The best part of starting your day in Fort Greene is taking a stroll through Fort Greene Park. Small but utterly stunning, the legendary green space was formerly the grounds for Fort Putnam in the Revolutionary War. And today, it has the same effect as the famed Alamo Square in San Fran (the park from Full House) and you’ll just have to spend your first few hours on the grass reading your book. But look for the events board at the visitor center because Fort Greene Park holds some of best live music and art events in the borough. Before you leave, walk over the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument, a 106-year-old and 149-foot-tall structure. Stop and take it in. Tomorrow, you can Google it for details of what it was erected to celebrate. Quite the story!
Off to a killer bookstore! Greenlight Books is the place to be, so make the trip over to their 2,000-square-foot space on Fulton. Since it opened in 2008, the bookstore has become one of the most beloved shops in the city. Everything in here is cool. Even the bookshelves are custom made. There are endless events happening here, and even just a stroll to the front window of the place is spectacle. Greenlight Books have a massive collection of anything and everything ever written with a New York City theme.
The choice of a lunch venue is always a tough one in Fort Greene, because the restaurants here are easily comparable to those in Manhattan, if not better. You have cut it down to two standouts: Farmer in the Deli and Habana Outpost. The first is quite possibly the best sandwich shop in Brooklyn. The no-frills deli is no joke, and neither is having a Romanian pastrami hoagie. No wonder the place had been an institution in Fort Greene for a very, very long time. The latter is a Cuban-themed eatery with one of the best patio seating offers in the city. Habana Outpost is also known for its movie showings, and at certain times they act as a flea market. Adding to the charm, the food comes out of a food truck in the back (hence, “outpost.”) I bet you didn’t know that.
Besides vast artistic and culinary scenes, Fort Greene has its history. One tour company capitalizes on that past, covering more than 400 years of the neighborhood history. Its guided tour is free: Wallabout Walking Tour. You’ll learn how the nabe was developed when the Dutch first arrived in the 1600’s and you’ll visit spots like the Renken Dairy building, which is where storied author Walt Whitman wrote most of his masterpieces. You also take a stroll past the “40 Arces and a Mule Filmworks” studio with the hopes of seeing its famed owner, Spike Lee.
Choose the culinary indulgence for the evening. This won’t be an easy feat, since Fort Greene presents you with new American spots like Lulu & Po, which offers the scrumptious bone marrow tacos. But this evening you have reservations at Wallabout Seafood & Company. You have heard “Wallabout” a lot today and you finally find out the history of it at dinner. Wallabout is actually the name of the bay bordering northwest Brooklyn and was once a home to a famed fish market. This seafood spot does an incredible job in bringing the best of the sea to your palette. Start with the Spanish octopus and Malpaque oysters, and have the grand finale with the black squid-ink linguini.
The fun is in full swing now and you make your way to Fort Greene’s favorite late-night watering hole: Frank’s Cocktail Lounge. The craft cocktails are equally as impressive as Prospect’s, and there’s always a long list of live performers making their way into the saloon from either the DJ or a saxophone play session. There’s even a live jazz band on Thursdays, enhanced with plenty of room for dancing.