Brooklyn Like a Local

Brooklyn Like a Local

A New York-based fashionista takes us inside this hip-and-happening borough By: Valerie Chen
<p>Brooklyn’s Prospect Park // © 2015 Elizabeth Keegin Colley</p><p>Feature image (above): A guestroom at Wythe Hotel // © 2015 Matthew Williams/Wythe...

Brooklyn’s Prospect Park // © 2015 Elizabeth Keegin Colley

Feature image (above): A guestroom at Wythe Hotel // © 2015 Matthew Williams/Wythe Hotel


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After clients leave Brooklyn, suggest they state-hop and explore Boston like a local.

The Details

Kristen Allyson
www.kristenallyson.com

Though Kristen Gonzalez has West Coast roots, she considers herself a true New Yorker after five years in the Big Apple. And as an assistant designer for bridal and evening clothing line Samantha Sleeper, she has a soft spot for her current locale: Brooklyn, where the fashion scene has its own distinct flavor and where inspiration can be found on every corner.

Since friends and family often jump on cross-country flights to visit, Gonzalez has become quite the expert in parading Brooklyn’s unique blend of culture, style, music, art and food. Following are her insider tips.

From start to finish, an ideal food day is:
Tom’s Restaurant in Prospect Heights for brunch, Dough in Clinton Hill for a post-brunch snack, Xi’an Famous Foods in Greenpoint for lunch and Xixa in Williamsburg for dinner. Top it off with Ample Hills Creamery in Prospect Heights for dessert.

The hottest hotel at the moment is:
Wythe Hotel for spectacular views, an old Williamsburg vibe and a bar with an awesome DJ.

The best places to shop and find style inspiration are:
People in Brooklyn love thrifting at shops such as Beacon’s Closet, Urban Jungle and Fox & Fawn. Also, check out stores along Bedford Avenue, near the L train, and boutiques along Franklin Street in Greenpoint.

It’s Friday night. Where to?
Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg for music shows. Or, go to Pizza Party in Bushwick. It’s a late ’80s and early ’90s-themed pizza joint and bar with old-school action figures, movie posters and other decor that will evoke childhood nostalgia.

A tourist activity actually worth the hype is:
Walking the Brooklyn Bridge to Dumbo, where you will find Brooklyn Bridge Park. There’s also the photo-op spot at the intersection of Washington Street and Water Street for a beautiful, iconic view of the Manhattan Bridge.

Photos & Videos
NYC’s Brooklyn has become a destination in its own right; many travelers choose to stay at Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. // © 2015 Matthew Williams

NYC’s Brooklyn has become a destination in its own right; many travelers choose to stay at Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. // © 2015 Matthew Williams

Popular doughnut shop Dough has flavors such as toasted coconut, hibiscus, passion fruit, Nutella and more. // © 2015 Noah Fecks

Popular doughnut shop Dough has flavors such as toasted coconut, hibiscus, passion fruit, Nutella and more. // © 2015 Noah Fecks

Catch a music show at Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg (photo depicts Norwegian musician Cashmere Cat). // © 2015 Jonathon Bernstein

Catch a music show at Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg (photo depicts Norwegian musician Cashmere Cat). // © 2015 Jonathon Bernstein

Shop for fashionable and gently worn threads at Brooklyn’s thrift stores, including Beacon’s Closet. // © 2015 Carly Rabalais

Shop for fashionable and gently worn threads at Brooklyn’s thrift stores, including Beacon’s Closet. // © 2015 Carly Rabalais

Ice cream at Ample Hills Creamery is made in-house from start to finish. // © 2015 Ample Hills Creamery

Ice cream at Ample Hills Creamery is made in-house from start to finish. // © 2015 Ample Hills Creamery

Thanks to its inexpensive and delicious fare, Xi’an Famous Foods has earned a devoted customer base. // © 2015 Xianfoods.com

Thanks to its inexpensive and delicious fare, Xi’an Famous Foods has earned a devoted customer base. // © 2015 Xianfoods.com

Get transported back to the ‘90s at Pizza Party, a restaurant and bar in Bushwick. // © 2015 Pizza Party

Get transported back to the ‘90s at Pizza Party, a restaurant and bar in Bushwick. // © 2015 Pizza Party

Prospect Park is considered the flagship park of Brooklyn. // © 2015 Elizabeth Keegin Colley

Prospect Park is considered the flagship park of Brooklyn. // © 2015 Elizabeth Keegin Colley

I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but:
My favorite hidden gem is anywhere in the 525-acre Prospect Park. There are trails tucked away with streams, turtles, geese and swans.  

What makes Brooklyn particularly special is:
You can walk five blocks and feel like you are in a different country. In Crown Heights, we have a large Caribbean community (don’t miss the jerk chicken). In Bushwick, there’s a large Hispanic community; there’s the old-school Polish community in Greenpoint; there’s a Russian community in Brighton Beach; and more. 

We’re spoiled here in Brooklyn. We pay less rent than Manhattanites and get to enjoy all types of culture and food. Of course, Manhattan also has great places to eat, but that’s just one bridge away.

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