I just returned from 12 day trip to New York where I had a fabulous summer vacation. I always wanted to do NYC in summer (almost did it last year) to enjoy the parks, beaches, coffee shops and flea & food markets in the sunshine. Within the first week in NYC I spent five days in Brooklyn and two on and around the Bowery in Manhattan.
I flew to and from Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey which is my least favorite NYC airport (JFK is my favourite) but I got the best flight deal for that airport. To Manhattan I took the airport bus (17$ one way) to Port Authority (it also stops at Bryant Park and Grand Central) and back I took the train from Penn Station to Newark Airport station and then the air train to the airport. Both options are equally good, the bus I a bit more comfortable in my opinion but the train is a bit cheaper ($13 one way).
For the first five days I stayed in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, in a single room in a Victorian house (via AirBnB). I wanted to visit Ditmas Park since I read this article (only in german) about two years ago. Ditmas Park is a neighborhood in Flatbush full of Victorian houses and tree-lined streets. Every morning I took walks through the neighborhood to admire the beautiful architecture, not two houses are alike!
Within those five days in Brooklyn I only went to Manhattan once: to see a concert at Central Parks summerstage. I went to Queens twice: to Flushing to see Queens Chinatown and to visit Flushing Meadows – Corona Park while the US Open was happening and secondly to Fort Tilden and Jacob Riis Park on the Rockaway Peninsula. That part of the Rockaways is just a 20-minute bus ride from Flatbush! I got to see the MomaPS1 curated outdoor exhibit “Rockaway!“: an abandoned house in Fort Tilden painted in bright red by german artist Katharina Grosse.
Beside those trips I stayed in Brooklyn and visited a lot of new (to me) neighborhoods such as Flatbush, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens (a new favorite!) and Sunset Park. I relaxed at Coney Island beach, in Brooklyn Bridge Park and Prospect Park, visited the Brooklyn Flea and the NYC Transit Museum, ate so much good food (doughnuts from Doughnutplant and Dough, ice cream from Ample Hills, breakfast at Milk & Honey and dinner at the new DeKalb market hall) and drank too much coffee. Of course I also strolled through neighborhoods like Fort Greene, Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo and Prospect Heights.
In the evening of my first day in Brooklyn I went to Afropunk Fest in Commodore Barry Park to see the Solange concert. I didn’t have a ticket – when I decided to go it was already sold out, but I was able to see and hear Solange from outside the festival area through a chain link fence!
For the next two nights I moved to the Bowery House in Manhattan where I have stayed twice before (here and here). I love its location close to so many interesting neighborhoods such as Little Italy, SoHo, NoHo, Lower East Side and the East Village.
On Friday evening, after visiting Grand Central, the NYC Public Library, Bryant and Central parks I went to the Metropolitan Museum for MetFridays and to see the Rei Kawakubo exhibit and Adrian Villa Rojas installation on the roof top garden: “The Theater of Disappearance”. It was absolutely breathtaking! During daylight, sunset and at night with the Manhattan skyline in the background. Plus: the one cocktail I had on the roof made me quite tipsy and being drunk in a museum is the funniest thing ever. 🙂
On Saturday I visited the Brooklyn Flea & Smorgasburg, which moved to SoHo this season and I didn’t really enjoy it. The old location in Fort Greene was much better in my opinion. So sad that they lost this location. Afterwards I went to Hester Street Fair and that was just as fabulous as always! I ate fried green plantain cups with savoury fillings in the sunshine and the DJ played Otis Redding and I that was probably one of my favourite moments in NYC this year.
In the afternoon I moved to Chelsea for the last 4 days.