The Brooklyn Bridge looks mighty glorious when you peak out of your window. As you walk through the Cadman Plaza Park, you discover the equally impressive Brooklyn War Memorial. The gigantic limestone wall was erected in 1951 to honor the 300,000 Brooklynites who served in WWII. Two giant statues flank the space: a male warrior and a female with a child. Google search on your phone reveals they are symbols of victory and family. The memorial also lists the 11,000 Brooklyn residents that perished during the war.
Rejuvenated and rested, you jump out of you seat when you realize that the New York Transit Museum is closing in less than two hours. You race back to Boerum Place to make into one of the city’s hottest museum excursions. The New York Transit Museum is pretty darn cool. You get a chance to see and walkthrough the old subway and trolley cars that date back nearly 100 years ago. There’s even the progression of the turnstile and a look at the history of the MTA worker. Now that you travel the subway on a daily basis you have gained an appreciation for the country’s largest and oldest transit system.
As you begin to learn your new home, you really want to delve deeper into the history of the area. You already know that this is the city’s third largest commercial district. But there’s a long history here to dig up. You’ll find an Old Downtown Brooklyn District hidden within the MetroTech campus. As you start patching together landmarks, you start with the NYU-Poly building. The building was once the Bridge Street AWME – African Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal – Brooklyn’s first African American Church. Numerous historic events took place at the AWME, including Harriet Tubman’s 1865 speech. Not too far away down the Myrtle Promenade, you uncover the Duffield Street Houses, a collection of four 19th century townhouses (182-188 Duffield Street). The story has it that these houses had once been transported from Johnson Street, and preserved to highlight the legacy of Brooklyn’s middle class of the time. You continue down to Bridge and Willoughby Streets, and as if in a sudden twist of time, you find yourself in the epicenter of 20th century technology. This corner was the former Long Island Headquarters of the New York Telephone Company (365 Bridge Street), an Art Deco building since dubbed the BellTel Lofts. Your self-guided tour ends at 85 Willoughby, which is where the Beaux-Art home once housed the New York and New Jersey Telephone Building in 1898. And in the distance you could get a glimpse of one of Brooklyn’s most iconic buildings: the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower, a true architectural wonder.
You can’t go a day in any part of Brooklyn without experiencing your neighborhood’s local performing arts scene. And here you wiggle you way into the superbly gorgeous Issue Project Room. Besides hosting wondrous performances, the room itself is a work of art. Originally built in 1926, you will of course have views of Renaissance-revival appeals like the endless Corinthian columns and the 40-foot vaulted ceilings. But tonight you may be here to witness the soothing sounds of a master harpist and composer.
If you’re at all thinking desert, there’s absolutely no better candidate than Junior’s Cheesecake. A Brooklyn institution, the restaurant is known for its cheesecake. Yes, you’ve been hearing and seeing this place in pretty much every Jay-Z music video. After the first bite, you’ll instantly understand the fascination. The cheesecake is hands-down the best in the WORLD. Naturally, there are many types to choose from - the raspberry swirl, the strawberry, the pumpkin, apple crumb and chocolate swirl come to mind first. Tonight just take the NY plain route.
One or two drinks in, it’s time to elevate your night. Hands down the best late-night spot for a little bit of everything is W XYZ Bar Aloft Hotel Brooklyn. Live music, great drinks and pretty cool pool tables to unwind… what more could one’s heart desire at this hour? The decor is a marvel that speaks modern with a touch of Miami appeal. The outdoor patio has plenty of lounge chairs, simply calling for you to lay back and set yourself free.