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).
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.