Friday, January 18, 2013

Tips for visiting Brooklyn, NYC

So after taking the train into New York City from New Jersey several times over the last couple years, we finally decided to visit the Brooklyn area and it was AWESOME. After strolling along the Brooklyn Bridge for a bit, we had to have the ultimate NYC pizza experience at Grimaldi's Pizzeria and my mouth is watering just thinking about pizza of my life. Jumping into a cab, we drove north about 10 minutes to the Brooklyn Brewery where we caught the tail end of the brewery tour and then purchased 5 pints for $20. The atmosphere was super laid back and comfortable and we had a great time.

Along with some great pics that I took, I have a few tips to make your much needed trip to Brooklyn a great one.


Firstly, we used the "HOPSTOP" App on iPhone (also on android and free to download) and it was very helpful. Just type in where you want to go and it tells you how to get to the subway, which trains to take, what times the trains are running and how long it should take you.

Check out the app here:

To save on cash, I recommend public transit (a mixture of train, subway and taxi). To get to Brooklyn from Penn Station, NYC we took the subway "A" train to High Street which was a 10 minute ride and dropped us off about a 5 minute walk from the bridge. To use the subway, you must purchase a swipe card (Metrocard) either from the cashier or the automated machine and costs $2.25 to enter. From the Bridge to Grimaldi's Pizzeria (1 Front St, NYC) is about another 5 minute walk and from there to the Brooklyn brewery (79 North 11th Street, NYC) was about a 10 minute cab ride (coming to about $15.50).  To get to the subway again from the brewery, it was probably about a 5 minute walk and we took the "Q" and "L" trains to get to Times Square, NYC. You could also return to Penn Station, depending on how sore your feet are.

Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is an ideal location to take some beautiful, frame worthy shots. Get your deep down photographer on and play around with angles and try black and white photos for something that looks straight out of a magazine. Make sure to pay attention to the walking and bike lanes while on the bridge or you might get yelled at by a biker who refuses to slow down for pedestrians.

Grimaldi's Pizzeria

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria is very famous in the area and all over the country for their undeniably delicious pies and the line ups to get into the restaurant are proof. The restaurant opens at 11:30am Mon-Fri and 12:00pm noon on weekends and there is usually a line up forming before the doors even open. We decided to call and find out when the best time of the day to stop by was and were told to come at 4pm or 8pm to avoid the rush. We arrived just after 4pm and went right in, only waiting a couple of minutes to be seated. Soon after, we started to see a line forming along the front of the building and by the time we left I would guess that the wait outside could have been up to an hour to get a table. We ordered a large pizza between the two of us and finished the entire thing! Our bill was only about $18.00.

Brooklyn Brewery

The Brooklyn Brewery is a hot spot for the locals and tourists alike. The last tour of the day was at 5pm and takes you through the small brewery, being led by a young guy who has a good sense of humor and what I only assume is every other guys dream job. The tour was probably only about 20 minutes, ending with a mad dash to the bar area where you must purchase tokens for pints of beer ranging from very light to very dark. As it was Saturday, the line ups were fairly big and seating was limited, but don’t be too shy to ask to share a table with the people already there (which may be your only option anyways). Everyone there seemed to be having a great time and definitely enjoying the decently priced beer of $20 for 5 glasses.

Ladies, the only downfall of this awesome day was the lack of good shopping that I came across in Brooklyn. If you’re looking for that to-die-for shopping experience, I suggest sticking to Fifth Ave.

Find more information at the following links:

Visit Brooklyn

Grimaldi's Pizzeria

Brooklyn Brewery

New York City Transit

Have you ever been to Brooklyn? Leave a comment describing your trip.

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