Friday, September 05, 2008

Let's Explore Brooklyn... Day 5-Blog Trip

Brooklyn is full of historical landmarks and must-see places to visit. There is so much history to learn about when you visit Brooklyn and also lots of new stuff to see! There are lots of walking tours you can take to see some of the rich cultural history of Brooklyn.

I love all the cool things we have to do and fun places to visit. I especially love the summer for the free concerts series (Seaside Summer Concert Series-by the beach! and Martin Luther King  Jr. Concert Series (in Wingate field- by my alma mater!) Here is a list of other festivals and events in Brooklyn!

On to my favorite places to visit in Brooklyn:

Grand Army Plaza- the main library in Brooklyn is located here! Also the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the entrance to Prospect Park are here.

The Brooklyn Museum- The museum was recently renovated and the entrance looks awesome! I haven't visited since the renovation but I know I will make the trip soon!

Brooklyn Botanic Garden- It's so beautiful here!

Prospect Park- we love to go to this park and hang out as a family! In the summer they have great free outdoor concerts and festivals, like the like the Boricua Festival at the Prospect Park Bandshell. I used to go to this festival every year! This is part of Celebrate Brooklyn. Another fun Celebrate Brooklyn event that I have attended is the Ezra Keats Family Concert. They have had kid's groups like Laurie Berkner and Dan Zanes perform and the kids love it (I love it too!)

Grand Army Plaza Library
- The main library in Brooklyn

Coney Island- sadly big changes are coming to this area and the famed Astroland Park is closing it's doors for good this year :( This is also the home of Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest and the Mermaid parade!

New York Aquarium- I love the Aquarium! We didn't get to go this summer but Julia has been there before and she loves it. Can't wait to take the boys!

Brooklyn Bride and the Waterfront
: Right now there is a cool man-made waterfall under the Brooklyn Bridge. It's a very cool thing to see!

The Wycoff Farmhouse - This was built in 1652 and is one of the oldest structures in NYC! They have a free Apple festival in Septmber!

Brookyn Children's Museum
- This is closed for renovations right now but it is so much fun to go here with the kids! This is the first museum created for kids in 1899! Julia had a blast here and I can't wait for it to reopen in the Spring so I can take the boys!
Brooklyn Tabernacle- This church has a great Grammy award winning choir! This is Pastor Jim Cymbala's church and the church I go to (Christ Tabernacle) is an offshoot of this church.

I hope you enjoyed your stay in Brooklyn! Come to visit soon! There is so much to do in see in this great borough of NYC!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Shop It Like It's Hot.!... Brooklyn Style!!!.... Day 4

Brooklyn has lots of spots for shopping! We have the Atlantic Center  and Atlantic Terminal Mall which is two malls in the same area that I frequent often to go to my favorite spot...Target! I love Target for it's deals and fun finds! The mall keeps expanding and it has Burlington Coat Factory, Pay/Half, Payless Shoes, and tons and tons of other stores. This has become my favorite mall to shop at. I hop on the subway and I'm there in no time.

This is also how I found Habana Outpost which is right off the subway when I am going to Atlantic Center. Habana Outpost also has an outdoor market on Saturdays and Sundays! I have not gone yet but I plan to soon because it is only open until October. I love shopping outdoors, especially at street fairs and outdoor markets, so I can't wait to check this out! They also have a table for the kid's to do arts and crafts for free and lessons in recycling! This is a list of some of the vendors at the market:

  Little Poco
Berit New york
  Sustainable NYC
Carey Sveen
  Miss Wit Designs T-Shirt Emporium
Go Psychocat Go
  Richard Maitland Photography
Heirloom Botanicals
  Fisk & Fern
Ice Cream Social
  Daisyhead Designs
La Bestia
  Karen's Monsters
Lace Gloves Collection
  Phoebee's Knees
Laini Mcneal James
  Black Sheep Heap
Martines Dream
  Fierce Rumors
  Tonya Engel
Queerly Yours
Sophisticated Funk
  Big Up Clothing
Najeen Trans Cultural Accents
  The Good Product
The Sud Bar
  Gree Teez
Andy & Bella
  Trixie and Radar
Via Nativa
  Junk Prints
Shionne Designs

Brooklyn also has lots of fun and fashionable boutiques in DUMBO (which means Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), Williamsburg and Park Slope to name a few areas. There is this handy little guide I picked up the last time I was at Lulu's Cuts for Kids (a great place in Brooklyn to cut your kids hair and also a nice toy shop!). The guide is called Brooklyn Now and it breaks down shopping in Brooklyn by neighborhoods and catagories! If you go to the website they also list sales and events in Brooklyn :)

I'm also really excited that Ikea just opened up a store in the Redhook section of Brooklyn! I have not gone there yet but can't wait to go! I've never been to Ikea because the closest locations where always to far for me to get to (New Jersey and Long Island). So having one close by is really exciting to me!!!!

Other well known shopping areas in Brooklyn are the Kings Plaza Mall in Flatbush and shopping down Atlantic Avenue and Fulton Street (which is referred to as the Fulton Street Mall.  I have not been to the Kings Plaza Mall in ages, but when I was in high school, this was one of the only big malls in Brooklyn and one of the only places I was allowed to hang out with my friends! I have lots of funny memories from my teenage adventures at Kings Plaza (shout-out to Shu-fy and Nicole, my two Kings Plaza Pals and fellow Wingate Alums!)

One of the few places I would not recommend for shopping in Brooklyn is the Gateway Mall. This place is convenient to get to BUT it is a madhouse on the weekends because of it's convenience and central location. Marshalls, Target and Old Navy are some of the stores located at this mall. If you go on the weekend, expect to find the stores in shambles! It looks like a warzone! And it's always packed!!!!

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