth a visit. www.thechocolateroombrooklyn.com/

Then there is Williamsburg. L train to Bedford Avenue. Too many great places to list but I really like Miranda. www.mirandarestaurant.com/

Do you want Neopolitan pizza that will blow you away? Forcella. L train to Lorimer Street. www.forcellaeatery.com/

Greenpoint is fantastic too - the area around the Nassau Avenue subway station on the G train is great. Five Leaves is excellent. www.fiveleavesny.com/

Another good area is the neighborhood along Lafayette Avenue from Fulton Street to Washington Avenue.

Brooklyn Heights is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in New York City and it has stunning views across the river of the downtown skyline.

Astoria (Queens) is fun to explore. Malagueta for Brazilian cuisine - so good. malaguetany.com/

These places will give you a taste of the real New York.

All of these neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens are very safe.

If you are looking to further afield, Princeton New Jersey is lovely.

Greenwich Connecticut is nice.

Cold Spring NY on the Metro-North train is a very nice train in the Hudson Valley. Tarrytown NY is also interesting.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Can of worms?!

Those areas are not suburbs - they are all part of New York City which has 5 boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island.

Harlem is a neighborhood, among many, in Manhattan.

Great info in the post above but also get yourself a good guidebook and have a look at a map so you can see where things are located and you can then group together the sites you want to see.

The subway runs in all the boroughs except for Staten Island for which you can take a free ferry across from lower Manhattan.

Guidebook and a map is a good starting point. One that has information on all of NYC.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Can of worms?!

First, we Do have "suburbs" but there are in New Jersey, Westchester country, and "Long Island" (Nassau, Suffolk counties) and perhaps Connecticut. So you really do mean "neighborhoods/boroughs" of New York City proper.

As to where? It depends what you want. A large part of Brooklyn is (IMHO) an extension of Manhattan, really, such as WIlliamsburg, ParkSlope, etc. These are largely middle/upper middle class white people. Then we have "ethnic" neighborhoods where you will hear every language, see every skin color (often mixed) and have a very different experience. Then we have "seaside" areas, such as Coney Island, City Island, Brighton Beach, Gerritsen Beach, Cross Bay, Belle Harbor/Neponsit, etc. Mostly middle class/ethnic. Then we have industrial-type areas which are part residential or becoming residential (such as Long Island City, Sunset Park, parts of Bronx, lots of Staten Island aka Richmond). We even have some very lovely, old almost "open" areas (Douglaston, southern Staten Island, part of Manhattan Beach).




I guess it may help if you describe what you are looking for. My point is, you can go to these areas and have quite different experiences.

Carlisle, United...
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4. Re: Can of worms?!

Thanks for your suggestions and links- you've given me some good starting points and places for me to look at. It means my planning for looking around more than the traditional tourist haunts can get well under way.

I like to walk and wander around places and explore, so I'm not looking for one thing in particular, more suggestions of areas that will be good for me to do that in and experience a different aspect of the city than perhaps I will have before (when I've done the "usual" trips).

Any other suggestions greatly received!

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5. Re: Can of worms?!

One thing I enjoyed enormously was visiting the Louis Armstrong house and not lastly for the lovely, American-style neighbourhood:


New York City
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6. Re: Can of worms?!

Flushing Queens you might find interesting

There are some of the oldest building in NYC, The Bowne House (From the 1600's) Flushing Town Hall and the Quaker House and Cemetary (From the 17 and 1800')

The area is now mostly asian and has a feel like being in China or Korea, there are Buildings that look like they were taken out of the far east (Buddist temples, Asian Roofs) Real Asian food is the norm, not the exception there

7. Re: Can of worms?!

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