NYC: Brooklyn & Chinatown

This final post of the NYC series is dedicated to two very unique neighborhoods: Brooklyn and Chinatown.

The Brooklyn Bridge has great views of the city and the bridge itself is picuresque–perfect for a photoshoot minus all of the other people also having a photoshoot. The bridge has a classic symmetry and the wire lines create a unique geometric overlay over the blue sky and the skyline of NYC. I had some fun playing with different angles for photos up there.

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We walked part of the bridge and then turned back the way we entered so that we could explore the artsy and hip DUMBO area. DUMBO stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, and its streets are full of cute cafes, restaurants, and shops.

We stopped at Almondine, a French bakery, and I was captivated by the artwork on the walls. They were drawings of birds by the artist natchie, and each bird had a few words that described their personality. I love them so much! Some of my favorite birds were Harrold (an avid reader, art collector, and a homebody), Jack (honest, smart as a whip, and has big dreams), and the one who was an amateur surfer.

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The Brooklyn Bridge Park is in DUMBO as well, and it’s a beautiful park with a contrast of nature and industrial bridges. This park is a great spot to sit and relax, read a book, or have a bite to eat.

We ate a restaurant called Cecconi’s which is right on the water, but outside seating requires reservations or a long wait. The interior of Cecconi’s is beautiful and their food was tasty but definitely a splurge price-wise.

On another day, we came back to Brooklyn for the Brooklyn Flea which I really enjoyed since I love antiques and handmade items. It was actually unseasonably chilly and windy on that day, so there weren’t many vendors or shoppers but I still found some things to buy. I noticed more murals on this day, and they were awesome. Colorful art is my favorite and those muralists definitely used a lot of colors.

Another area of Brooklyn we enjoyed exploring was Brooklyn Heights, around the Pineapple Street/Cranberry Street/Orange Street area in particular (p.s. aren’t those the cutest street names?). This residential area had beautiful townhomes with pristine windowboxes and stoops, narrow, tree-lined streets, and multiple inlets to the river with places to sit and look out over the water. It was almost completely empty and quiet here, and it was more peaceful than DUMBO. We passed by someone who was giving a group a tour, and he said that a place on the corner there had just sold for $42 million dollars! One of the women in the group asked if that was for the whole townhome, and the guide said no, it was just for part of it. It would be a lovely place to live but the pricteag is exorbitant.

One of my favorite adventures on this trip to NYC was our visit to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The grounds were well-manicured, and I found the rose garden reminiscent of a fairytale due to its ivy arches, white crosshatch stricture, and the roses, of course.

Even more, I was completely enchanted, riveted, and awed by this field of purple flowers. We stumbled upon this area, and it was so incredibly wonderful and unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It reminded me of the meadow from the book/movie Twilight, with its soft light, purple blossoms, and dark green trees. Here, the sunlight eased its way through branches and bounced off the pale purple flowers so that some sections appeared to be glowing. The best word I could use to describe this would be heavenly. It was so idyllic and serene, and I loved every second of being there.

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There’s also conservatory greenhouses with special flora from all over the world. I had a blast visiting the different rooms, each of which was based on a climate like the desert and the tropics. I’m pretty sure I was prancing around from plant to plant with a giant, giddy smile on my face and said “wow” 100 times at least. I aspire to have such a magnificent collection of plants like this one day. The layout of the plants was so artfully designed and brilliantly maintained. There were hardly any people at the botanical garden which added to its calm vibes, but there were a few separate photographers and models shooting in the greenhouses.

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The last full day of our trip was mainly spent in Chinatown. The Chinatown in NYC is expansive and bustling with people. It was Veteran’s Day when we visited, and there was an adorable marching band of Chinese children playing patriotic songs in the street as well as a parade of veterans.

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We ate at Noodle Village which was extra delicious and definitely some of the best Chinese food I’ve ever had. I ordered a vegetable noodle soup and scallion pancakes, and both were delightful. I wish I could teleport back to that restaurant to get some more delicious food.

The streets in Chinatown are lined with people selling counterfeit purses, sunglasses, and things like that but there are also vendors selling Asian fruits and vegetables. There are┬áso many shops full of trinkets and souvenirs in addition to specialty food stores with candy and spices I’d never seen.

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