Historically and geographically, Brownstone Brooklyn begins here.
Fri Oct 24 2008
Brooklyn Heights has been an established neighborhood since George Washington’s day, when the Continental Army retreated through here after the Battle of Brooklyn. This historic pedigree makes the area seem somewhat sleepy in comparison with newly arrived nabes like Boerum Hill: You won’t find a strip in the Heights as booming as Smith Street. But there are plenty of things to do if you know where to look.
It’s debatable where the Heights ends and adjacent areas like Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Dumbo begin. We canvassed parts of Cadman Plaza West and Atlantic Avenue, along with the two main drags on Montague and Henry Streets.
Check it out
One amenity offered by Brooklyn Heights is that while several subway lines serve the area, you don’t need a train to get here: Just walk or bike across the Brooklyn Bridge. Then make your way from the bridge through Cadman Plaza Park down to Borough Hall (Court St at Remsen St), where a farmers’ market sets up Tuesdays and Saturdays from 8am to 6pm. Head west along Remsen to enter the foot of the famed Brooklyn Heights Promenade, which runs north for six blocks, high above the BQE. There isn’t a better view of Lower Manhattan or the harbor anywhere else, especially as the sun goes down. Your family will see Governors Island, the Statue of Liberty and the Staten Island ferry all from one vantage point.
When the kids get bored with gawking at the skyline, the Pierrepont Playground, just off the Promenade, presents plenty of distractions. Or, if you’re at the northern end of the Promenade, try the Harry Chapin Playground (Columbia Heights between Cranberry and Middagh Sts).
Bone up on the borough’s fabled history at the stately Brooklyn Historical Society (128 Pierrepont St, 718-222-4111). Stop by the information desk to pick up a free walking-tour map of the Heights.