What to do in Brooklyn when your parents are in town
The cool grandparents are moving to Brooklyn—NYC’s go-to borough for real ale, bocce and knitting. Here’s how to please everyone next time the folks visit.
Wed Apr 2 2014
Hey, you! Yes, you, with the silver hair, excellent manners and ability to recite poetry by heart! Ever consider moving to Brooklyn? We ask because a report in the New York Observer reveals that one of BK’s biggest growing demographics is older folks—what the paper describes as “a crop of graying gentrifiers.” The Observer attributes this largely to parents moving closer to their kids and grandkids. But we reckon it’s simpler than that: Grannies are moving to Brooklyn because its residents already live like old people.
Think about it: Many Brooklynites’ idea of a swell evening is to hang out someplace like Union Hall, to sit in an armchair with a nice book and a whiskey, and then play bocce. I mean doesn’t that sound lovely?
So if your parents are visiting Brooklyn—or indeed, setting up residence in Kings County—here’s some more stuff you can enjoy together.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Cherry Blossom festival is the jewel in the crown of the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens; at the annual Sakura Matsuri Japense festival (Apr 26, 27), you and your folks can gawk at the gorgeous blossom, stroll around decorative lakes and rock out to shouty Japanese bands in the main tent. Plus, you can swing by the Shakespeare Garden, which is filled with plants inspired by the Bard’s poetry. Oldster heaven. Bonus: The Garden’s neighbor, Prospect Park, is an easygoing treat any time of the year.
The Brooklyn Museum
A beautiful old museum right next to the beautiful old park? Grandma bliss. And while this BK institution is packed with old-fashioned treasures (a 4,000-piece Egyptian collection, plus works by Monet and Degas), its modern exhibitions are stellar (try Ai Weiwei’s latest, or its show on civil rights in the '60s). Because in all likelihood, your folks are much cooler than you.
Beer is not a modern thing—yes, your grandparents like it too. All the more reason to take a family trip to the Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg, join one of their brewery tours and sample suds in the tasting room.
Roebling Tea Room
A menu filled with different teas and old-school booze (port, rum, Scotch)? We’ll take ours with a crossword puzzle and a comfy chair, please.
Relaxation 101 for those inclined toward gentle pastimes, Brooklyn Crochet offers yarn fans the chance to get together and hone their crochet skills, as advertised on its site: “Crochet a small purse perfect to hold your cell phone and keys to take home.” Go hard, Brooklyn.
Tell your folks not to worry about bedbugs and take ‘em to the Brooklyn Flea, where you’ll find gorgeous antiques nestled next to vintage frocks and attic knickknacks. Oh, and spectacular snacks. Never forget the snacks.
Crest Hardware Store
Your mom is a better gardener than you are, face it. So head down to this Billyburg perennial together to pick up some cute plants for your fire escape—and enjoy the company of Crest resident Franklin the pig. Whatever you do, don’t miss the store’s annual art show and live-music blowout in August (pulled-pork sammies will be frowned upon).
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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)