visit. brooklyn.

One of the things I loved about my recent week or so in New York was that I spent most of my time in Brooklyn. I’m sure you could spend a lifetime getting to know any one of the five New York City boroughs, but a week was a nice introduction. So here are my recommendations for a summer visit to Brooklyn, aka how to let “Brooklyn, Brooklyn take [you] in.”

Eat a Square and Ice at L&B’s Spumoni Gardens.

Did you know that spumoni is an ice cream dessert made of layers, usually with different colors? Yeah, me either. Had I known, I would certainly have ordered the restaurant’s eponymous dessert. Next time, perhaps. I do, however, heartily recommend the Sicilian square pizza (it is different, but good) featured on Man vs. Food and the Italian Ice much like Doodle’s here in Birmingham.

Walk, run, or play along the East River.

We spent days working, in cooperation with Shore Road Parks Conservancy and the city parks department to make Shore Road Park more inviting. Go enjoy it!

Enjoy the fun at Coney Island.

Ride The Cyclone and other great rides. Eat a hot dog at Nathan’s. Walk the boardwalk and the shore.

Root for the home team…

at the Brooklyn Cyclones game. Whether you can’t take your eyes off the field or just enjoy the excitement of the stands, make sure you attend a game. This one took me back to good ol’ days complete with ice cream served in those little plastic helmets.

Have cheesecake for breakfast at Junior’s.

You can eat the cheesecake anytime. We proved that as we finished off our breakfast with a slice. Juniors (where we took high school Seniors) opened in the 1950s, and the revolving door may in fact be a time machine. If Sky Masterson and Nathan Detroit had walked in behind me to bet on cheesecake vs. strudel, I wouldn’t have batted an eye or missed a bite. Oh, wait; that was Lindy’s (the competition). Sorry guys. I don’t know about Lindy’s, but Junior’s is totally worth the time and calories.

Attend a Service at Brooklyn Tabernacle.

The congregation is diverse. The music is inspiring. (The choir has been honored with multiple Dove Awards and Grammys.)  My friend Paula recommends reading Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire which contains the story of this church’s growth over the past couple of decades.

It was an absolute pleasure to serve the community of Bay Ridge with over 200 high school students and families from our church. I must thank City Uprising, Cornerstone Church at Bay Ridge, and Shore Road Parks Conservancy for making it such a memorable and purposeful week. To all the New Wind students and the choir’s leadership with whom I have spent months and years, I am so very proud of you and thankful for you.

Take in a sunset from a rooftop.

As a bonus, I had the opportunity to stick around in the city a little longer. During that time, I was invited by friends to a gathering on a rooftop in Park Slope. I wouldn’t trade this sunset for fireworks…ever.

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