Got room for seconds?
They may have been runners-up in the previous pages, but these enclaves are worth exploring in their own right.
Wed Sep 17 2008
Manhattan’s first suburb is brimming with postcard-pretty brownstone character. Shop for household tchotchkes and nifty gifts at Haystack Home & Body (130 Clinton St between Joralemon and Livingston Sts, 718-246-2510). Then make a left on Remsen Street and head to the Promenade—the view of New York Harbor and lower Manhattan will take your breath away and remind you why you live here. Follow the Prom to the fruits: Cranberry, Orange and Pineapple Streets are home to notable 19th-century buildings, such as the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims (75 Hicks St at Orange St), which was the “Grand Central Depot” of the Underground Railroad. For dinner, locals crowd into Henry’s End (44 Henry St between Cranberry and Middagh Sts, 718-834-1776) for burgers, gamecentric dishes and an eclectic wine list—the blackboards boast ten by-the-glass selections every night.—Robert E. Malchman
Pratt sculpture park
Fort Greene/Clinton Hill
These twin historic Brooklyn ’hoods are a perfect mix of youthful energy and grown-up sophistication. Foodies should head to Myrtle Avenue to check out one of the city’s up-and-coming restaurant scenes. A not-to-be-missed newcomer is the traditional Italian eatery Anima (458 Myrtle Ave between Washington and Waverly Aves; Clinton Hill, 718-422-1122). Fort Greene has also become something of an oenophilia central in the past few years, with a number of lovingly curated wineshops popping up. One of the best is The Greene Grape (765 Fulton St between South Oxford St and South Portland Ave, Fort Greene; 718-797-9463), which also houses a gourmet food market. Looking to relax with scenery, not hooch? Skip the lovely but always-bustling Fort Greene Park in favor of the triangular pocket park Cuyler Gore (Fulton St at Greene Ave, Fort Greene) for some prime people-watching. Then saunter over to Pratt Institute (200 Willoughby Ave between Classon Ave and Hall St, Clinton Hill; 718-636-3600) for an oft-overlooked art lover’s delight: the city’s largest sculpture park, with an ever-changing array of work by students and alumni.— Ethan LaCroix
As indicated by the widespread uproar over the Atlantic Yards development, there’s a refreshingly strong sense of community in this teensy Brooklyn nabe. See what all the fuss is about on a walk through the recently proposed Prospect Heights Historic District, a 21-block area filled with beautiful architecture and carefully preserved Italianate and neo-Grecian row houses. Sip Gorilla Coffee at Joyce Bakeshop (646 Vanderbilt Ave between Park and Prospect Pls, 718-623-7470), or hop across the street to Fermented Grapes (651 Vanderbilt Ave between Park and Prospect Pls, 718-230-3216), where the superfriendly staff can help you choose the perfect vino. Then have a postdrinking chow on crispy wood-fired pizza from Franny’s (295 Flatbush Ave between Prospect Pl and St. Marks Ave, 718-230-0221), touted for making one of the best pies in the city—and deservedly so.— Amy Plitt
Thalia Spanish Theatre
A planned community of two-story brick houses, Sunnyside Gardens, Queens, was built in the 1920s around English-style garden courts and narrow paths that beg for meandering. Fuel up with a hearty order of pork sausages at the popular Romanian Garden (46-04 Skillman Ave at 46th St, 718-786-7894), or grab a stool at Aubergine Café (49-22 Skillman Ave at 49th St, 718-899-1735), purveyor of coffee, pastries, wine and cheeses to the local lounge lizardry. Rummage for custom jewelry and designer handbags at the Sea Kiss Boutique (48-13 Skillman Ave at 48th St, 718-779-5105) and then flaunt them at a tango, flamenco or zarzuela performance at the Thalia Spanish Theatre (41-17 Greenpoint Ave at 41st St, 718-729-3880), the city’s foremost presenter of Latino dance and drama.— Richard Koss
Despite its close proximity to the Grand Central Parkway, Van Wyck Expressway and Jackie Robinson Parkway, leafy Kew Gardens, Queens, resembles a sleepy village (albeit a gray one, come winter). Mood (120-29 83rd Ave between Beverly Rd and Greenfell St, 718-849-6663) will grab you with its nouvelle American cuisine and great weekend brunch. The steps of the Queens County Criminal Courts building (125-01 Queens Blvd at Hoover Ave) are a good place to park and watch the world go by. Sample the clay on display at The Potter’s Wheel (120-33 83rd Ave between Beverly Rd and Greenfell St, 718-441-6614), a gallery, store and studio that also gives pottery lessons; or play outdoorsperson and walk one of the three nature trails in the 538-acre Frederick Olmsted–designed Forest Park.— Richard Koss
Boasting the city’s second-biggest Chinatown and its largest Korean population, Flushing, Queens, teems with restaurants and markets. Drop by KumGangSan (138-28 Northern Blvd at Union St, 718-461-0909) for Korean barbecue. Find healing for whatever ails you at Shun An Tong Health Herbal Co. (135-24 Roosevelt Ave between 112th and 113th Sts, 718-445-9358), where an herbalist prepares ginseng, shark’s fin and other traditional Chinese remedies. Catch the monthly Queens Jazz Trail, a trolley tour of the homes of former Queens residents Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and John Coltrane, picked up from Flushing Town Hall (137-135 Northern Blvd at Linden Pl, 718-463-7700), or take a breather and contemplate the 140-foot-high Unisphere, a steel globe from the 1964–1965 World’s Fair, from a bench in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. — Richard Koss
Lexington Candy Shop
Upper East Side
If the Met leaves you with the cultural equivalent of mall syndrome, opt for a manageable cache of masterpieces by Vermeer, Rembrandt and others at mansion-museum the Frick Collection" (1 E 70th St between Fifth and Madison Aves, 212-288-0700). Cut over to 1925 soda-fountain-cum-lunchroom Lexington Candy Shop (1226 Lexington Ave at 83rd St, 212-288-0057) for doorstop-size slices of French toast, then eschew the designer excess of Madison Avenue for elegant bi-level boutique Edit (1368 Lexington Ave between 90th and 91st Sts, 212-876-1368), which mixes luxe and laid-back labels. For an intimate alternative to Central Park, admission to the Cooper-Hewitt (2 E 91st St at Fifth Ave, 212-849-8400) includes access to the secluded back lawn, where you can linger indefinitely over refreshments from the café.— Lisa Ritchie
The Demolition Depot (216 E 125th St between Second and Third Aves, 212-860-1138) packs in tons of antique finds, ranging from marble soap dishes to three-foot-high stone gargoyles. All that browsing will work up an appetite, so grab some authentic tacos al pastor at El Paso Taqueria (237 E 116th St between Second and Third Aves, 212-860-4875)—a perfect combination of melt-in-your-mouth marinated pork, grilled onions and pineapple. Eat them as you watch a soccer game at Thomas Jefferson Park (First Ave between 111th and 114th Sts), or head down the street to the picnic table under the elm tree in Rodale Pleasant Park Community Garden (437–439 E 114th St between Pleasant and First Aves), and lunch next to row after row of radish, cilantro and papalo plants.— Nicole Tourtelot
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