We're all tired of the "Brooklyn" moniker. But these Brooklyn-named spots -- whether intellectual, historical, pretty, or delicious -- are worthy of the name of our beloved borough, and Brooklynites would love them just as much if their names changed.
Not just a gorgeous garden in summer, BBG becomes more of a cultural than botanic destination every year. From vintage parties to members' picnics, plant shopping days to the annual cherry blossom celebration, this is not to be missed. A romantic date!
The most breathtaking park in Brooklyn hosts views of the East River, the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge. You'll see wedding parties, couples strolling, dogs, babies, old folks, young folks -- the gamut of human life comes here. Romantic, with film screenings in the summer and Narnia-like views in the winter of lampposts against a wintry endless wonderland. Ride Jane's Carousel to complete the magic experience, and then return to yummy reality with pizza at Grimaldi's or ice cream at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.
With a fun selection of vintage kitchen tools and high-end new gagdets, SCRATCHbread delivered daily, classes in the beautiful sun-filled kitchen, and instructional videos online about shucking oysters and sabering champagne, Brooklyn Kitchen is an excellent local resource. The store has grown as Williamsburg has grown and matured, moving from a smaller spot and adding more tools and classes. The space is shared with The Meat Hook, the best butcher in Williamsburg.
This neighborhood fave has long lines for good reason. Gutbusting Southern comforts like country fried steak, bacon jalapeño cornbread, pork shank piled high with thick-cut onion rings, and a massive t-bone for two line the menu like artery fat -- just go, and apologize to your body with a juice detox tomorrow.
So delightfully old school it will make you think you're in the Royal Tenenbaums ice cream parlor, Brooklyn Farmacy has the soda jerks, the tall glasses, the long spoons, and the delicious ice cream floats. But there are also breakfast biscuits and sandwiches and espresso, for which the parlor opens at 8 a.m. on weekdays.
The first time I stumbled upon Brooklyn Winery, there were actual grapes hanging on a vine not too far from the entrance. It felt like ... viticultural serendipity. All signs pointed to this large, beautiful space, with a large back patio, multiple rooms, a photo booth with costumes, an impressive selection of wines, and a host of classes, from tasting to making. And then someone told me AC/DC made wine there together. That's it, Brooklyn Winery. You're a magical place.
BKc has been getting it right since 2006, stocking their house brand of tongue-in-cheek varsity sweaters and hip styles of button-ups, wingtips and hi-tops, natty caps and neckwear. The men who model for the store are beautiful and exemplify the BKc lifestyle of gentlemanly, educated sportsmen at ease. Be sure to check out their vintage goods, including lovely bowties.
I stopped in at Breukelen Bier Merchants mid-bike ride. What I found inside was a beautiful wood space with warm lighting, friendly bartenders, specialty craft beers and semi-large names, grilled cheese, bratwurst, Bavarian pretzels and the option of ordering just a small glass so I could still bike the rest of my ride. Drafts are $4 from 5 to 8 p.m. on weekdays.