THINGS TO DO IN DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN!
Downtown Brooklyn is the civic and commercial downtown center of the City of Brooklyn, now a borough of 2.5 million people. The area includes Metro Tech Center, Brooklyn Borough Hall, the Kings County New York State courthouse, and the central courthouse for the Federal Eastern District of New York. Schools include Brooklyn Friends School, St. Francis College, St. Joseph's College, Brooklyn Law School, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, New York City College of Technology, and Long Island University. Attractions within the area include:
Borough Hall Greenmarket
Three days a week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) the Borough Hall Greenmarket, featuring fresh produce from local farmers, operates on the plaza fronting Borough Hall. Formerly called Supreme Court Plaza, the location was renamed Columbus Park in 1986, sycamore trees having grown large enough to shield the middle 20th century Supreme Court building.
Bridges to Manhattan
Want to explore Manhattan as well as Brooklyn, or just take an exciting walk that will amaze your friends and family?
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
BAM’s mission is to be the home for adventurous artists, audiences, and ideas. BAM is America's oldest performing arts center, founded in 1861. It presents or produces up to 220 stage performances each year, many of international origin. It has a four-screen cinema, open 365 days a year, presenting new releases and BAMcinématek repertory films. www.bam.org/
- 150th Anniversary Archive Exhibition
BAM celebrates 150 years of artistic excellence with the release of a stunning new book featuring more than 350 archival images and original contributions by iconic artists and preeminent critics.
- The Caretaker
A pair of working-class brothers allows a homeless man to stay in their decrepit London flat, an act of compassion that sparks a cycle of cruelties, delusions, and shifting loyalties in a desperate struggle over territory.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
A world-class park that reflects the history and character of the Brooklyn waterfront and serves the people of the New York City region & beyond. http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/
Brooklyn Historical Society
The Brooklyn Historical Society connects the past to the present and makes the vibrant history of Brooklyn tangible, relevant and meaningful for today's diverse communities, and for generations to come. www.brooklynhistory.org
Brooklyn Tourism Center
From historic sites to walking tours, the Tourism & Visitors Center is the essential guide to all things Brooklyn. If you plan on catching the Coney Island Cyclones, a farm team for the New York Mets or if you want to see an exhibit at the New York Transit Museum, they can lead the way. www.brooklyntourism.org
Cadman Plaza Park
Named for an early televangelist, this park provides 10 acres of green space in the neighborhood, and was recently renovated by the New York City Parks Department. These and other parks form a long mall from Borough Hall to Brooklyn Bridge. http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/cadmanplazapark/
Fort Greene Park
Directly behind Long Island University, this historic park's history is rife with important names--Walt Whitman, Nathaniel Greene, Frederick Law Olmsted, Calvert Vaux, William Howard Taft, and McKim, Mead and White, to name a few--hinting at the important role the park has played in the city's history. Originally the site of forts built for the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, the community surrounding the land started using it as public space shortly after the threat of the War of 1812 passed. By 1847, it was designated a park (Brooklyn's first), and twenty years later, famed landscape architects Olmsted and Vaux began designing its new layout. www.fortgreenepark.org
Brooklyn's Fulton Street Mall is a pedestrian street mall and one of the most popular and successful shopping districts in New York City. This pedestrian mall in Downtown Brooklyn covers 17 blocks stretching from Flatbush Ave to Smith Street. http://www.shopdowntownbrooklyn.com/
Founded by Harry Rosen in 1950, Junior’s landmark restaurant is known as the home of New York’s best cheesecake. For decades, Brooklynites (and other New Yorkers) have come here to eat, laugh, and argue, over cheesecake. http://www.juniorscheesecake.com/
New York Transit Museum
The New York Transit Museum, one of the city's leading cultural institutions is the largest museum in the United States devoted to urban public transportation history, and one of the premier institutions of its kind in the world. The Museum explores the development of the greater New York Metropolitan region through the presentations of exhibitions, tours, educational programs, and workshops dealing with the cultural, social, and technological history of public transportation. http://www.mta.info/mta/museum/
*Photos from The Commons on Flickr. Sources: Brooklyn Bridge by Brooklyn Museum; Manhattan Bridge by US National Archives.