On the other side of the East River, there's more than just the incredible view of Manhattan to charm tourists. Brooklyn and Queens have parks, museums and restaurants that unveil another fun, hip side of New York
Brooklyn is the destination to make your itinerary in the city complete. It's true, because after you cross the eponymous bridge, no one will be able to say you don't know (very well) one of the most popular cities in the world.
The best view in Brooklyn The gateway to the neighborhood is the region known as Dumbo, right on the East River, accessed by the Brooklyn Bridge. There, you'll find Brooklyn Bridge Park, a great place to stop and take a picture worthy of a postcard. You can spend a whole afternoon there, watching the sun go down and enjoying a cold snack from the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.
WeekendSaturday is the day to go to Williamsburg, the part of Brooklyn that's known for setting trends and concentrating bars, restaurants, shops and a fantastic food market in just a few blocks. To get to Smorgasburg, stop at the Bedford Avenue subway station and check out the street food stands along 7th Street.
Neighborhood beerAnother can't-miss is a visit to the Brooklyn Brewery — a big hit among the public. The tour, which grants visitors several mugs of beer, costs USD 15 and is in such high demand that it has to be scheduled at least a month in advance.
NightlifeAfter dark, restaurants and bars fill up, demonstrating Brooklyn’s bohemian vocation. Atop the Wythe Hotel, happy hour takes on an alternative-chic atmosphere. The bar offers a lovely view of Manhattan as well as classic drinks. Also in Williamsburg, people of all ages and styles gather at the famed Union Pool, a combination bar and live music venue.
Crossing another bridge — this time the Queensboro — will take you to Queens, one of the most popular areas in Long Island. The industrial streets blended with others more characteristic of American suburbs transport you to another time and another city. Suddenly, the traffic is less hectic and New York takes on a different pace.
Jazz historyThe house where music legend Louis Armstrong lived up until his death remains intact in Queens. The rooms that were decorated by his wife, Lucille Wilson, have a fascinating retro air. Even more interesting is the part of the tour when you learn that the classic song “What a Wonderful World” was inspired by the neighborhood. The lyrics sing of the beauty of life, describing a Queens filled with greenery and children.
Museum of noveltiesThe hippest, most exciting part of Queens is in the vicinity of the Queensboro Bridge, where MoMa PS1, an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art, is located. The brick building functions as a kind of laboratory, holding more experimental exhibitions. During the summer, the outdoor patio hosts an event known as Warm Up, which combines music and dance. The space turns into a party, and people get to enjoy the museum in a whole new way.
Starred Mexican restaurantThe restaurant Casa Enrique earned a Michelin star in 2014 (the only one in the area). “When we first opened in 2012, the idea was to make Mexican food for Mexicans. When we got the star, we didn't change the menu and continued on in the same spirit. The only difference is that now a lot of customers come here from Manhattan,” says chef Cosme Aguilar, a native of Chiapas, Mexico.