Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched a new initiative, Neighborhood X Neighborhood, “designed to support local businesses and encourage tourism in neighborhoods outside traditional tourist locations across five boroughs.”
But according to the Brooklyn map that goes along with the initiative, nothing south of Prospect Park appears to be worth seeing.
The guide focuses on Bushwick, Fort Greene, Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, BoCoCa, Downtown Brooklyn, Park Slope, Prospect Heights and Williamsburg. In addition, City Sights NYC, a large tour bus company, is “expanding” its services to Brooklyn. Buses will go over the Brooklyn Bridge, but only stop off at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Museum and the Barclays Center.
This obviously doesn’t sit well with residents and fans of all that the rest of the borough has to offer. To remedy this problem, here’s a brief guide of must-see spots in Southern Brooklyn, aka some of the things that the mayor missed.
69th Street Pier, Shore Road Park and Bike Path
The stretch along the shoreline between the 69th Street Pier and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge isn’t just for local athletes. World-class views — the bridge, of course, but also the skyline of Manhattan Liberty — make the promenade a must-see for visitors, and it’s free!
It’s scenic, with its rolling hills, and it’s historic. Battle Hill is one of the locations where the Revolutionary War Battle of Brooklyn took place. Plus, many famous people are interred there – the likes of Boss Tweed, Leonard Bernstein, Elias Howe and Louis Comfort Tiffany. Want to explore? Try a trolley tour. Go to www.green-wood.com for more info.
The Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House
The historic farmhouse, at Clarendon Road and Ralph Avenue, is the oldest house in New York State, dating from the mid-1600s. It’s now a museum that opens doors into the colonial past through its artifacts, its guided tours and its ongoing educational programs. Go to www.wyckoffassociation.com for further info.
Fishing boats still dock along Emmons Avenue, which is lined with restaurants, many featuring seafood. Though the legendary Lundy’s eatery is gone, its landmarked building – now containing shops –can be viewed at the corner of Ocean Avenue, and visitors can cross over to Manhattan Beach via the iconic Sheepshead Bay footbridge, recently reopened after being badly damaged during Hurricane Sandy.
Flatbush Dutch Reformed Church
The churchyard is an oasis of quiet in one of the busiest commercial areas in Brooklyn. It’s dominated by the elegant white spire of the old church, which dates back, in its current incarnation, to 1796. Many of the graves are older, and a walk among them reveals the origins of many Brooklyn street names, from Ditmas to Cortelyou. Across Flatbush Avenue, you can admire the splendid architecture of the landmarked Erasmus Hall High School, and glimpse the original schoolhouse, the 1787 Erasmus Hall Academy, also a landmark, inside its courtyard.
Part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, and overseen by the National Parks Service, Canarsie Pier has been a popular destination for anglers and picnickers. Among the offerings in season are concerts and kayaking. For further information, go to http://www.nyharborparks.org/visit/capi.html.