Living in Brooklyn

At no point in my life did I ever hope to live in Brooklyn. But surprise surprise, now that I'm here, I see that it's actually kind of nice.


Living in Brooklyn

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Andrew on May 17, 2005

Of all the parts of Brooklyn I've seen so far, my favorite is the Park Slope area where I live. From there, you can visit Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Museum, and my apartment. And probably many other things that even I haven't seen yet.${QuickSuggestions} If you're in Park Slope, 5th avenue and 7th avenue are good places to stroll. There are lots of cafes, restaurants, and people walking dogs.${BestWay} The subway goes all over Brooklyn. The F line and the 2/3 lines and some others, apparently, will take you right into Park Slope... and beyond, if you're not paying attention. I don't drive here, but parking doesn't appear to be easy to find.

Coney Island

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Andrew on June 5, 2005

On the first hot, sunny day of the summer, I decided to go and see what this Coney Island place actually is. The first thing I discovered was that it's not an island. It's just the end of Brooklyn--last stop before the ocean. This means, of course, that there is a beach. And as you might imagine, a beach in New York that is easily accessible by public transit is rather crowded on the first real summer day of the year. But in this case, the crowd is part of the attraction -- I had understood Coney Island to be the run-down ghost of a once-popular resort; I was pleasantly surprised to see that it is both busy and fun.

One of the first things I did -- after waiting in a long, slow line for an expensive hot dog on the boardwalk -- was ride the famous Cyclone. As I was waiting for my turn on this old, small, creaky wooden roller coaster, I thought it was going to be about as exciting as a ride on the F-train (for those of you non-New Yorkers, that's not slang; it's the subway line I take to work). Turns out I was wrong -- it was surprisingly fun, partly because of the real fear of pain I started to feel after going through the first drop. The cheap padded cushions you sit in really don't cushion anything, and unlike those other newfangled shiny, modern, well-maintained roller coasters, there is a genuine fear of death in the back of your mind as you ride this one. On the bright side, this was possibly the shortest line I've ever waited in for a roller coaster. But you pay for it -- $5 a ride.

Other than that, Coney Island features mostly the same carnival games as any other amusement park and a bunch of other rides that you can also find elsewhere. There is a freak show if you like that sort of thing. And every 4th of July, there is a special freak show -- the Nathan's hot dog-eating contest, where skinny Japanese guys eat 50 hot dogs in a few minutes. As amusement parks go, it may not have the polish of, say, a Six Flags, but it's free to visit, easy to get to (the F, Q, N, and several other subway lines end up here), and right on the ocean. It can be a pleasant escape from Manhattan on a sunny day.

Coney Island Beach, Boardwalk, Amusement Parks
Surf Avenue
Brooklyn, New York, 11224
(718) 372-0275

New York Aquarium

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Andrew on June 5, 2005

Aside from a dramatic come-from-behind win in a race to the top of a climbing wall at nearby Coney Island, visiting the New York Aquarium was probably the highlight of my afternoon trip out to the area. That may be because the inside parts of the aquarium were air-conditioned. The insufferable heat that day made me really want to jump in the water with those sea lions. Fortunately, I did not do that but instead went around to see all the sea creatures living in Brooklyn.

It seems that the most bizarre and charismatic animals of the sea are over-represented in this exhibit. California sea otters, for instance, don't live anywhere near New York, but they sure are entertaining, so there are several to be seen here. But that was fine with me. I very much enjoyed watching those otters -- they always look like they're having so much fun swimming around in the water.

On the inside of one of the aquarium's buildings, you can see the sea lions swimming around underwater. They seem to enjoy swimming straight at the glass, then stopping right there. It is a bit thrilling to see one of these giant animals coming right at you and then stopping right at your face, eye-to-eye. A few of the other cool things to see here: seahorses, jellyfish, an octopus, rays, Beluga whales, and assorted fish of many colors, shapes, and sizes. I imagine this would be a great place for kids, and indeed, I tripped over several of them who seemed to be enjoying themselves.

New York Aquarium
Surf Avenue at West 8th Street
Brooklyn, New York, 11224

http://www.igougo.com/journal-j43033-Brooklyn-Living_in_Brooklyn.html

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