Kate Hooker is a lawyer and writer who fled the East Village for Brooklyn a few years ago in search of outdoor space. When she isn’t working or writing for brooklynbased.com, Kate is often found exploring Brooklyn's restaurants and bars (particularly those that trade in oysters, craft beer, and pie), seeing live comedy, and watching college basketball.
About Crown Heights:
As recently as a few years ago, Crown Heights was still best known to outsiders for the race riots that happened there in the early 1990s, but the neighborhood has undergone a dramatic transformation and is now overflowing with trendy restaurants, hipster-friendly shopportunities, and the lower crime rates and skyrocketing real-estate prices that typically accompany those things. An easy trip from Manhattan via one of several express subway lines, Crown Heights is a vibrant and diverse community that blends the old and the new into one of the most dynamic environments in the city. Grab a bite at one of the many first-class restaurants scattered along Franklin Ave. or just take a stroll to check out the neighborhood’s electric vibe and striking architecture.
The Unconventional Shopper
For a low-key retail experience, head to Owl and Thistle General Store, which specializes in local, green and fair trade products. Here you’ll find a curated collection of unique gifts like Brooklyn-made beer chocolates, indie statement jewelry and silk-screened tote bags.
Crown Heights is just a stone’s throw from the Brooklyn Museum, but if your vacation involves kids, you might want to skip the high culture and head straight to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Little ones universally love this interactive experience, which allows them to climb on stationary city buses, make play pizza pies in a replica Italian restaurant, try on a traditional Chinese New Year costume, or explore an urban woodland, complete with live snakes, toads and turtles.
The exploding culinary scene in Crown Heights means that you’ll never go hungry again (in this part of town). Standouts include Gueros Brooklyn, which slings the best breakfast tacos and migas I’ve had outside Texas; Glady’s (pictured), a cool Caribbean joint with killer jerk chicken and frozen rum slushies; and Bar Corvo, an upscale rustic Italian restaurant where you’ll find perfectly executed pasta. If you are yearning for a cocktail, The Crown Inn (724 Franklin Ave., 347.915.1131) boasts highly competent bartenders and a chill, neighborhood bar atmosphere. Even beer nerds will be impressed by the rotating tap selection at Covenhoven, which includes a friendly vibe and good music. For a more high-energy night out on the town, Franklin Park accommodates a courtyard, two indoor bars, skee-ball, a photo booth and dancing to a mix of hip-hop, reggae and 1980s music.