Brooklyn had always been somewhat of a mystical place to me. So close to Manhattan and yet typically viewed as too far away for us to take the trek out there from Connecticut for a day trip. Finally, we decided to go all-in on experiencing this New York City Borough by celebrating our 7-year wedding anniversary weekend in the place first made known to me by Spot Collins in the Newsies.
- Take Metro-North from Stamford, CT to Grand Central Station and then take the 4/5/6 Green Line downtown to Brooklyn from there.
- Check into the Nu Hotel on Friday Night.
- Enjoy the sites of Brooklyn on Saturday and Sunday.
- Head in to Manhattan to enjoy The Book of Mormon on Sunday night.
- Return to Stamford via Metro-North.
(Friday) Day 1 – Our arrival:
Full disclosure, I am a slow packer and in the end it got so late on Friday night that we called for a town car to drive us from Stamford to Brooklyn in order to turn a 2-hour exhausting commute of us and our many bags on public transportation systems into a 1-hour peaceful, chauffeured drive. But if you are looking for a cheap option… go the public transportation route. I love love love Metro-North.
When we finally got to Brooklyn we checked in at Nu Hotel, an awesome hotel in that it came with a room service list with more mixed drinks than food, free continental breakfast, a chalkboard wall in the bathroom, AND a hammock! The only downside was that it was located across from the Brooklyn detention center. But on a positive note, at least with all the cops swarming around we felt very protected.
That hammock was dangerous… at least in stopping me from being a couch potato! I sat in it while waiting for Bryan for 5 minutes. I woke up 2 hours later.
(Saturday) Day 2 (AM) – Promenade walks and crabs:
Our Saturday started out with a stroll through the Brooklyn Heights Promenade with gorgeous views of Manhattan. This picture doesn’t show it but there was free kayaking going on below, although free meant that there was a huge line! Since admittedly this vacation took place years ago I did a quick google search to make sure free kayaking was still a relevant option and it turns out that it is. Read Time Out’s synopsis of the 2019 kayaking season here.
Next up was brunch in Red Hook via the bus. Brooklyn Crab actually opens for lunch, but we made it our breakfast. This was a super cute restaurant across from the Red Hook Fairway that didn’t just serve up food but mini golf and corn holes as well.
The big sell of the day seemed to be their King Crab legs but they also had Maryland blue crabs. We were a little too lazy to do all the work that comes with eating crab meat straight from the shell and opted for crab and oyster sandwiches, which ended up being delicious.
Needing to walk off our gorge-fest we headed up a little ways to the Louis Valentino Jr Park and Pier. I had googled “romantic things to do in Brooklyn” when planning this trip and one of the main results was this park due to its small grassy area, pier for fishing off of, and views of the front of the Statue of Liberty. It was so cute and at the end of the pier there were indeed several fishermen catching their dinner for the night.
(SATURDAY) DAY 2 (PM) – SUPERHEROS AND ICE CREAM:
Since we had some time left before dinner, we figured we could enjoy one more stop along the way. Now, what goes with romantic walks in the park you ask? If you answered “a store for superheros” you would be correct.
Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. was absolutely amazing. When I first heard about the store I didn’t quite get it. A place that sold gag gifts as their sole product? How was it even still around let alone being revered in so many “must visit” articles I had read. Well, it turns out all was not what it seemed. The store was really a front for something else. A place with programs for students to foster writing and literacy, accessed through a secret door!!! The profits from the store were used to fund those programs. How cool is that?
Once we finished deciding if we just needed regular capes or the invisibility version, it was time for dinner. With that we headed off to the cutest little French Caribbean restaurant called Kaz An Nou in Prospect Heights. It was lovely, but sadly closed a little over a year after we ate there due to lease negotiation issues.
In an attempt to not be completely useless with food recommendations, I am happy to tell you that the delicious ice cream joint (Ample Hill Creamery) we stopped in for dessert after our dinner was a delicious hit and still seems to be doing well and thriving.
The wall at Ample Hill Creamery where you can leave recommendations of your ice cream flavor idea. This suggestion was my favorite.
(Sunday) Day 3 (AM) – more eating and walking that famous bridge
I’d say that my synopsis on Saturday’s events included quite enough food commentary to cover this entire post, but our Sunday morning kicked off with us visiting Smorgasburg in DUMBO. Smorgasburg touts itself as being the largest weekly open-air food market in America, attracting 20,000-30,000 people each weekend. They had everything from lumpia, asian tacos, and Bolivian sandwiches to donuts, BBQ, lobster rolls AND maple syrup covered bacon.
The Bolivian tent even had a Chuck Norris seal of approval.
We didn’t have too many plans after stuffing our faces at Smorgasburg so we just wandered around, checking out things like random art decorating the street.
We also decided to stroll the Brooklyn bridge. Weather.com lied to me, telling me it was supposed to be sunny all day but the views were still gorgeous. We walked into Manhattan and then back across the bridge in order to grab our bags and give Brooklyn one final good-bye.
(Sunday) Day 3 (PM) – A stopover in Manhattan before heading back to the city that works:
The last thing we had planned was to head into Manhattan and watch The Book of Mormon. I had wanted to see this musical for years but could never find a ticket price that wasn’t extremely expensive. The last time I had tried, ticketmaster stated the cheapest option was $400 / person. I was ecstatic that I found a reasonably priced ticket and could finally see the musical. So, did it exceed my every expectation? I was a little disappointed to be honest. My dad saw the musical when it first came out and hated it because of all the swearing. I’m definitely not that easily offended but it just wasn’t as enjoyable as some of the other musicals out there. (Yes, I’m talking about you… Wicked, Rent, Phantom…)
And with that we grabbed our bags (Bryan worked near Grand Central Station during this timeframe so we stashed our luggage in his office before going to Book of Mormon) and headed back to Connecticut, this time taking the much cheaper Metro-North option.
Brooklyn is a calm(ish) oasis next to the bustling Manhattan scene and is worth a trip out there to relax and be able to see all the sides that make up the wondrous New York City.
Hawaii Girl Travels…
Check out Destinations to see all the other places I’ve talked about. For other New York City-related information, read about an amazing day at Spa Castle, our 6-day trip back to NYC with an almost-three-year-old, and my recommendations of can’t miss things to see and do in New York City and the best places to eat in NYC if you don’t mind a hefty price tag.