It’s about time that Brooklyn gets its day in the sun. As the borough starts to grow, more and more tourists are making their way across the river to check out the Brooklyn scene. If you haven’t yet, it’s about time to make your pilgrimage. To help motivate your trip, these are 11 reasons why we love Brooklyn (and why we think you will too).
It’s got what everybody else will think is cool tomorrow
If you’re looking for what everybody else in the country will be digging in the future, make your first stop Brooklyn. From fashion to music to food, Brooklynites have probably already tried the trend—and they’ve definitely got an opinion on it.
There’s so much more greenery than in Manhattan
Whenever Central Park feels too busy (and too teeming with tourists), head to Brooklyn to spend hours roaming in Prospect Park. There’s also the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Fort Greene Park, McCarren Park and many more perfect places to lay out a blanket and soak up the sun.
And so much more space than Manhattan too
Although Brooklyn may have a larger population than Manhattan, there’s also much more space. For people who love city vibes but feel claustrophobic in Manhattan, the population density is so much less in Brooklyn. There’s even the potential to walk down the sidewalk while swinging your arms and never run into another person!
Some of the city’s coolest music is here
Brooklyn isn’t just a stepping stone to Manhattan anymore. With the opening of the brand-new venue Brooklyn Steel, some of the world’s coolest indie and rock acts now make Brooklyn an important stop on their tour. You can also check out great live music at the Williamsburg Music Hall, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Baby’s All Right, Kings Theatre, and so many others.
You can go to the beach
Coney Island is part of Brooklyn. Go for the hotdogs, the boardwalk, and, of course, the ocean. If you can plan your visit to coincide with the Mermaid Day Parade or the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, you’ll also be able to experience a part of New York tradition.
There’s no better place for street art
The walls of Bushwick are the best art gallery in town. Spend an afternoon wandering through the edgy neighborhood’s streets to check out the city’s most colorful, elaborate and awe-inspiring murals. (Plus, they’re some of the best backdrops around for photos.)
The flea markets are better than anything in Manhattan
A local’s secret is that the flea markets in Brooklyn are significantly cheaper than anything in Manhattan—and, generally, have a lot more selection. Same goes for hunting through thrift shops, garage sales or vintage stores. Anybody on the prowl for antique pieces should start their search in this neighborhood.
The people-watching is the best, bar none
Brooklyn is famous on TV for a reason—many of its residents are perfect caricatures of themselves. From unique patterns of facial hair to eccentric accessories, the streets of Brooklyn provide some of the city’s wackiest fashion shows. (But just be warned: in a few years, you’ll probably find yourself wearing something you made fun of a Brooklynite for wearing at one time.)
There’s actually a ton of history in Brooklyn
There was a time in New York history when the absolute wealthiest residents settled down outside of the city in Brooklyn. The remnants remain in the old-school brownstones that pepper some the area’s streets. The best-maintained streets are in Historic Brooklyn Heights, but a stroll through Boerum Hill or Park Slope will provide some pretty potent home envy.
Smorgasburg kickstarts food trends
For the past seven years, this Brooklyn outdoor food market has been serving up some of the city’s must-try foods. There’s everything from a burrito jammed full of French fries to “mushroom coffee” to the raindrop cake, which looks like a giant glob of water. Every year, vendors premiere food most of us never even knew existed before.
And, of course, it’s got the best views of Manhattan
But probably the best reason to check out Brooklyn is that nowhere else has got as great a perspective of Manhattan. Walk through the Brooklyn Promenade or party on a rooftop in Williamsburg for picturesque views over the river. Just remember to bring your camera.