A Day in Crown Heights

Home to one of the largest Hasidic communities in America, and at the same time to one of the largest West Indian, Crown Heights is a cross-section of American diversity. The neighborhood remains a preferred, affordable rental destination, the fact alone causing it to transform into a popular food hub. Still, there’s history to behold on Eastern Parkway and beyond the brownstones. 
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Tinto

The way to a great morning in Crown Heights is a hole in the wall on Nostrand Avenue – Tinto. Considered by many Brooklynites to have the best cold brew coffee in Kings County, the coffee shop also attracts patrons with its soothing surroundings, a serene white decor and parquet table tops. Cast iron baked eggs with spicy tomato-pepper-mushroom sauce or the Breakfast Box that features grits with soft boiled eggs, sautéed kale and tomato jam are the definite crowd pleasers.   

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Brooklyn Children's Museum

With or without a kid in tow, sometimes you just have to be one yourself, which is why you decide to make your way to the Brooklyn Children's Museum. Nope, this is not your everyday children’s museum. This is, in fact, the very first museum to cater to children in the United States. Founded in 1899, some believe it may even be the first in the world. The museum’ best exhibit has to be World Brooklyn, where mini shops are recreated from real ones around the borough for children to play in.

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Butter & Scotch

It may be way too early to go to a bar, but not if you have baking and sweats (and only periferally drinking) in mind. For a novel approach, you stop by Butter & Scotch. Their pies – like the Bourbon Ginger Pecan (made with Kentucky Bourbon and a generous amount of ginger) or the S’mores pie – are excellent candidates for some unapologetic finger-licking. For yet another twist of the twist, you could have your pie turned into a milkshake. You could even get that in an adult version, by ordering “The Nameshake,” their Black Bottle Scotch and butterscotch caramel with vanilla ice cream and toffee bits.

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Park Delicatessen

After all the tours, you deserve to indulge, and shop, with a twist. Hands-down the best specialty store in Crown Heights is Park Delicatessen, part flower shop, part skate shop. Unique is the owners’ upcycling of deli cases that encase their floral offerings. Originally, the proprietors set out to find a large work space to arrange their flowers for a busy Valentine’s Day. Over time, the space developed into a much larger venture. The flower/skateboard shop has become one of the highest rated flower shops in the city. Today, Park Deli offers an array of dry goods such as souvenir stickers and pins to go with skater ware and skateboards. Truly a unique experience. Don’t rush. Find yourself something here that represents the Brooklyn you.

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Crown Heights North Historic District

This is probably the best time to take a stroll on Eastern Parkway, the world’s first parkway. With the crowds simmered down from the morning rush, take your time to walk the streets and study the awe-inspiring architectural pleasures of the Crown Heights North Historic District. The landmarked area comprises 1,019 buildings (most built between 1853 and 1942), showcasing a multitude of building styles, including Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Queen Anne, Romanesque Revival and Beaux-Arts. For a quick historic trip to the world of Europe in the early part of the 1900s, take a peek at the Union League Club, Imperial Apartments, and the Brooklyn Methodist Episcopal Church Home.

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Dutch Boy Burger

As you slowly discovered, a setter of many, Brooklyn is all about trends. And the newest trend in the BK these days are burger joints. There’s a surplus of them in nearly every neighborhood. You decide to give into your burger-craving self, and pay Dutch Boy Burger a visit. Excellent decision! In my humble opinion, their burgers are beyond delicious. The burger crafters here combine brisket and short rib from the meat purveyors at Los Paisanos Meat Market in Cobble Hill. The results are outrageously tasty. There’s the hangover burger with a fried egg or the beer-braised burger with onions and mushrooms. You finish your meal with a milkshake that’s made from the nearby Blue Marble ice cream.

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Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic Movement

With all that food in your recent past, it’s time for another quick walking tour around the neighborhood. Visit two notable landmarks that perfectly encapsulate the essence of Brooklyn... the first being the Ebbets Field Apartments, located at 55 Sullivan Place. Yes, this is the original location of the iconic Ebbets Field, the former home of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1913 to 1957. Though the location is at the Flatbush border, it is close enough to walk and take a look at the hallowed baseball grounds, despite it having dramatically changed from the heydays (now a high-rise rental apartment complex). The second landmark is some 10 minutes north, at 770 Eastern Parkway. Crown Heights is home to one of the largest Hasidic communities in the world, and this the central headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic Movement. The Gothic revival building was built in 1930 and is considered one of the most iconic landmarks in Judaism in the world.

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Five Myles Gallery

There’s an overtly artistic side to every Brooklyn neighborhood. In Crown Heights, find yours at the brilliant exhibition slash performance space – Five Myles Gallery. The flamboyant, experimental, ever-changing exhibits at Five Myles bring in new works from local artists on a weekly basis. The curators focus on bringing to the community, and the public, innovative, out-of-the-box works.

A Night in Crown Heights

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Glady's

Your night on the town is about to begin. Luckily for you, Crown Heights is one of the fastest growing culinary destinations in the city. For now, you are thinking – a quick drink at Glady’s. The Caribbean-themed restaurant has some of the tastiest cocktails in the borough. The most original concoction you consider ingesting is one of their slushies. Your thoughts are going back and forth between the Dark N’ Slushie (Gosling’s Black Rum, Ginger and Lime) and the Greenwich Sour (Bourbon, Spiced Orange Syrup and Red Wine Float). Until you decide on one.

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Berg'n

Back to the drinks after a hearty meal. Make sure not to pass Berg’n by! The gigantic beer hall, located at 899 Bergen Street, is the centerpiece of the ever-changing Crown Heights nightlife. The owners are the same people that brought us Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea, and of course, under the cavernous ceilings, there’s just so much to take in. First, there’s the endless array of beer choices, including Other Half IP and Von Trapp Boheimian Pilsner. All in all, you’ll find a tasteful selection of more than 50 craft and European beers. But what makes this place unique is its indoor market-style approach. Berg’n is host to a number of food vendors – Mighty Quinn’s BBQ, Landhaus, and Lumpia Shack, among others.

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Mayfield

Dinner time! Crown Heights has so many exceptional candidates – Food Sermon Kitchen, Crabby Shack and pretty much any restaurant along Franklin Avenue. Mayfield, located at 688 Franklin Avenue, is the winner tonight. The eatery offers upscale contemporary American fare in a laid-back atmosphere. Catch a sporting event while giving the restaurant’s signature crisp fried quail (seasoned with Old Bay and served with honey-bourbon sauce) a shot. Don’t miss a chance to sink your teeth into their octopus dish served with pork belly (cooked in duck confit) and white beans. Succulent. Scrumptious. Perfect.

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Friends and Lovers

The night can’t be complete without some music and maybe even some dancing. The experience at Friends and Lovers is one you can’t miss. The weekends could get cramped but there’s a spacious dance floor and lounge to relax and enjoy the live DJ or one of the many live bands. Don’t hesitate to get on Friends and Lovers’ mailing list to get in on the upcoming events. Never a bad night at this party hall.

Words by Arte Vincent

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JENNIFER RHODES
JENNIFER RHODES
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Residential Division
Office: 347.227.8998
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