I have three days in Brooklyn. What must I absolutely see and do?
January 17, 2013 11:05 PM   Subscribe

In mid February I will be in Brooklyn for three days. Apart from the Brooklyn Museum what should I absolutely not miss?

I am pretty easy to please though I am coming from somewhere with no real museums or decent art galleries, so they're high on my list of things I want to see a lot of. Parks are nice, but not a necessity unless they've got some art/interesting architecture jammed in there somewhere. Good bookstore recommendations are also appreciated. And are there any stand out vegetarian restaurants I should go to in Brooklyn? (I've been to NY before but the only part of Brooklyn I got to was Coney Island, which leaves a lot of it to see and as I only have three days, I really want to concentrate it on Brooklyn.)
posted by lesbiassparrow to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (13 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Vinnie's Pizza has some delicious vegetarian options.
posted by zjacreman at 12:03 AM on January 18, 2013

Food swings (vegetarian hipster food), prospect park is best in the world, unnameable books is a great bookstore, if interference Archives is doing anything while you are here, also the BAM calendar, and prospect park again. The park is really amazing.
posted by history is a weapon at 1:55 AM on January 18, 2013

Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene.
If you're here on a weekend, check out Brooklyn Flea (artisan and vintage and local food market in a gorgeous old building).
Do swing through the park, especially if it's springtime when you're here.
Again, I don't know when you're here, but if it happens to be during Bushwick Open Studios, check that out.
It would be helpful to know when you are here and where you'll be staying.
posted by greta simone at 5:13 AM on January 18, 2013

Book Court and the Transit Museum.
posted by brujita at 5:58 AM on January 18, 2013

DiFara's is the pizza place in Brooklyn, as far as I am concerned.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:08 AM on January 18, 2013

Brooklyn has about seventy billion art galleries these days, and you could easily spend the entire three days seeing them. There are good maps here: http://wagmag.org/, I would recommend concentrating on Williamsburg and Dumbo neighborhoods. Both are really pleasent neighborhoods to walk around in too, chock-full of cute coffee shops and restaurants.

Unnameable Books is a nice walk from the Brooklyn Museum, and is by an adorable ice cream shop (Ample Hills) and some cute restaurants and bars.
posted by EmilyFlew at 6:20 AM on January 18, 2013

Sorry, I didn't see mid-February. So scrap the Open Studios idea :)
posted by greta simone at 7:14 AM on January 18, 2013

Robertas for pizza.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:37 AM on January 18, 2013

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is literally right next door to the Brooklyn Museum, and is compact enough that even when everything's in bloom you could "do" the whole thing in just a couple hours. It's warm enough out in mid-February these days that you may be able to see a few early buds outdoors; even if they don't, the garden has a decent conservatory, with a nice little bonsai collection.

And all of that is right near Prospect Park - which is home to the Lefferts Historic House, which is a bit on the kid-friendly side but still kind of fun. And the Prospect Park Zoo is right next to Lefferts House. In fact, all of those things are within walking distance of each other, and are compact enough and inexpensive enough that you could do them all in one day - hit the museum first, then the garden, then use the Ocean Avenue exit to the garden and you'll be right across the street from Lefferts' House; hit that, then walk to the zoo right next door. It is still a fairly busy day, but not overwhelmingly so.

If you want to split that day up a bit - Prospect Park also sports the Audobon Center, which is housed inside a building that's got National Landmark status. At the northern tip of the park (also within walking distance from Brooklyn Musuem, actually) is Grand Army Plaza, boasting a boffo memorial arch. On the weekends, the plaza also boasts a very active farmer's market. And right across the street from THAT is the main branch of Brooklyn's public library, which is in a funky art-deco designed building that's meant to look like an open book standing up on a table.

Greenlight books (mentioned above) is very near the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where you can see theater or dance; there's also a cafe with live jazz, and a movie theater. (Fair warning that it's also very near the Barclay's Center, a big horkin' sports-and-music-arena-stadium-type-thing, so if you plan on driving, parking would be a challenge on game days.)

I suspect that you won't have any trouble finding vegetarian restaurants in Brooklyn - in fact, you may want to narrow it down a little (vegetarian Asian? French? Italian? Soul Food? Vegan? Gluten-free? It's probably here).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:55 AM on January 18, 2013

The more I read about their brewmaster and taste their beers makes me want to visit the Brooklyn Brewery.
posted by mmascolino at 10:47 AM on January 18, 2013

...Yep, I'm back!

If you do Brooklyn Brewery, stay put in that neighborhood (Williamsburg) - that's where you'll find scores of vegetarian restaurants, for starters, but you'll also find a lot of funky vintage clothings stores, record stores, a handful of indie bookstores, and a few other food manufacturers (Mast Brothers Chocolate is in a warehouse nearby the Brooklyn Brewery and you will never smell a more amazing store in your life).

Another fun neighborhood to explore is Red Hook - they also have a few funky food shops and boutiques, but only a handful of restaurants (one of which is Baked, this amazing bakery that's gotten so huge they now have a deal with Williams-Sonoma). Red Hook is a little scruffy-looking, and got hit REALLY hard by Hurricane Sandy, but it makes for a cool stroll. (If you do go, take a walk over to Valentino Pier for some amazing views of the Statue of Liberty.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:59 AM on January 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Coney Island and Brighton Beach boardwalks (brrrr)
posted by DMelanogaster at 1:05 PM on January 18, 2013

If you like cocktails, Clover Club on Smith Street is essential. A little spendy, but so wonderful. (Try to sit at the bar so you can watch them make the drinks. It's gorgeous.)
posted by Charity Garfein at 8:22 PM on January 18, 2013

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