Brook­lyn, bor­ough with a view

Brook­lyn of­fers great views of Man­hat­tan, (the ti­tle refers to the film based on a book by E.M. Forster, A Room with a View; bor­ough dis­trict)

Vocable (All English) - - Édito Sommaire - ELAINE GLUSAC

CHICAGO TRI­BUNE (US)

Brook­lyn, New York’s new hip area.

Brook­lyn has been on the rise for the past twenty years. While the busi­ness dis­tricts were de­vel­op­ing, other ar­eas have be­come the cho­sen lo­ca­tion for artists and in­ter­na­tional celebri­ties. Ho­tels and chic restau­rants can now be found on ev­ery street cor­ner. Has Brook­lyn be­come the most chic area in New York?

Jake Gyl­len­haal is walk­ing into my New York ho­tel. It's not on Fifth Av­enue or one of the trendy corners of Lower Man­hat­tan. It's in Brook­lyn. And it – the 1 Ho­tel Brook­lyn Bridge – might be the buzzi­est new ho­tel in the city, star sight­ings or no. Be­cause the 1 Ho­tel Brook­lyn Bridge, like the new Wil­liam Vale Ho­tel and the Wil­liams­burg Ho­tel, both new to Brook­lyn's wa­ter­front, have some­thing that Man­hat­tan doesn't have: the sky­line panorama. De­vel­op­ers have newly awo­ken to the Wall-Street-to-Har­lem vista framed across the East River and be­gun tout­ing it via rooftop bars, ho­tel rooms and im­proved parks.

PRAISED BY ARTISTS

2. From early fan Walt Whit­man to the con­tem­po­rary Avett Brothers, cen­turies of artists have sung the praises of Brook­lyn, among the largest ci­ties in the na­tion be­fore neigh­bor­ing New York swal­lowed it in 1898. It's

the epi­cen­ter of the coun­try's craft re­nais­sance, where creative en­trepreneurs and artisanal food pro­duc­ers thrive, giv­ing rise to hip­ster cul­ture that has spread flan­nels and beards to the Nashvilles, Austins and Oma­has of the na­tion.

3. But for a trav­eler vis­it­ing New York, is Brook­lyn enough? Can you do the Big Ap­ple with­out tak­ing a bite of Man­hat­tan? The short an­swer is no. Broad­way, and specif­i­cally the teen-angst Tony-win­ner Dear Evan Hansen, was too com­pelling to keep me solely in the bor­ough. But the long an­swer is mostly. And here's why.

4. First, un­der­stand that Brook­lyn, mea­sur­ing 71 square miles of land, is sprawl­ing and that not all of it is con­ve­nient. But if you stick to Brook­lyn Heights and down­town Brook­lyn, the clos­est quar­ters to Man­hat­tan and ser­viced fre­quently by the 1 through 5 sub­way trains, you have ac­cess to both bor­oughs and cheaper rates on food and lodg­ing (fash­ion­able Wil­liams­burg is less ac­ces­si­ble, but Uber-friendly).

5. Stay­ing in Brook­lyn, my son and I got off the 1 train from our Broad­way visit (20 min­utes by train) to a very quiet down­town Brook­lyn at 11 p.m. on a Fri­day night. We dubbed it the “city that sleeps,” and that's not such a bad thing when it comes to ho­tels, which are pro­lif­er­at­ing here. We found great value, com­pared with Man­hat­tan quar­ters, in both the re­cently ren­o­vated New York Mar­riott at the Brook­lyn Bridge and the 1 Ho­tel Brook­lyn Bridge. The lat­ter's views of the iconic bridge and the more dis­tant Statue of Lib­erty war­rant room-ser­vice din­ner.

MEET­ING THE LO­CALS

6. When it comes to ac­tu­ally meet­ing the lo­cals, Brook­lyn, a bed­room com­mu­nity for New York's busi­ness dis­tricts, is friendli­est. And a mini-boom of en­tre­pre­neur­ial guide ser­vices has made find­ing them eas­ier than ever. I joined the Brook­lyn startup Lo­cal Ex­pe­di­tions on one of its lo­cals-led neigh­bor­hood itin­er­ar­ies, a three-hour bike tour of DUMBO ($40), the his­toric area Down Un­der the Man­hat­tan Bridge Over­pass where viaducts shel­ter weekly flea mar­kets and his­toric ware­houses frame dis­tant sky­scrapers in In­sta­gram-pop­u­lar im­ages.

7. Iron­i­cally, I had to meet my guide on the Man­hat­tan side of the bridge. “I like to start over here be­cause the bik­ing across the bridge is spec­tac­u­lar, and there are al­ways

Citi Bikes (a bi­cy­cle-shar­ing pro­gram) avail­able on this side,” said Nancy Blaine, a for­mer text­book ed­i­tor, nearly life­long Brook­lynite and founder of Lo­cal Ex­pe­di­tions, as we ped­aled over the scenic span.

8. Based on guides' in­ter­ests and ex­per­tise, Lo­cal Ex­pe­di­tions itin­er­ar­ies ex­plore the mul­ti­fac­eted bor­ough from Jackie Robin­son's Brook­lyn to the mu­rals of Bush­wick, but they al­ways in­clude a snack stop. Ours was at the petite Al­mondine Bak­ery where Nancy bought us creamy al­mond crois­sants to share. “We want to get to know peo­ple, and around food, it goes so well,” she said.

FOOD

9. Dur­ing our Man­hat­tan de­tour, we stopped for a $21 tostada at Cosme in the Flat­iron Dis­trict. Granted, it came f rom Mex­ico's Miche­lin-starred chef En­rique Olvera and con­tained sea urchin, but it was cer­tainly an only-in-New-York in­dul­gence. The next night we ate at Leuca, chef An­drew Carmellini's new restau­rant in the Wil­liam Vale Ho­tel in Wil­liams­burg, where the line to get to the ho­tel's rooftop bar, in full thrall of the Man­hat­tan sky­line, started around 4 p.m.

10. Brook­lyn has its own cadre of celebrity chefs lured across the river by lower rents. But it's not a mini-Man­hat­tan for the bud­get-minded. It's its own an­i­mal, some­how more invit­ing and ac­ces­si­ble to the 99 per­cent. Here, the singer Iggy Pop was pos­ing nude for a draw­ing class when we vis­ited the art-filled Brook­lyn Mu­seum and jazz great Ram­sey Lewis was per­form­ing a free con­cert at the Brook­lyn Academy of Mu­sic.

11. The Brook­lyn Navy Yard, an ex­pan­sive 300-acre patch of wa­ter­front es­tab­lished in 1801 and the birth­place of the USS Maine, now serves as an in­cu­ba­tor for star­tups. We vis­ited the cen­ter of green en­trepreneur­ship, host­ing every­thing from a film stu­dio to an eco-man­u­fac­tur­ing cen­ter and artist stu­dios, on Turn­stile Tours' two-hour trip around the docks ($30) that drew both his­tory buffs and hip­sters.

Brook­lyn is the epi­cen­ter of the coun­try's craft re­nais­sance.

12. We closed our Brook­lyn spree in the au­ral com­pany of film­maker Ken Burns, who nar­rates a new De­tour walk­ing tour atop the Brook­lyn Bridge ($ 4.99). He calls it “one of the great­est achieve­ments in hu­man his­tory.” The hand­some 1883 sus­pen­sion bridge was the first to con­nect Man­hat­tan and Brook­lyn by some­thing other than a boat. The span helped pave the way for Brook­lyn's loss of in­de­pen­dence, 15 years later, when it be­came a part of the larger city. Still, more than a cen­tury later, its in­die iden­tity is alive and well – and more hos­pitable than ever.

(Vin­cent Tullo/The New York Times)

New Lab, a space ded­i­cated to com­mer­cial­iz­ing dig­i­tal-age har

(SIPA)

The Brook­lyn Flea in the neigh­bor­hood of DUMBO.

(Erik Pendzich/Shut­ter­stock/SIPA)

Bush­wick Col­lec­tive street art in Brook­lyn.

dware start-ups, at the Brook­lyn Navy Yard.

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