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Walking through Brooklyn Heights


One of my favorite parts of New York City to walk around in is Brooklyn Heights. This is one of the oldest parts of Brooklyn and it sits just across the East River from the southern tip of Manhattan. I really like walking past the old brownstones looking at the shops and cafes, but my favorite part of “The Heights” is walking along The Brooklyn Promenade.

Brooklyn Heights was developed in the early 1810’s when Robert Fulton opened ferry service between New York City and Brooklyn, then a separate city. By the 1820’s it had become New York’s first commuter suburb, home to many businessmen who crossed the river to work, while maintaining homes in the clean air of Brooklyn. The speed of this development was increased in 1822 when New York was hit with a Yellow Fever epidemic that never crossed the river.


Public Domain,

 By 1860, there were over 600 houses in Brooklyn Heights, and with the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883 it quickly became fully developed. By 1890, it was the commercial and financial center of Brooklyn. Brooklyn Heights has been, from the very beginning, the home to the old money upper class of Brooklyn. It was also home to the abolitionist movement during the 1850’s. 

By Currier & Ives [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 Brooklyn Heights was the first neighborhood in New York City to be protected by the 1965 Landmarks Preservation Law. The architecture of the area is mainly row houses of 3 to 4 stories. Because they were built during a 50 year period, the styles vary from Federal to Neo-classical, mostly with Jersey Freestone, what is called NYC Brownstone. The fact that these are smaller buildings, but with varied styles makes Brooklyn Heights a great place to walk around. There is a lot to see for those who are interested.


As something of a foodie, Montague Street, which stretches from Columbus Park, near Brooklyn Borough Hall across Court Street north to the water, is one of my favorite streets. It is a diner’s paradise. I stopped counting listings when I got to 25 restaurants. There is something for every taste and budget. If you prefer familiar fast food restaurants, Subway’s and Chipotle’s and Five Guys Burgers offer inexpensive eating options, along with several pizza shops. Two of my favorite places are Gallitos for Mexican food and Vegetarian Ginger for Asian Fusion. Both of these restaurants are reasonably priced and serve delicious food.

By Aude (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The most beautiful place in Brooklyn Heights, in my opinion, is The Promenade. With some of the best views of lower Manhattan, I love to walk along or just sit enjoying the view. The hum of the BQE below the walkway becomes almost meditative. The tourist helicopters taking off and landing from the Wall Street heliport have the regular pattern of bees entering and leaving a hive. The ferries cross the water between Brooklyn, Manhattan, Governor’s and Staten Islands, looking like pond skaters, skittering across the river and bay, going back and forth looking for something, but never quite finding it.

When I was little my parents used to take us to the Promenade, often for an evening walk to watch the sun set over the buildings of lower Manhattan, followed by getting some ice cream at one of the dessert shops along Montague Street.

 IMG_0154The Promenade

IMG_0157Lower Manhattan from the Promenade

IMG_0162IMG_0166Filming a scene of the TV show "BULL"

So visit Brooklyn Heights. It is full of history, interesting houses, good food and beautiful views. It is a great place to spend an afternoon.

Getting There:

Subway – Take to 2,3 trains to Clark Street; the 2,3,4,5 trains to Borough Hall, the A,C,F train to Jay Street/Metrotech or the R train to Court St.


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