I realize that, while I can talk endlessly about coffee and croissants in New York, I don’t really discuss the place itself. No matter how much we love our hometowns, they’re the normal; what home means for us. They become our benchmark from which to judge everywhere else. When people talk about New York being loud, dirty and overwhelming, I don’t entirely understand. For me, the other places are quiet, clean and dull.
Yet, should you want to find sports in New York that are clean and quiet — though certainly not dull — you’ll be spoilt for choice. New York is more than busy streets and sky scrapers. It’s (relatively) easy to find a corner of New York that is all your own, despite the population density. These surprises are the best parts of the city.
Brooklyn Heights looks like it should be somewhere else. It doesn’t belong in New York; it’s Boston, it’s Providence. Yet, walk down nearly any street and you will soon stumble onto the water and picture-perfect views of the New York City skyline. The Brooklyn Promenade is unabashedly New York.
Sure, it’s a posh neighborhood, especially as far as Brooklyn neighborhoods go, but it doesn’t feel unapproachable. With cute little spots like Iris Cafe, easy to navigate chains and down to earth bagel shops, Brooklyn Heights invites the wanderers.
The city’s colonial era history is alive, too. You can see the Dutch influence in the tall stoops and the British presence in the sloping cobblestone streets. There’s an old church that every New York City student must go to see while they learn about the American Revolution (or Independence War). There are streets with ridiculously adorable names like Cranberry and Pineapple. I still don’t know what Joralemon means.
If you’re looking to escape Manhattan when you come to New York, or for the weekend if you live here, Brooklyn Heights is a lovely option. No, it’s not quite as cool as nearby DUMBO or cheap as other Brooklyn ‘hoods, but it’s sweet, history-filled and charming in its own way.
What do you think makes a great neighborhood?