Reporting Jay Lloyd
You’ve never set foot in Brooklyn, but you know Brooklyn Bridge Park. More specifically, you’ve seen the spectacular views it offers of lower Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty. There isn’t a New York-based TV crime show (think “Blue Bloods” and “Elementary”) that doesn’t regularly use Brooklyn Bridge Park as a prime shooting location. Why not? It provides the panoramic view that defines a dramatically large and vibrant city. River barges, helicopters, yachts and skyline all vie for attention. But how about the spot where all the scene-shooting originates? What’s there? What’s nearby? You’d be surprised. Come on along and don’t get distracted by Tom Selleck!
New Yorkers visit the park to relax amidst greenery. Walking and biking paths along the east river are lined with benches. There are horticultural gems, and the centerpiece is a faithfully restored Prohibition-era carousel. – Jay Lloyd
You’ll hear the carousel’s music before you see it. Set in a covered pavilion for year-round enjoyment, the whirling platform with colorful rising and dipping horses was built in our town by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. The year was 1922. The sound of a calliope draws strollers to a page from the past. It’s a stone’s throw from where Robert Fulton operated his early steamboats, and the price for a ride on the carousel also seems out of a bygone day. As the sign says, “Two bucks to pony up.” The kids can’t get enough.
A relaxing few hours break from the bustle of a Big Apple getaway wouldn’t be complete without a bite to eat or a gaze over a wine glass toward the newly risen World Trade Center just across the river. There’s a good variety of small bites here, from Latin flavors and lobsters rolls to ice cream treats. Then there’s the popular wine bar – all of it in the park, close to a display of photographic art and a developing Greenway. There are year-round recreation fields and a boathouse kayak base for summer, too.
It’s not a flying elephant; it’s a neighborhood, and it surrounds Brooklyn Bridge Park. New Yorkers are acronym crazed. This one is shorthand for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.” That’s one bridge over from the Brooklyn Bridge, but the neighborhood is a “must stroll” piece of geography. Old warehouses have morphed into upscale condos that were quickly followed by restaurants, boutiques and art galleries. And for me, any visit to the park and DUMBO means Brooklyn pizza.
One Front Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Judging by the crowds that line up outside this venerable pizza shop, you’d think it was the best in New York. Many do. You may have to wait an hour just to get inside for a pie that could become addictive, but I have a problem waiting in lines, so I go around the corner to…
4 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
This is a pie that rekindles boyhood cravings. It’s rich and red as the ripest tomato, and the sheen of olive oil just singes the roof of your mouth as the robust flavor practically explodes from the combination of sauces, cheese and oregano on a crust that stands at attention, thin and crisp. In fact, the crust itself is a treat. But I could do without the basil — no one put basil on a pizza when I was a kid. Still, try this pie. You’ll like it.
JAQUES TORRES CHOCOLATE
66 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Walk Water Street on your way back to the subway, and don’t pass by Jaques Torres Chocolate shop without going in for enough sugar blasters to last until the next visit. My gang picks up a few pieces to savor on the way back to Manhattan – it’s gone before we board the F train.
DUMBO and Brooklyn Bridge Park are one subway stop away from Manhattan.
Depending on where you stay, the 2, 3, A, C and F trains all stop within a 5 to 10 minute walk from the park.
For the most enjoyable ride and one that drops you right at the park, take the East River Ferry from the foot of Wall Street. The fare is $4 each way.
Or just take a pleasant stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge.