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A date in Brooklyn – Visit New York with Romancing Manhattan Tours

A visit to the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn and an early romantic dinner at Saul (Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn) followed by drinks at Clover Club (Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn)

 What an overlooked gem! If the massiveness of New York City’s subway and transportation system intrigues you, then you will love this little, often overlooked museum. The New York Transit Museum, one of the city’s leading cultural institutions is the largest museum in the United States devoted to urban public transportation history, and one of the premier institutions of its kind in the world. The Museum explores the development of the greater New York Metropolitan region through the presentations of exhibitions, tours, educational programs, and workshops dealing with the cultural, social, and technological history of public transportation. Since it’s inception over a quarter century ago, the Museum, housed in a historic 1936 IND subway station in Brooklyn Heights, has grown in scope and popularity.

The museum’s galleries feature curious and engaging exhibits such as Steel, Stone, and Backbone, which recounts the tale of building New York City’s 100 year-old subway system, and many highly interactive exhibitions such as On The Streets, an in-depth look at New York City’s trolleys and buses.

Since this museum closes at 4pm, you’ll want to get there sometime between 2:30 – 3pm so you don’t have too much time between the museum and the dinner. Allow a good hour to visit this museum.

Tip: Be sure to sneak a kiss or two on one of their vintage subway cars, just like they did in the old days.

After the museum, it’s just a 15 minute walk to your restaurant (see below for easy walking directions). If you have some time to kill before your dinner there are plenty of shops along Smith Street to peruse. Saul is a pioneer in this ever-so-popular hot neighborhood. It’s casual and intimate with an American menu. Their menu changes seasonally so expect nothing but the best and freshest ingredients. Be sure to check out their menu online (see website below). This restaurant does get crowded – and noisy – so be sure to make a reservation just to be safe. For a fun end to a meal you must try their signature Baked Alaska!

 

Tip: ask for table 5A, it’s a corner table.

Walking directions: When exiting the museum turn right on Boerum Place and walk down to Atlantic Avenue. Turn left on Atlantic Avenue and go just one block over to Smith Street. Turn right onto Smith Street and the restaurant will be 2 and a half blocks down on your right (between Dean and Bergen Streets).

For a perfect end to your date, all you have to do is walk four and a half blocks down Smith Street (against the flow of traffic) to Clover Club (Smith Street between Baltic and Butler Streets). The Clover Club is based on an actual club that existed in Philadelphia between 1882 and the 1920s, so the drink menu and atmosphere are reflective of that time period. The bartenders here are extraordinary (mixologists) and the cocktails are sure to impress.  But if you really want to make an impression, order off the menu and ask for the Kick Flip (just trust me on this one, it’s delicious…. and potent!)

Tip: There’s live Big Band jazz on Wednesdays between 8:30pm and 11:30pm. They get very crowded on Wednesday’s so call ahead to reserve a table (there’s no cover charge).

 

The Essentials:

New York Transit Museum, 130 Livington Street in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn. Tel: (718)694-1600. Admission: $7 for adults. www.mta.info/mta/museum/ Hours: Tues – Fri, 10am – 4pm; Sat and Sun, 11am – 5pm. CLOSED MONDAYS.

Saul, 140 Smith Street between Dean and Bergen Streets. Tel: (718)935-9844. www.saulrestaurant.com

Clover Club, 210 Smith Street between Baltic and Butler Streets, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Tel: (718)855-7939. www.cloverclubny.com/

 

Some interesting notes:

New York City has the largest subway system in the world with over 700 miles of tracks and 468 subway stations. It was built in 1904 and transports well over a billion people a year.

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Happy 4th of July everybody!

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I have a great little story to share which I mentioned in an earlier blog post. But for those who didn’t catch it I feel it is appropriate to mention it again here on this very special day, the day we declared our independence and became a free nation. But before I do, I just want to share a thought.

You know, we’re all New Yorkers, each in our own way right? New York is a city of dreams, a place for new beginnings, new starts, big ideas, grand visions, a place where we can become our very best. People have come here from all over the world to start anew.

It’s truly inspiring and exciting and unforgettable when you visit this great city for the first time. It really does bring out something in you. And there is an energy here that you cannot find anywhere in the world. Many people have said that, and it’s so very true.

So I invite you to fall in love with New York. Come here and get inspired, and go back home feeling a newfound energy that you didn’t have before. Get your New York on! Where’s your inner New Yorker?

I want to personally reach out to as many of you as I can and invite you to connect with with me here on our website, Facebook, on Twitter, on YouTube, LinkedIN and anywhere else you can find us.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas, interact with you, and help you plan the most amazing trip to New York City you can imagine.

On that note, I wish you all again a happy 4th of July. Be safe, and I’ll see you in New York!

With Lots of Love,
Jason
Founder/Romancing Manhattan Tours

Ya know, one of my favorite little stories to tell on tours is when George Washington and his troops were read the Declaration of Independence down at City Hall Park.

The date was July 9, 1776. Several people in the crowd were so fired up from hearing the reading that they marched down to the Bowling Green Park at the foot of Broadway and tore down the statue of King George III. They then walked the statue up to the local foundry and had it melted down into bullets, which they used against the British. Of course, the perfect irony here is that the British soldiers were being shot by their own king!

And if you go down to the Bowling Green Park today, which by the way is the oldest park in Manhattan dating back to the 1730s, you’ll notice that the tops of the posts of the fence are on even. That is because the top of the posts were finished off with the design of the British Royal crown. Each of these crowns were sawed-off, which is why the tops of each of the posts are uneven, each in its own way.

I love touching the tops of these posts, I really feel a connection to the past and all that actually happened when I do this. Let us never forget the story of the humble beginnings of this great nation of ours.

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Travel to New York in July – Visit New York

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Travel to New York in the summertime can be daunting when the weather is extremely hot, but saving money on hotels helps you keep your cool.
With the exception of July 4, hotels in NYC tend to drop their prices. The earlier you book the more money you will save. Give us a call or send us an email to plan your summer vacation in New York City!
If you plan to visit New York next month (July) we have some fun and interesting, as well as historical dates for you to keep in mind.
On July 9,  1776 while 50 British warships containing 23,000 soldiers lie quietly in New York Harbor, New York City patriots march down to the Bowling Green park in lower Manhattan and pull down the statue of King George III to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. They then marched the statue up to the local foundry and had it melted down into musket balls. When a continental soldier learned that the army would use the lead from the 4000-pound statue for bullets, he was quoted as saying: “I hope that the emanations from the leaden George will make deep impressions in the bodies of some of his redcoated and Tory subjects.”
The beautiful building standing behind the park was built by famous architect Cass Gilbert and was used as a US custom house. Today it is the Museum of the Native American Indian, a branch of the Smithsonian, it is free of charge. You might recognize this building from the movie conspiracy theory with Julia Roberts and Mel Gibson. This is the building where Julia Roberts character worked.
The Bowling Green Park still stands today with the original fence surrounding it. It was called Bowling Green because gentlemen used to go lawn bowling there for the price of one peppercorn a year. Sitting on top of each of the posts of the fence were decorative ornaments of the British crown. Take a closer look at the top of these posts and you will see that each one is uneven. This is because the crowd sawed them off!
On a less serious note, on July 6, 1946 actor and filmmaker Sylvester Stallone is born in Hell’s Kitchen.
On July 5, 1809 New York City’s African-American Baptists organize the Abyssinian Baptist Church. Their success encourages others to found the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1818 and the Negro Presbyterian Church in 1821. Today, the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem on 135th St. is one of the cities best-known black houses of worship; for years, its pulpit was the platform of Congressman Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
On July 1, 1919 after World War I established the airplane as a reliable and efficient transportation tool, the Postal Service connects New York City and Cleveland with daily airmail service, the nations first.
On July 28, 1945, 56 years before the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, on a foggy Saturday morning, an American B-25 bomber crashes into the 78th and 79th floors of the Empire State building killing 10 people in the building and three in the plane. No structural damage to the building is done.