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Coney Island, Park Slope, Chihuly Exhibit while in New York

Coney Island, Park Slope, Chihuly Exhibit while in New York

Old Jul 24th, 2006, 09:07 AM
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Coney Island, Park Slope, Chihuly Exhibit while in New York

A friend and I are lucky enough to be in New York for 10 days starting on Labor Day weekend. This is the first time I feel like we’ll have enough time to explore a bit “off the beaten track.”

One of the days, we’re thinking of taking the subway early in the day from Midtown Manhattan to Coney Island then backtracking to Park Slope. Would a walking tour of Park Slope be necessary or interesting? If so I was thinking of New York Like a Native - any one have any experience with this company? Their website says “tours will be resumed in the fall” so I’m not actually sure they’ll even be running when we’re there. If we did a self-directed look around the area how much time should we budge?

I just noticed a post regarding the Chihuly Exhibit at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens - looks fabulous. Would we have time to enjoy it on the same day? I was thinking that we wouldn’t be at Coney Island for long - just a fun place to check out since we have the time. We could split this off completely - just wondered if it’s possible to fit in all in on one day since it could be done in a big loop.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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Someone more familiar with the area may correct me - but we stopped at Coney Island on my last visit home (heading to LaGuardia). I was really shocked how run down it was. My daughter wanted to see it as it was the setting of some recent books she read. But we didn't bother to get out of the car.
However, if you do go, a good friend who grew up there highly recommended an Italian restaurant named: Garjulos (sp?) on 16th... it's quite near the water... We passed it but it wasn't meal time.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 09:28 AM
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I can't comment on most of your questions, but did want to point out that the Chihuly exhibit is actually at the New York Botanic Gardens (in the Bronx), not the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 10:41 AM
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Park Slope a beautiful neighborhood filled with brownstones and a number of excellent restaurants. Ivisited Coney Island and Brighton Beaches a few weeks ago and they were fine. It is no Disneyland but felt safe. Still has the spectacular Cyclone Rollar Coaster and one of the largest ferris wheels in the world that has moving cars. Park Slope is also walking distance to both the Brooklyn Museam and the Botanic Gardens.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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Thanks to all. Yeesh - sorry jlm_mi - thanks for pointing that out. That definately changes things. I think we'll still head to Coney Island - just one of those "would like to see it just for the fun of it." I'll keep my expectations low.

I'll plan to head to the New York Botanic Gardens on another day of the trip. Is there anything else nearby we should visit or should we just plan to hit the exhibit and head back? Any interesting restaurants nearby?
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 10:56 AM
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Sorry - meant to revisit the walking tour issue in my last post. Do you think it's necessary (or worth persuing) a walking tour of Park Slope?
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 11:17 AM
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Don't bother doing a walking tour of Park slope,it's easy enough to explore on your own.

After walking through park slope you could either spend some time in Prospect Park (which borders Pslope to the east or if you have lots of energy walk west through Brooklyn Heights and over the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan

Do the gardens on another day you could easily spend a whole day there.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 11:22 AM
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Thanks Jibboo. Approximately how long of a walk would you figure from Prospect Park through Brooklyn Heights and then over the Bridge? We'd probably just be doing a leisurely pace. Is there a place to eat in Brooklyn Heights you'd recommend - that way we could break the walk up. I love walking the Brooklyn Bridge so that would be a great way to end the day.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 11:32 AM
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Well do you have your heart set on Park Slope? How about the neighborhood of Carroll Gardens instead, just west of Pslope.

Assuming your using public transportation, you would take the F train from Coney Island to Carroll St. and then you can walk north to Brooklyn Heights and over the Bridge which would take about 45 minute, if you not stopping to look at stuff etc.

Court Street and Smith Street are the two main drags both have of plenty of good and affordable restaurants. Little Bistro, Joya, Zaytoons, Lobo, Grocery, PJ Hanley’s and Savoia to name a few….
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 11:43 AM
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Thanks for the suggestion - the only reason I was thinking Park Slope was because I had heard it's a nice place to visit. I'm excited about finally having time to see areas of NY I haven't had a chance to visit yet and I'm certainly open to suggestions. I'm usually only in NY for 4 or 5 days at a time and often with friends who haven't been so I feel like I'm playing "tour guide." Not that I mind - any excuse to visit but I've done touristy areas over and over.

We'll definately be taking public transit so I've already copied your post over to my itinerary. Sounds like we'll have time to really enjoy the area if the walk will take less than an hour.

Thanks for the restaurant suggestions - I don't really want to be held to a reservation time - are these mostly "walk-ins"?
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 12:07 PM
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Park slope and Carroll Gardens are similar neighborhoods. Pslope is a large yuppie haven and Carroll Gardens it’s smaller more down to earth sister. It’s full of brownstones with little gardens in front of them, good food and fun boutiques. Plus its an old Italian neighborhood so it has a pizza shop and bakery on nearly every other block.
Don’t get me wrong PSlope is nice too, I think I’m just partial because I live in Carroll Gardens
I don’t think any of those places even take reservations, but waits aren’t usually a problem even during dinner. Enjoy!!!
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 12:27 PM
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Sounds great - thanks again. I'll post a review of my Brooklyn experience when I return.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 01:18 PM
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Coney Island is a bit rundown, but still something of an experience. I think I just read that they re-opened a parachute-type ride?

However, I caution you not to veer too far off the boardwalk and the beach. The surrounding neighborhood is not very nice -- a high crime area. Be aware of your surroundings.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 01:35 PM
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Thanks lissettemac. I wasn't aware of that at all. We were thinking to just wander a bit so it's good to know we should be a bit careful.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 01:39 PM
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If you're going to Coney Island - tacky but true to what it is - very 1940's/50's - do take time to do the aquarium - which is right down the beach. IMHO - much more interesting use of time - but you can do both.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 07:08 PM
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You wouldn't want to do Coney Island and the NY (Bronx) Botanical Gardens in the same day, because they are quite far apart from each other. However, you could do Park Slope and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens in the same day. If you want, do the Bronx Botanica Gardens and the Bronx Zoo the same day; they are next door to each other.

lisettemac, the Parachute Jump isn't open for rides, but it has just been lit with LED lights that twinkle in patterns dusk to midnight through October. Might be worth seeing if the OP wanted to hang out at Coney Island until dark. Here is an article on the lights:
http://tinyurl.com/ghb72
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 06:05 AM
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Thanks sunny16. I'll hit Coney Island early in the day and then head to Carroll Gardens and possibly Park Slope after - sounds like we'll be able to fill our day wandering leisurely through those areas. Funny - I can't even say why I want to go to Coney Island - just curious I guess since it's a place I've heard of since I was a young child even though I'm from Canada .

I'm really looking forward to going to the NY Botanical Gardens but I'm not too interested in the Zoo (thanks for the suggestion though) so we'll probably just spend a good part of the day there and then head back into Manhattan. Sounds like it would be best for us to take the Metro North train from Grand Central - is that correct? I'd like to catch the 10:30 which would put us at the Gardens for 11. Is the MN platform easy to find and manouver at Grand Central?

Is the Metro North a subway train or a regular rail train? Do you know if the Harlem Line makes any stops between the Botanical Gardens and Grand Central? It looks as though it doesn't.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 06:37 AM
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I know you said you are really looking forward to the Botanic Gardens, but did you know there is also a Brooklyn Botanic Garden? Not as big as the one in the Bronx, but perhaps more convenient to your itinerary.

http://www.bbg.org/
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 06:42 AM
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Thanks lisettemac. I'm interested in going to the NY Gardens this trip to see the Chihuly Exhibit. I would love to go to the Brooklyn Gardens at some point though - maybe next trip.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 06:55 AM
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I figured as much, but wanted you to know.
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