We’re cat-sitting for friends in the financial district (résumé updated to include international cat-sitter) and are based near the Brooklyn Bridge. Last week, New York gave us a snow-free, sunny day and we walked over to Brooklyn. It took us 35 minutes, accidentally walking up a thankfully quiet off-ramp and navigating some strange back alleys to find the actual entrance to the bridge. This is quite depressing as the bridge is large and could be seen the entire time. In our defence we weren’t alive during the era that navigated using sun and stars … and all the buildings throw your phone’s compass out.
Brooklyn bridge is beautiful, awe-inspiring and like every other iconic, global landmark, now home to its own community of love locks. These things are officially everywhere. Stopping in the middle of the bridge and turning back to look at the shiny giants towering over Manhattan, you can’t help but feel moved by the city. It’s alive with energy, and full to the brim with eccentric, charismatic and friendly New Yorkers. Crossing into Brooklyn, we headed to Dumbo and went in search of Grimaldi’s – home to the best pizza in New York.
Grimaldi’s only sells entire pies (not pizza by the slice) and due to an earlier visit to Chipotle, it was left for another day. Chipotle is the equivalent of Nandos for Mexican food. It’s everything. When you arrive in New York, forget your apartment and just take up residence in their kitchen. It will save you a lot of commuting back and forth between your hotel and breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Instead we wandered into the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory and had a butter pecan cone. If you can’t eat ice cream at -4 degrees, when can you? These guys know what they’re doing, so get yourself there and good luck choosing just one flavour.
If you stand facing the Ice Cream Factory, you’ll see a long promenade stretching out to your right (although as witnessed above, I’m not great with navigation, so it could also be your left at this point). This is the Brooklyn Heights promenade and one day after making my millions thanks to reviewing cupcakes on this blog, I’ll be retiring here. It’s right on the water and faces the downtown Manhattan skyline. It’s home to outdoor gyms, parks and views of Lady Liberty. The promenade is clean and lovingly cared for; everything is looked after.
Brooklyn is not what I expected, we’ve been back since and each time it gets better. Sadly I’m going to miss the Cherry Blossoms flowering in Prospect Park, the barbecues on the promenade and their pop-up pool. We’ve only seen a small part of it and it’s been freezing, but even in the dead of Winter, Brooklyn is a special place.
If you’re visiting New York and have the time, take a wander over to Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights. There are great places to eat and it’s a short walk over the bridge, a stop for something yummy, a stroll down the promenade and then up to a subway station for a quick ride home to Manhattan.