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“Spread love, it’s the Brooklyn way.” Biggie said it best.
When most people think of the Big Apple they think of New York City – the island of Manhattan – or as real New Yorkers refer to it, “the city.” Although I love almost everything about Manhattan, I’m also a very, very proud Brooklynite. It’s only fair that I give my hometown a little loving in my “Exploring New York City” collection.
If you’re looking to spend a day or two in Brooklyn, here is a list of fun and relaxing things you can do without dealing with the hoards of tourists.
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Coney Island contains all the quintessential ingredients to making the perfect Brooklyn summer moments – sun, beach, boardwalks, ferris wheels, roller coasters, nachos, cotton candy, arcade games, bumper cars, our famous Nathan’s hot dogs and ice cream! What more can you ask for? We also have our annual Mermaid Parade, burlesque shows at the beach, circus sideshows and so many more surprises.
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Brooklyn’s Prospect Park is ten times better than Central Park. Why? Because it’s not over run with tourists. Prospect Park is a park that actually allows you to breath and soak up the sun without the person next to you kicking dirt on your face. The park also has a carousel for the kiddies, nature trails for hikers, a zoo for families to explore, Wollman Ice Skating Rink for a winter wonderland right in the heart of Brooklyn, a tennis house, horseback riding and pedal boats for romantic summer afternoons.
Nearby is Brooklyn’s Central Public Library and Grand Army Plaza, New York City’s Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the site of the secong largest open air green markets in the city.
Conceived as a memorial to the defenders of the Union in the Civil War, the elaborately carved Arch is also a base for a series of inspired bronze sculpture groupings that soar over the Plaza. On the ground, bold statues surround the massive arch, including a noted bust of President John F. Kennedy, and the mythical tableau atop the famous Bailey Fountain.
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DUMBO is an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. In the late 1800s the neighborhood was nothing but factories and warehouses but now many of these buidlings have been converted in luxury condos, art galleries, theaters and small restaurants and eateries are popping up left and right. To find your fun in DUMBO, visit their site for upcoming events Help Haiti: ‘Pass on the Gift’ Gala hosted at the Galapagos Art Space, a screening of Marcel Camus’s OFREU NEGRO (Black Orpheus) and Nerd Nite: Quizo Trivia, also hosted at Galapagos Art Space.
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The Brooklyn Museum offers Target Free Days on the first Saturday of every month, which means admission is free for any and everyone! The museum is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country.
Its world-renowned permanent collections range 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 nineteenth-century parks and gardens that also includes Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Prospect Park Zoo.
And in the summer time, they also have dance parties at night!
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The Brooklyn Academy of Music was founded in 1861 and is America’s oldest operating performing arts center. BAM offers international stage performances and a fantastic BAMcinématek repertory films. My favorite part of BAM is the BAMcafé Live where they feature up to 75 free performances every year. They also have a delicious restaurant and bar.
Did you know that BAM has hosted speakers like Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Langston Hughes and Amelia Earhart?
All these things to do in Brooklyn are just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll just have to bring your behind down here to find out what being a Brooklynite is all about.