The coffee shop Two for the Pot has been around for four decades but still provides a fresh cup of joe, along with charming mom-and-pop service
Brooklyn may have originally developed due to its convenient proximity to Manhattan, but now it is a destination in its own right. Brooklyn Heights is an affluent residential neighbourhood therein, famous for its low-rise architecture and brownstone houses — many of which were built before the Civil War. Set against the skyscrapers of Manhattan on the other side of the Hudson, they cut a striking, almost surreal contrast.
Overall there is a more neighbourly, less daunting atmosphere to be found here — and people relax accordingly. It is neither too trendy or too commercialised, so delve in and find some exciting cultural institutions such as the Brooklyn Historical Society. Dedicated to the borough’s 400-year history, there you can spend some contemplative hours in its quiet, wood-columned library, poring over local maps and historical volumes. Alternatively, enjoy the open air with a stroll along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, taking in its panoramic views of the Lower Manhattan skyline.
Under the Bridge
Bargemusic is an old barge that has been converted into a floating chamber-music venue. Docked under Brooklyn Bridge, it has a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline and the city lights shimmering on the Hudson. Concerts typically feature European classical composers, although jazz, Latin and 20th Century music can be found as well.
Before the Civil War, Brooklyn Heights was an epicentre of the Abolitionist movement. This was chiefly due to Henry Ward Beecher, the pastor of Plymouth Church. His church was renowned for helping slaves on their way to freedom in Canada, and he also shipped rifles to abolitionists in Kansas and Nebraska in crates labelled “Bibles” — the rifles were known as “Beecher’s Bibles”. Be sure to visit his church for a slice of history and to take a look at the pews where Abraham Lincoln himself once sat.
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