Check out Brooklyn on your next city break to New York

A city break in New York tends to be all about Manhattan, with shopping on the avenues, culture at the Guggenheim and shows on Broadway. For something different, why not get off the beaten track by visiting the borough of Brooklyn?

The most evocative way to approach Brooklyn (www.visitbrooklyn.org) is by taking the scenic stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge from Lower Manhattan, admiring the ornate wrought iron construction.

Break yourself in gently at the impressive Brooklyn Museum (www.brooklynmuseum.org) with its works by Monet and Degas, and a Rodin sculpture court, reminding you that Brooklyn was a substantial city in its own right before its union with New York.

Williamsburg, an old Polish neighbourhood, has been the hippest enclave for artists and musicians for over a decade, and it is still full of scenesters running bars, shops, coffee-houses and bookstores. You don't have to have neatly sculptured facial hair to fit in here, but it helps.

Older money has gathered in Brooklyn Heights, looking down (in more ways than one) on Manhattan. Beautifully-restored 19th-century brownstone townhouses are arrayed on neat streets named after fruit, the occupants well-served by elegant restaurants which feature in all the guides to the best places to eat in New York.

It's a sprawling city in its own right, but one that is still seen at its best from sidewalk level, or from the bar of one of its great old alehouses. As you sip a product of the fine Brooklyn Brewery (www.brooklynbrewery.com), congratulate youself that this was one city break in New York that went beyond the familiar tourist spots.


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