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Wild Women Expeditions


Visit Manhattan but Don't Forget Brooklyn...


Journeywoman Rena Grossfield is a professional writer specializing in business and finance who lives in Park Slope, a Brooklyn neighbourhood. She urges other travelling women to venture out of Manhattan to visit some pretty amazing stuff in her part of the world --a mere half hour subway ride from Rockefeller Center. Rena writes...

Have you noticed that Brooklyn has become more of a tourist destination lately? Even some of the red double-decker tour buses make a sightseeing loop here these days. However, largely because of residents' opposition to these big, polluting vehicles traveling through our mostly narrow streets, the bus companies don't actually go into my neighbourhood, Park Slope. They skirt it by going up Flatbush Avenue, a main artery that bounds it on the north.

Tour buses not allowed...

Tour operators let people off on the corner of Flatbush and Sterling Place at Christie's, a tiny take-out store recently named by NY Magazine as the best place in NY to buy Jamaican patties (filled with meat, chicken or vegetables -- for an amazing $1.25 each). This is right on the edge of Park Slope, but, unfortunately, most of the tourists -- despite being able to wander around and pick up a later bus to go back to Manhattan -- don't venture one step past the restaurant. We see them standing on this busy, very non-scenic corner munching their patties with the red bus huffing and puffing next to them, and we always want to say, " Be creative --take a walk. Some of NY's most beautiful homes are literally steps away from where you're standing."

From Manhattan to Park Slope...

I'd like to explain to other JourneyWomen the best way to see Park Slope. From Manhattan, one can get to Grand Army Plaza station in Park Slope on various trains (such as the 1 or 2), but the most scenic one is to take the "Q" train (on the IND line), getting off at Seventh Avenue in Brooklyn (it's the third stop -- first comes DeKalb, then Atlantic Avenue). The trip takes about 30 minutes from midtown Manhattan (you can get it at Rockefeller Center, for example, or 42nd Street, or 34th Street, to name a few major stations). It's a scenic route because the train goes over the Manhattan Bridge, giving the rider a fabulous view of the Brooklyn Bridge. Really, it's the best view of the bridge you can get easily.

P.S. New York City subways and buses operate seven days a week, 24 hours a day. New York City uses MetroCards, which are good on both subways and buses. A single trip is 2.00 but I recommend buying an unlimited MetroCards. They are a great way to save money and time. The 1-Day Fun Pass costs $7.50 and is good for one day of unlimited subway and bus travel. The 7-Day Unlimited Card is $25 and is good for a week of unlimited travel The easiest way to get a MetroCard is in a subway station at the MetroCard Vending Machines, which takes both cash and credit cards.

Shopping and restaurants...

When you come up from the station, walk down the street (it's a stretch of Flatbush Avenue that immediately merges with Park Place and Seventh Avenue), and turn left on Seventh Avenue. This is the main shopping street of Park Slope. Walk along this street for a while. There are a lot of nice shops and many restaurants (good places for a snack include two of my favorites --Cousin John's bakery and Ozzie's coffee bar). There is also, alas, a new Starbucks further down Seventh Ave.; Park Slope has managed so far to avoid most of the chains, but a few are now encroaching. For a meal, possibilities on Seventh Ave. include the Lemongrass Grill (Thai), Santa Fe Grill (Mexican), Olive Vine (Middle Eastern), Fujisan (Japanese), and numerous Chinese and Italian places. Fairly far down on Seventh Avenue is a particularly fine Continental restaurant, called Max and Moritz.






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