Brooklyn walkabout

Jun 2nd, 2007, 09:28 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 183
Brooklyn walkabout

I will be a single female visiting NYC in a few weeks. This time I want to see something different and considering exploring Brooklyn. Thinking of visiting Greenwood Cemetery, Botanical Gardens, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Public Library (genealogy),walking around Park Slope, then heading back across the Brooklyn Bridge (after my pizza and ice cream fix.

Do you think it is a safe plan for me? Can you provide subway directions so I know the best way to plan my day? Thank you and help is very much appreciated.
wlbox is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 09:37 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I don;t know Brooklyn well enough to give you specific subway directions - but you should realize that it's not a neighborhood - it's a separate borough (county) wiithn New York City - with about 2 million residents. So - I very much doubt you'll have time to see everything on your list. I would start by narrowing down you list.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Hi wlkbox, that all looks very reasonable! I think you've picked your neighborhoods within Brooklyn very well - you're not trying to walk from Park Slope to Coney Island for example! Everything you've mentioned with the exception of the bridge is probably about five miles end to end (i.e, north to south).

You would start at one end or the other - Botanic Gardens or Greenwood Cemetery - and make your way across the park and Park Slope. My suggestion would be to start with the cemetery and end up at the main entrance to the gardens, where you can catch the subway to Brooklyn Heights for your walk across the Bridge. (I would suggest not walking to the bridge, since it's not a great walk and you'll already be doing a fair amount of walking in more scenic areas!)

At the cemetery, I think the side entrance onto 20th Street is open, which means you could exit there, then cross the Prospect Expressway into Park Slope/Windsor Terrace: Prospect Park West is the main drag in WT, which itself is along the SW side of the park. You'll find bagels and some other shops there, and a Connecticut Muffin for iced coffee and goodies on the circle called Pritchard Square which is the 15th Street entrance to the park. Or from the cemetery take 7th Avenue into Park Slope, turn on 9th Street (stop at Second Helpings on the corner for healthy yummy picnic food, or sit outside at Dizzys on 9th St and 8th Ave for upscale diner food, or there's lots of other options you'll pass on 7th Ave!), then enter the park at the 9th Street entrance.

In the park, you can dip in and out: enter at 15th Street and out at 9th Street, or some other configuration. Or if you really want to spend time there, get a map and follow the route to the carousel; from there, you can cross Flatbush Avenue and enter the back entrance to the Botanic Garden.

One thing about Park Slope: it's actually a fairly large amount of ground to cover! The neighborhood ranges for about a mile between Flatbush Ave on the north and Prospect Expressway on the south (don't let anyone tell you it extends farther south than that LOL!). And it is of course a *slope*, with 4th Ave on the western edge at the bottom of the hill, and Prospect Park West (PPW) and the park at the top. Avenues run north/south the length of the neighborhood, including trendy 5th Ave; cute 7th Ave; residential 6th, 8th, PPW. So to avoid excessively zigzagging up and downhill, you may want to pick an avenue you'd like to explore and walk along it; if it doesn't suit you, try another one!

As for subway directions, where will you be coming from? The main entrance to Greenwood Cemetery is on the M/R lines at 25th Street, and the Botanic Garden is on the 2/3 line at the Brooklyn Museum/Eastern Parkway stop. Park Slope has 2, 3, B, Q, M, R, and F stops. To get to Brooklyn Bridge from the library/botanic garden, you would take the 2/3 towards Manhattan and get off about six stops later at Clark Street and walk down Henry Street towards DUMBO and the bridge. Or you could take the M/R from the cemetery again towards Manhattan and get off at Court Street in Brooklyn Heights, but it's a further walk to the bridge...

This map is pretty helpful:

I am a single female who has lived in "the Slope" for many years, so I can tell you firsthand that the neighborhoods you'll be in are fine from a safety perspective.

Oh, and if you can get them in advance, maps of the park, the botanic garden and the cemetery will be very helpful, with their winding paths and such!
ggreen is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 10:20 AM
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For some reason, my edits to one paragraph weren't taking, so I'm reposting that one section to give a little bit of information on the other neighborhoods you'll pass through in this area:

I am a single female who has lived in "the Slope" for many years, so I can tell you firsthand that the neighborhoods you'll be in are fine from a safety perspective. The area around the cemetery has had a lot of gentrification in the last few years, but is generally made up of smaller buildings and less shops than Park Slope; there's a hispanic influence in the area around the subway and the western edge of the cemetery (yummy Mexican bakeries and cafe con leche!). If you do go around to the east side of the park and across to the botanic garden that way, keep in mind that that side of the park tends to be less populated, due in part to the more wooded landscape (a little similar to the northern end of Central Park). The surrounding neighborhood is historically more of a Carribean / West African neighborhood.

Alright, so there you go! Have a great time!
ggreen is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 11:25 AM
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Posts: 183
thanks for the great response jgreen. this is exactly what I needed. I will be leaving from the Penn Station area and heading fist to Greenwood Cemetery. Just want to spend the day exploring. I love to walk so five miles is not a problem. Is there any areas I do not want to wander into??
I enjoy genealogy and my family lived in this area in the late 1800s early part of 1900s. It will be fun just to wander and observe. Thank you again.
wlbox is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I'm so glad I could help! I was just out in Prospect Park for a bit, hanging out with my boyfriend, watching high school boys play baseball. There was a nice breeze up there that we don't have a few blocks downhill!

I don't think there's any areas you need to really worry about avoiding. Just the usual "be aware of your surroundings," especially if you're in a part of the park where there's not a lot of other people around. The neighborhood east of the park doesn't have a stellar reputation, but I've never had a problem walking through. I'd say really my most nervewracking moment in the last ten years was getting repeatedly turned around while trying to take a shortcut across the park from east to west - suddenly everything looked unfamiliar and I had no idea where I was in relation to known landmarks. Thus the suggestion to try and have a map! (There is a good book you can get at B&N etc. on Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It could be a nice memento of your trip! I think it's called "The Complete Illustrated Guidebook to Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden".)

From Penn Station, probably your best bet is to walk over to Herald Square / 6th Avenue and take the subway from there. You can catch the express and switch in Brooklyn for the local M or R: take the B or Q to Dekalb, or the D or N to Pacific (Atlantic) Street, then switch on the same platform for the local. Or of course take the local R all the way from 34th Street!

If your family lived here during that timeperiod, you'll definitely get a taste of what it was like, as the brownstones date from about 1870 on. Grand Army Plaza was built to celebrate the end of the Civil War (on Saturdays, there's a nice farmers market there).

ggreen is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,937
www.hopstop will give you subway/bus directions for anyplace NYC. Great resource! Also give time to get from one place to another.
Elainee is offline  

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