Erik Trinidad of The Global Trip has traveled to dozens of countries around the world, but he’s been proud call Brooklyn home for the past five years. Check out a few of his favorite things about New York City’s most populous borough (by far, actually), then add your own two cents by leaving a comment.

Catch up with Erik by following @TheGlobalTrip on Instagram and Twitter.

Brooklyn is My City

Radegast Hall & Biergarten. (Photograph by Break.things, Flickr)

Radegast Hall & Biergarten. (Photograph by Break.things, Flickr)

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is Radegast Hall & Biergarten, one of several beer halls/gardens all within walking distance of each other in Williamsburg.

Summer is the best time to visit my city because there’s plenty to do outdoors, with free movie screenings in the parks and many food and music fairs.

You can see my city best from atop the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian path.

Locals know to skip Grimaldi’s, the famous pizzeria under the Brooklyn Bridge, and check out Roberta’s in Bushwick instead.

Brooklyn Flea is the place to buy authentic, local souvenirs.

In the past, notable people like Spike Lee, Jay-Z, Woody Allen, Arthur Miller, The Beastie Boys, Neil Diamond, and Barbra Streisand have called my city home.

My city’s best museum is the Brooklyn Museum because it makes world-class art accessible to the community. The New York Transit Museum in downtown Brooklyn is also great. But be warned: you might leave obsessed with trains.

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s that trains on the G line have fewer cars than most other lines in the New York subway system, and that you need to be in the center of the platform when it finally arrives — or you’ll miss it and have to wait a while for the next one.

A peek at the fare on offer at Roberta's in Bushwick.  (Photograph by Robyn Lee, Flickr)

A peek at the fare on offer at Roberta’s in Bushwick. (Photograph by Robyn Lee, Flickr)

The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is Prospect Park, Brighton Beach, or the Coney Island boardwalk.

My city really knows how to celebrate its Caribbean cultural heritage. Each year on Labor Day weekend, there’s a huge West Indian American Day Carnival in Crown Heights.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they continually mention how they live in Brooklyn with a sense of pride that has come to annoy many residents of the city’s other boroughs. (Maybe they’re just jealous.)

For a fancy night out, I can still wear jeans in the all the best restaurants, because the Brooklyn vibe is casual no matter where you are. However, if you want to really class it up, try The River Cafe. (There’s a dress code.)

Just outside my city, you can visit Manhattan, Governor’s Island (via the free ferry service from Brooklyn Bridge Park), and Queens.

My city is known for being a place where everyone talks in a stereotypical Italian-American accent with phrases like “fuhgeddaboudit,” but it’s really diverse with accents from everywhere, including the regular American one.

The best outdoor market in my city is Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene and Williamsburg.

Egg is my favorite place to grab breakfast, and The Meatball Shop or M Noodle Shop are my spot for late-night eats.

Jane's Carousel with the Manhattan Bridge in the background. (Photograph by Gmacfadyen, Flickr)

Jane’s Carousel with the Manhattan Bridge in the background. (Photograph by Gmacfadyen, Flickr)

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read The L Magazine, Brokelyn, or Time Out New York.

My city’s biggest sports event is whenever the New York Knicks play the Brooklyn Nets. Watch it at Barclay’s Center.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I go on a long bike ride, or just hang out with friends at one of our apartments with a cheap (but decent) bottle of wine.

To escape the crowds, I ride my bike around Prospect Park, down Ocean Parkway to Coney Island, or chill out by the river in East River Park.

If my city were a celebrity it’d be Brooklyn-born actor Steve Buscemi because even though he may not look like a flashy guy, he’s well-respected in the arts, and sort of quirky.

The dish that represents my city best is New York-style pizza (which originated in Brooklyn), although every neighborhood has its signature dish. Greenpoint has its Polish pierogies. Red Hook is known for Salvadoran pupusas. Brooklyn’s Chinatown in Sunset Park has its Cantonese noodles. And of course, Coney Island is almost synonymous with hot dogs. Beer is my city’s signature drink since it’s made by local brewers like Six Point, Kelso, and Brooklyn Brewery.

The Brooklyn Flea holds markets every weekend. (Photograph by Eric Konon, Flickr)

The Brooklyn Flea holds markets every weekend. (Photograph by Eric Konon, Flickr)

The glass Pavilion designed by Jean Nouvel in Dumbo is my favorite building in town because even though it’s modern and grand, it doesn’t overshadow what it houses: Jane’s Carousel, a restored carousel from the early 20th century.

The most random thing about my city is seeing a magician pull a rabbit from a hat on the subway. (I’ve also seen a woman peel potatoes on the subway; maybe she wanted to save time preparing dinner.)

Music Hall of Williamsburg is the best place to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check out Bembe.

Seeing a random Hasidic Jewish man skating down the street — and no one thinking it’s out of place — could only happen in my city.

In the spring you should check out the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.

Cherry trees at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. (Photograph by Dave Bledsoe, Flickr)

Cherry trees at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. (Photograph by Dave Bledsoe, Flickr)

In the summer you should check out the Mermaid Parade on Coney Island.

In the fall you should stroll around Prospect Park.

In the winter you should take the plunge with the Coney Island Polar Bear Club.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss Luna Park, the amusement park at Coney Island.

The best book about my city is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys. It’s our unofficial anthem.

In 140 characters or less, the world should heart my city because Manhattan may be the fast-paced face of New York City, but Brooklyn is its relaxed heart and soul.

Love where you live? Fill out our I Heart My City questionnaire for a chance to share your insider intel with the Intelligent Travel community.

Comments

  1. Patricia McLennan
    Ripon North Yorkshire UK
    June 21, 2013, 4:51 pm

    Hi Erik, I’m reading a fantastic book called New York by Edward Rutherfurd. Always been an admirer of Brooklyn Bridge (Mr & MRS Roebling) so pinged the site as I wanted to see the walkway. I’ve never been to NY but yr top tips 4 Brooklyn sound wonderful especially that Williamsberg Music Hall venue Paul Weller in July WOW! Maybe ONE day I’ll get to the Big Apple x Pat

  2. Steve Fort
    June 19, 2013, 10:40 am

    You need to check out OddFellows Ice Cream in Williamsburg. They’re new. Close to Radegast and might be the best ice cream in New York City.

  3. Erik Trinidad
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    June 16, 2013, 9:02 am

    Brooklyn by bike tip: The service road down Ocean Parkway to Coney Island has less bumps in the path (from overgrown roots) than the actual designated bike path.

  4. Felipe Lavalle
    Brooklyn
    June 14, 2013, 12:13 pm

    Brooklyn has become such a popular tourist destination in the past few years as the creative center for everything going on in NYC. North Brooklyn (and the neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint) is full of fantastic nightlife, bars, restaurants, art gallaries and live music venues and the waterfront neighborhoods of Dumbo, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and Red Hook are Historically significant and offer beautiful views of Lower Manhattan. Much of the popularity can be attributed to the support the local community in Brooklyn gives to sustainability and local business. You don’t find many cookie cutter shops just cool, authentic, locally owned establishments.

    Lisa – Cycling is hands down the best way to get around and new companies have popped up offering bike tours of all thing Brooklyn. Get Up and Ride (www.getupandride.com) is hands down the best as they keep group sizes small, provide every guest with walkie-talkies and headsets and showcase authetic, off the beaten path sites that only locals know. I’ve referred many friends to their tours and they’ve come back raving! Hope my comment helps as I love living in Brooklyn and like spreading the love. Like Biggie said “spread love that’s the Brooklyn way”

  5. Valli Weiss
    Kensington, Brooklyn
    June 13, 2013, 6:55 pm

    As a Midwest transplant to Brooklyn for more than 30 years, I have to say Erik got Brooklyn spot on! Do everything he suggests and you will know & love our borough.

  6. Lisa Markuson
    Brooklyn
    June 13, 2013, 5:47 pm

    These are great answers- My Brooklyn is very related to yours. Any special tips for Brooklyn by bikes?