Alisha Miranda's Brooklyn

Alisha Miranda is a proud resident of Prospect Heights Brooklyn, and though she's lived there for less than a year she's already feeling like it's home.  Which proves that old adage about homes and hearts, and also suggests that many of us travellers are just looking for a place that fits to plant roots in.  Maybe.  

More to the point, Alisha is also a travel blogger whose 'goal is to taste the breeze of every great city', and currently dreaming of her 'next big inspirational trip abroad'.  So she's a perfect candidate to respond to our Questionnaire for Experts, Bloggers and other Travel Knowledgeables.  

Where's your home town, and what's the main reason people visit?

I'm based out of Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. I like to think people visit for brunch at Tom's Restaurant, seeing Grand Army Plaza's triumphal arch, and the beauty that is Prospect Park.

What's the main reason you think people SHOULD be visiting?

For it's neighborhood feel, warm scenery, comfort food of up and coming restaurants and eateries, cheap and diverse bars, pop up local organizations, and leisure walks through colorful brownstones.

If you had to recommend to the friend of a friend one unmissable thing to do in your home town what would it be?

Weekend brunch at Tom's Restaurant. I go at least once a week - it's become tradition for friends visiting from out of town. Once you go, you'll understand why everyone falls in love.

If they had a whole day in town what would you recommend they do?

Grab a cup of coffee and bagel from the Pulp and the Bean on Franklin Ave. to kick off your day. Walk along Eastern Parkway to admire the Brooklyn Museum's exterior architecture. Stop in for donation-based admission and experience the intimate exhibits offered. Then walk down the street to peek in the Brooklyn Library or sit on its steps and admire the view outside of Prospect Park's grand entrance in front of Grand Army Plaza.

Next, go shopping at the Greenmarket in Grand Army Plaza for picnic items to take inside Prospect Park's massive lawn. Relax and people watch, or partake in recreational sports as everyone else does. Afterwards, take a stroll through one of the many paths of the park that lead you to see dated buildings surrounded by beautiful flowers and shrubbery, or open greens and trees that make for perfect frisbee action. Make your way along any chosen paths that drop you off in Park Slope and make your way to 7th Avenue for lunch at the Tea Lounge then plan for bar crawls along 5th Avenue that involve international beers, bocce ball, live music, and basement parties. Hopefully, you have enough energy left in you for all that partying at night.

What if they had three days?

Day one: see above

Day two: treat your hangover to brunch at Tom's then a relaxing visit to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. After, grab some ice cream at Blue Marble on Underhill St. If you need a caffeine boost, walk over to Gorilla Coffee for a shot of their strong brew. Then walk along Flatbush Avenue for vintage stores and unique international eateries. End your night at Washington Commons for a German beer.

Day three: Do breakfast at The Usual on Vanderbuilt Avenue and prepare for a sightseeing spree along that street. Pop into Milk Bar for some gourmet milk and pastries, watch out for bikers speeding by, pass by Muddy Water Espresso, look for boutique clothing stores, stoop sale signs, and treat yourself to an afternoon drink at Soda Bar. Or, grab a hot dog and drink at Bark. Hop on the subway towards Ft. Greene to visit the Brooklyn Flea - a giant outdoor artisans flea market that offers up every knick knack you could possibly imagine by local creatives, as well as food vendors from the area.

The great thing about Prospect Heights is that it's small enough to explore within, but also very walkable to nearby neighborhoods such as Park Slope and Ft. Greene. So it's easy to see more than one neighborhood in a day!

What will you never catch a local doing?

Talking about missing Manhattan.

What WILL you catch a local doing?

Pushing a grocery and/or laundry cart, having a meal on their stoops and conversing with neighbors, playing with their children in parks, and having coffee in any number of the shops in the area.

And what local delicacies would visitors be fools not to try while they're there?

Have I mentioned Tom's? OK how about going for beef patties at the West Indian corner delis, home-made pastries from independent bakeries, a coffee and bagel from the hipster-run wifi cafes, and fresh produce from the greenmarket at Grand Army Plaza.

In 140 characters, how would you sum up your home town as a great destination?

An outer borough atmosphere of feeling nestled and remote from Manhattan yet part of a bigger, thriving culture that keeps you smiling.

Anything else you want to add!?

The next time you're thinking of visiting New York City, consider venturing into Brooklyn for a change of pace. You'll be impressed at how welcoming us Brooklynites are and how proud we are to call this borough "home."

Comments by other travellers

Thanks so much for this interview - I'm so thrilled to share a piece of my Brooklyn home to everyone :)

6 Replies

I like your brunch recommendations - do you have any more? Also, is there an area with lots of vintage shops? Which ones are the best without being crazy expensive? Thanks!

For brunch in Prospect Heights I go to Tom's or The Usual. If I want something quick to eat, there's a dozen coffee shops serving up great bagels and coffee that I stop into often.

If you walk along Vanderbuilt or Flatbush, that's where the vintage shops are. I like to window shop there, some places are pretty expensive, others aren't. It's all about finding the bargains!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you get to visit the area soon.

I will be - I'm planning a trip to NY in three weeks time, so thanks a lot for your advice! I'll definitely be following it.

Hi Alisha, Would you say that Brooklyn is a good place for people to stay if they're just visiting New York? Is it fairly easy to get to and around and fairly safe?

Hey Simon -

Brooklyn is pretty easy to get to. For this area, you can take the 2 3 4 or 5 trains which run express. You'll be in Prospect Heights. The other parts I mentioned such as Park Slope and Ft. Greene run off the F, R, and C lines so just double check for specific info.

Brooklyn has plenty of cute B&Bs, hotels, and inns for travelers to stay at. In fact, a good friend of mine (@SpencerSpellman) stayed in Brooklyn accommodations the entire time on his last visit and spoke highly of several of them. I would reach out to him for more advice on that, as well.

The point I was trying to make here in this interview is that Brooklyn gets overlooked. And it shouldn't. It's a wonderful borough with exciting culture and diversity that deserves more recognition from the travel community. So I hope visitors coming to NYC take a day to explore our neck of the woods, and see why we love it here so much.

Thanks for the advice about where to stay, I'll get in touch with your friend. New York is a big city so it's really hard to know where to stay as a visitor! Appreciate the help!

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