Aussies Crossing the Bridge to Brooklyn

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The Australian crosses the Brooklyn Bridge and discovers the best of Brooklyn. Journalist Jodie Minus checks out Dumbo, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, and Prospect Park. She missed other great neighborhoods such as Williamsburg, Red Hook, Bensonhurst, Coney Island, or Ft. Greene. But for a day trip, she did cover a lot. Some of her finds:

  • Best beginning: Dutch farmers first settled in this New York suburb, known for its churches and brownstone buildings, in 1636. They named it Breucklen, meaning marshland
  • Best bridge: Brooklyn Bridge, with “its cables appearing as fine as a spider’s web or fairy floss, glistening silver…Walking back to Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge at night is rated by many as one of the world’s most stunning walks.”
  • Best Beds: ‘For a stay right in Brooklyn, Bed and Breakfast on the Park, at Prospect Park, has French-style rooms decorated with beautiful lamps, frames and trinkets. The chic guidebook StyleCity New York particularly recommends it, describing breakfast as a “feast consisting of home-made bread, German pancakes, quiche lorraine and homemade jams and jellies”.
  • Best religious presence: “The first thing I notice as we leave the bridge is a large, squat building with the word Watchtower painted on its side. It looks like a 1950s motel but is actually the headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
  • Best literary guide: Francis Morrone, an art critic, literary historian, lecturer, teacher and author of five books, including architectural guidebooks to New York City, Philadelphia and Brooklyn.
  • Best view: “Pierrepont Street leads to Columbia Heights or the Brooklyn Promenade, overlooking the Port Authority’s disbanded shipping yards (which, after much local campaigning, will be turned into parkland) and across to the financial district of New York.”
  • Best bookshop: BookCourt (
  • Best lit-life: “Brooklyn is still a haven for authors, although rising property costs and rents mean it’s unlikely to attract struggling ones. Jonathan Safran Foer and his wife Nicole Krauss paid more than $US6million for their pile in neighbouring Park Slope. This quiet, leafy, residential area dips down to Prospect Park (site of the Battle of Long Island during the American Revolution) and has been attracting writers since the late 1970s.”
  • Best cafe: 2nd Street Cafe (, Park Slope)
  • Best pub: “Snooky’s Pub, at 140 Seventh Ave, is a sports bar with a chatty, much-loved barman, honest food and numerous televisions mounted on the walls so that patrons such as author Dave Eggers never miss a game.”
  • Best shopping street: Smith Street

{Art transplant – One Perfect Day, The Australian, November 11, 2006}