Brooklyn NY Attractions - Best Bars and Restaurants in Brooklyn, New York, NYC Excursions

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New York Travel Tips - Best Restaurants and Bars in Brooklyn New York NY

Explore Brooklyn New York - Best Bars and Restaurants in Brooklyn, NY

The View from Brooklyn cont'd
by Christopher Goodfellow

Andy Statman peforming at Barbes Bar, Brooklyn
Photo by Sarah Ziegler

During the evening we went to Barbes Bar, near Park Slope, to see locally based artist Andy Statman who is very New York, very Jewish and now living in Flatbrush, South of Prospect Park. Behind a curtain at the back of the bar the performance room was packed. He blended bluegrass, jazz and Klezmer, a traditional style of Jewish folk music, playing both the clarinet and the mandolin, while the band continually improvised, culminating in the drummer leaning over and slapping the double base with his sticks mid solo.

The next day we started by grabbing breakfast at Bonnies Bagels, Hanson Place, for standard street fare New York Bagels have earned their reputation as some of the worlds best, before heading to Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, which is set on the North East of Prospect Park.

It's easy to while away a few hours exploring its centuries-old displays and for me the highlight was definitely the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. Originally completed by landscape architect Takeo Shiota in 1915 and later restored in 2000, its ornate bridges are surrounded by Bonsai and incredibly tranquil. The gardens also hold yearly Greenest Blocks in Brooklyn competitions to celebrate the boroughs green-fingered residents.

The park in which the gardens are based acts as the focal point for the Borough and provides a much needed access to wilderness to its residents, much like Central Park to residents living North of the River. Blessed with a beautiful fall afternoon we spent the rest of our day playing frisbee, lolling around in the sunshine and sneaking a few beers in a paper bags.

It's also worth spending time exploring the neighbourhoods around the park during the evening where a strew of local bars form a patchwork of musical ambiance and there are plenty of good local comedians at work. Bram Rosenfeld, a well-travelled Brooklyn resident, told me the variation of music available in the borough rivalled that of London, Dublin, Tokyo, Nashville and Chicago; "Manhattan hosts the established, mainstream music acts. But for the underground, under appreciated, un-definable - for the music you grew up with, for the music that hasn't been on popular radio since the 1940s, for the music that won't hit popular radio for another five years, Brooklyn."

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