All too often, NYU students finish off the school year and head back to their hometowns wishing they’d explored just a little more of the city — whether they’ve never left Manhattan or even the Village. If you feel like the two neighborhoods you know best are Greenwich Village and Times Square, it’s time to break out of your comfort zone.
But start small: a short ride on the L train to Brooklyn will expose you to a world of culture, food and entertainment. The home of rappers Jay-Z and Lil Kim and musical icon Barbra Streisand, Brooklyn offers something different for every music lover
As made evident by the number of famous musicians that have originated from the borough, Brooklyn keeps the live music scene alive. Music Hall of Williamsburg has upcoming shows anywhere from $15 to $30, including acts like Moon Taxi and Quinn XCII. Greenpoint concert house Brooklyn Bazaar has a calendar that includes not only musical performances, but also movie screenings and karaoke. Later this month, the club will screen horror-comedy classic Beetlejuice; next month, rapper CupcakKe will perform.
For more popular acts like SZA, LCD Soundsystem and Father John Misty, the recently opened Brooklyn Steel provides premium music at an average cost. This month’s upcoming shows include MUTEMATH, Oh Wonder and Crystal Castles — all for $30 or less.
After your concert experience, check out one of Brooklyn’s famous pizza spots, like Vinnie’s Pizzeria on Bedford Avenue — which offers a great selection of slices and vegan options. You could also try out the popular hole-in-the-wall Williamsburg establishment, Pizza L’industrie, a small eatery on Havemeyer and South Second Street. The owner, a Florence native, puts his knowledge of Italian cuisine to use when making the 29-option menu, which includes a nutella dessert pizza and guarantees a late-night bite everyone will enjoy.
However, Brooklyn is known for more than just pizza — it’s also known for its bagels. Instagram sensation The Bagel Store sells both rainbow and glitter galaxy bagels — two great ways to add some color to your diet. For those who enjoy a more classic meal, try Terrace Bagels in Park Slope for a delicious everything bagel and lox.
Take that rainbow bagel outside and people watch in Prospect Park, which some call the Brooklyn equivalent to Manhattan’s Central Park. The 526-acre park has loads to do: from the Prospect Park Zoo to the Prospect Park Lake, it’s hard to get bored.
For those looking for a more thrilling afternoon, check out New York’s iconic Coney Island. Passes for four hours’ worth of unlimited rides can be as low as $25. While there, be sure to ride the famous Cyclone, the 16th oldest roller coaster in the world.
Before you head back to Greenwich Village, end your day in Brooklyn with a trip to Sunset Park and watch the sun go down over the New Jersey skyline. It’s the perfect way to finish off a great day of exploration and adventure.
So the next time you have a free weekend, don’t go back to Central Park for the 50th time — head across the East River to the Borough of Trees.
Email Alyssa Kelly at [email protected]