Brooklyn Travel Guide

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Neighborhoods to Know and Go: Brooklyn's Red Hook

Where: Red Hook [map], Brooklyn, NY, United States
May 20, 2014 at 11:40 AM | by | ()

The main aspect that makes the Red Hook neighborhood so interesting is that no one discovers it by accident. Located at the far southwest corner of Brooklyn, it is completely inaccessible via public transportation, meaning that no one passes through and no one gets there any other way than car, bike, or on foot.

And because it is about a 30-minute walk from the Brooklyn Bridge Park, you won’t see many tourists finding their way to this developing neighborhood. And as the irony goes in the realm of travel, a lack of tourists is exactly what makes an area so appealing for tourists. We spent an afternoon exploring Red Hook this past weekend, and here’s an overview of what you can expect:

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'Girls' is Transporting the University of Iowa to Brooklyn

May 8, 2014 at 1:17 PM | by | ()

Hannah Horvath has never been one to let rejection hold her down, and neither does the Girls' actress who plays her.

After the University of Iowa turned down a request made by Lena Dunham and company to shoot their HBO series on campus, they decided to bring Iowa to their home base of Brooklyn.

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Neighborhoods to Know and Go: Brooklyn's Gowanus

May 22, 2013 at 1:30 PM | by | ()

Someone told us the other day that the word 'Brooklyn' has entered the French lexicon—as an adjective, used to describe something that's super trendy. While we think that's going overboard, nobody can deny how fashionable the borough has become over the past 10 years, and that popularity isn't likely to dwindle anytime soon.

Most tourists tend to migrate towards northern Brooklyn when they visit, and while we love us some Williamsburg and Bushwick, there's another new 'hood that's emerging as a ground zero for art, culture and lip-smackin' good eats: Gowanus.

For better or worse, the neighborhood is best known as the home of the Gowanus Canal—a.k.a. one of the most toxic bodies of water in the country—though that's all about to change, as city officials recently announced a multi-million dollar project to clean up the gunky waterway and make Gowanus a little easier on the eyes (and the nose).

This is all great news for visitors, though locals have been tuned into this spot—with its growing artillery of cool performance venues, cozy coffeeshops, and (yes) clam shacks—for quite some time.

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Prepare to Burn Your Mouth Off at the First Annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo

Where: 110 Kent Avenue [map], Brooklyn, NY, United States, 11211
April 11, 2013 at 2:01 PM | by | ()

A similar event in Austin, TX

Remember that episode of The Simpsons where Homer has to coat his mouth with wax in order to withstand some really hot chili peppers? That should help you prep for New York City's first-ever Hot Sauce Expo, which will go down at East River Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on April 20.

Events during the two-day festival include a hot-sauced-laced-brownie-eating contest and a chicken cookoff. If you just want to wander around looking for trouble, there are plenty of places to buy and sample hot sauces and other spicy snacks from brands like Volcanic Peppers and Deception Salsa. The expo is also focusing on NYC-area brands like A & B American Style and Long Island's High River Sauces.

Pack your sunscreen...and a few gallons of water.

[Photo: ChroniclePromotions]

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How To Get Tickets To The Internet Cat Video Festival

April 3, 2013 at 1:16 PM | by | ()

Are you secretly obsessed with online cat videos? Can't get enough of Grumpy Cat? Well, now there is a the fest just for you!

The Internet Cat Video Festival is headed to Brooklyn this fall.

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Write a Song About NYC's G Train, Win a Trip to Sweden

June 26, 2012 at 10:47 AM | by | ()

In his novel Motherless Brooklyn, Jonathan Lethem takes pity on the G train, New York's most maligned subway route. He says that the train's legendary terribleness is because the G, like the runty kid in school, gets picked on for being the only train line that doesn't touch Manhattan.

Like it or loathe it, the G is in major need of a PR boost. So local hopmasters Brooklyn Brewery are sponsoring a contest. They're asking songwriters and musicians to compose original songs about the G train and post them on YouTube. After that, they'll chose a few favorites and ask readers to vote. The winner scores a free trip to Sweden for the Debaser Music Festival in August.

Might we suggest "The Waiting 40 Minutes at 4 AM Blues" as a possible title?

[Photo: bitchcakesny]

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Coney Island Scores Two New Coasters for Summer 2011

April 26, 2011 at 9:13 AM | by | ()

After years of decline it looks like Coney Island has finally found its place in the 21st century, and things seem to be moving full speed ahead into the future. Last year Luna Park joined the theme park offerings, and this summer looks to welcome a pair of brand new roller coasters. Sure they aren’t the extreme offerings at some of the country’s bigger parks, but these are the first new coasters to hit the boardwalk in more than 80 years.

Scream Zone is one of the area’s newest amusement park spots, and recently they introduced the new rides. Soarin' Eagle and Steeplechase were welcomed by coaster fans—including Mayor Bloomberg—last week.

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Is New York City Getting Another Airport Nearby JFK?

April 6, 2011 at 11:09 AM | by | ()

Everyone knows that the New York City area could use another airport—or at least a major revamp of the existing facilities—but the problem is that there’s just no darned space to construct what's required. Well apparently there’s some underutilized property in Brooklyn that could be the area’s third airport—or fourth if you’re cool counting Newark. Floyd Bennett Field was once home to famous aviators like Amelia Earhart and Howard Hughes, and now some want it to reopen as a hub for the modern traveler.

The old airfield sits on Jamaica Bay with JFK Airport not too far off in the distance, so it’s in a pretty decent location to help out all those airplane traffic jams. With the new advances in air traffic control technology, the thinking is that this spot could be used without interfering with all the comings and goings at JFK. The only issue is that the airport is hardly ready to go, as runways would need to be lengthened, terminals would need to be built, and Uncle Sam would need to hand it over to someone like the Port Authority.

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Is Brooklyn's Gritty Gowanus Canal to be NYC's Next Tourist Attraction?

January 19, 2011 at 3:21 PM | by | ()

A few days ago, The Brooklyn Paper published a most intriguing article that enlightened us to the fact that Brooklyn is attempting to get its Gowanus Canal and the surrounding neighborhood listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Sure, it's been around forever, and mills began operating on the Canal as early as 1645, but that doesn't change the fact that anyone who know a little bit about Brooklyn knows that, these days, it's one of the most polluted bodies of water in the country.

Still, local preservationists are all about getting the Gowanus neighborhood designated as a city historic district, which could possibly attract tourists to the area for its rusting, industrial, native Brooklyn grit. Because that's what the tourists to NYC want, right? Gritty, but pretty.

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50 Years Ago Today, a Mid-Air Collision Brought a United Jet Crashing into Brooklyn

December 16, 2010 at 1:35 PM | by | ()

Although it's never nice to talk about past air incidents when they have the possibility of freaking you out before flying, but it's important to note that today marks the 50th Anniversary of one of the most tragic airplane accidents in history. At the time, in 1960, it was the deadliest, killing 128 people in the sky and 6 on the ground. Here's what happened:

In the morning of December 16, 1960, a TWA Constellation carrying 44 was heading to land at LaGuardia Airport while a United DC-8 Jet with 84 on board was on its way to land at Idlewild Airport (now JFK). Because of lower-tech air traffic control systems of the time, and because the United jet wasn't in the spot it thought it was, the two planes collided over Staten Island. The TWA prop plane was sliced into three pieces and fell straight down onto a military field in SI, while the United Jet managed to continue as far as Brooklyn, where it eventually fell into a church and intersection in the Park Slope neighborhood, killing 6 on the ground and setting buildings on fire.

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'Brighton Beach' Reality Show Will Go Up Against 'Jersey Shore'

October 8, 2010 at 9:10 AM | by | ()

Are you tired of MTV's Jersey Shore yet? Your response to that doesn't really matter because either way, another show very similar to it is due to hit the TV, and it'll focus on an area not very far at all from Jersey Shore's Seaside Heights: Brooklyn's Brighton Beach. Auditions for the proposed Russian-American reality show wrapped in March, and now it's been confirmed that the series is coming to Lifetime next year.

Originally, the producers wanted "the Russian Snooki" and someone who attends "birthday parties at Russian restaurants every weekend," but now, with Lifetime's backing, they're recasting for families in order to tell a "multigenerational women’s story about life in the community." Hmm, that sounds like every other Lifetime movie they already have, except that this one will be a 12-episode series.

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How Much Does Using the Internet Cost on a Cruise Ship?

Where: Brooklyn Cruise Terminal [map], Brooklyn, NY, United States
May 6, 2010 at 9:30 AM | by | ()

In the world of travel WiFi, there are three big players: hotel wifi, in-flight wifi and airport WiFi. Actually, now that Amtrak and many European have installed the internet, we could even add "on-track WiFi" to the list too. But let's take a step further than these. Let's go to the frontier of travel connectivity. Let's talk about at-sea WiFI.

On our recent tour of Cunard Line's massive Queen Mary 2 liner while she was docked in Brooklyn, we started wondering if we could ever settle in for a 9-day transatlantic crossing as the passengers boarding were doing. Our hearts told us yes, but our minds know the reality of the situation, and that is how we'd probably develop a tick if we had to go more than two days without the internet, especially out in the middle of the open ocean.

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