I live in Brooklyn and I loooove Brooklyn.
If you are not from New York, you are probably not aware
about the endless debate between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Some people believe that New York City is exclusively Manhattan, while others think that New York is divided into 5 boroughs (and indeed it is economically divided in this way): Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and State Island.
And then among these 5 boroughs there is a never-ending ‘struggle’ between Manhattan-snobs and Brooklyn lovers.
Manhattan or Brooklyn? This is the question…
Before moving to New York City, I was convinced that I would never, ever want to live in Brooklyn. Brooklyn didn’t seem as ‘cool’ as Manhattan and I believed it was just a boring residential area for families with children and big dogs. I was very convinced about this. In my opinion New York was exclusively Manhattan. My imagination was fed by the movies and the TV series, all set in the City. Nothing else existed. I had only visited Coney Island in a hurry and I had the idea that the neighborhood was a bit too quiet for my liking so I extended the prejudice to the entire Brooklyn area based only on what I saw on a short visit. You need to know that I enjoy the fast-paced life of NY and that I find city noise very homey and reassuring. I like the neon lights, the crowd, the hustle and bustle! When I first moved to Brooklyn from Manhattan for a temporary stay, I lived the experience as an exile and I was deeply saddened when I took a taxi to move my things to the other side of the bridge.
I felt like I was leaving the City and like my social life would radically change after the move.
Needless to say, I changed my mind in a matter of hours. Not days, hours.
My friend was a sweetheart and I thank him for that.
He took me out right away and just taking a walk around my new block in Brooklyn Heights, I found a delicious Vietnamese restaurant, a cute little cupcake café I adore and an authentic Italian Deli.
In fact, I realized right away that the area was not sad at all but it was a fun and happening place, especially at night!
There are countless bars where to listen to live music in the area. There is an impressive liveliness and there's something for all tastes.
One night a month, the Brooklyn Museum organizes a free Salsa Party.
If you punctually arrive at 6 p.m. you can participate in a free lesson, while at 7 pm things get serious and a DJ plays music so everyone can start moving. At 8:30 pm professional salseros
take the stage with their passionate movements. It’s therefore time to sit back, relax and enjoy the show with a pleasant (and well deserved) glass of wine or sangria
One night I even found myself in a club and suddenly discovered that one of the largest bands of electronic music was playing live! And for free!
There are several iconic venues and corners in Brooklyn where you just get pervaded by the “New York state of mind”. These places are picturesque places that you can only find in New York, especially in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg.
Shortly after my move, I became a regular visitor to a cozy breakfast place which serves the best cappuccino and an unrivalled Nutella croissant.
Brooklyn Heights is full of pleasant little cafés in which you are catapulted into the Parisian atmosphere where you can take a brunch à la française
and maybe, if the weather permits, sit on the lovely sunny terrace.
And I can’t forget to mention the shops! I realized that Williamsburg is much more than the stereotyped hipsters den New Yorkers believe it to be. I highly recommend a walk on North 6th Street to get an idea of European trends.
I perhaps forgot to mention my favorite aspect about living in Brooklyn: the fantastic view of Manhattan!
I never realized this living in Manhattan but, unless you travel by ferry to Staten Island or take the bridge to one of the other boroughs you cannot appreciate the amazing Manhattan skyline.
And this view is magical.
Especially the fantastic view on the Manhattan Bridge (just like in the film “Once Upon a Time in America”) from Washington Street in Dumbo is worth a look at the very least.
Williamsburg offers breathtaking views. Once, for example, I happened to get out of the subway and find myself surrounded by the most amazing pink sky I have ever seen in my life. A sunset that almost hugged me and I have to admit that from every corner I looked I could see those pink clouds - the view was so exciting that it was hard not to scream with joy!
In short, I eventually fell in love with Brooklyn and if you ever visit, I hope you will too.