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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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Visit New York – Great Dates in NYC

I have an exciting announcement to make. I will be writing my first book about NYC, specifically about great dates and fun things to do in NYC.

We will be posting one to two dates every week, so stay tuned!

Here’s our first one:

Brunch at Antique Garage, followed by gallery hopping in Soho

This is a great downtown date. Antique Garage has a warm, cozy atmosphere, live jazz and an excellent Mediterranean/Turkish menu (the Turkish Meatballs are amazing!). Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 4pm and live jazz can be heard between 1pm and 4pm (there is no cover charge for the music). The restaurant is located in the trendy neighborhood of SoHo.

Following your awesome brunch, do a little SoHo gallery hopping (one of the best free things to do in New York). Below you’ll see a walking tourroute that you can follow to get you started. Of course, feel free to allow yourself some of your own diversions as you will no doubt spot a gallery or cool little boutique or store that catches your eye. Here is a short list of 5 noteworthy galleries to check out.

Animazing Gallery (54 Greene St), has a unique collection of original and limited edition animation and illustration artwork

Morrison Hotel Gallery (124 Prince St), features great photography of legendary musicians over the past half-century

Opera Gallery (115 Spring St), a high-end gallery with museum-quality modern and contemporary art from around the world

Moss (150 Greene St), furniture as well as decorative/functional items with an artistic mindset are displayed here and available at this unique gallery/store

Pop International Galleries (473 West Broadway), an exciting art gallery specializing in Pop Art, Urban Art and art and photography that is influenced by popular culture

Suggested gallery walking tour route (once again, be sure to allow for some spontaneity in your journey – great dates always involve a little bit of adventure, surprise and spontaneity):

1.

Head left when leaving the restaurant and make your first left ontoBroome Street. Go to the next block and make a left onto Greene Street. Animazing Gallery will be on your left (54 Greene St).

2.

Make a right out of the gallery back to Broome Street and turn left on Broome. Walk 2 blocks to West Broadway and turn right onto West Broadway. Walk just short of 3 blocks to come to Pop International Galleries. It’ll be on your right (473 West Broadway) between Prince and Houston Streets.

3.

Make a left out of the gallery and walk 1 block down to Prince Street. Turn left on Prince Street and stay on the right hand side of the street. Walk 1 block to Wooster Street. Just a little past Wooster Street on Prince Street is Morrison Hotel Gallery on your right (124 Prince St).

4.

Make a right out of the gallery and walk 1 block to Greene Street. Turn left on Greene Street and stay on the right hand side of the street. About half way up the block will be Moss on your right (150 Greene St).

5.

Make a left out of the gallery and walk a block and a half to Spring Street (the block after Prince). Turn left on Spring Street and Opera Gallery will be on your left (115 Spring St).

6.

* For a little sweet love snack head left out of the gallery past Mercer Street and just before you get to Broadway you’ll see Baked By Melissa on your left. They make tiny little cupcake perfections that you can enjoy by the dozen. So load up on some sugar and get that heart pumpin’!

 

Some interesting notes:

SoHo stands for south of Houston Street. It started off as an industrial manufacturing and warehouse district in the 19th century when city life was concentrated more downtown and neighborhoods further uptown were not quite as settled as they are today. It eventually became abandoned in the early to mid 20th century as the population of Manhattan started moving further uptown to the newer areas (Manhattan grew from south to north; from downtown to uptown). Artists started moving into the abandoned warehouses in the mid 1900’s and loft-style city living began. But it was cheap, gritty and undesirable. With the abundance of artists came galleries and cafes to cater to their lifestyle. Eventually the neighborhood attracted the attention of the real estate industry who became interested in putting this area on the map as New York City’s next hot neighborhood. The acronym SoHo was coined, and the many manufacturing and warehouse buildings were converted into expensive loft apartments. Eventually people started moving in and boutiques and restaurants sprouted up all over the place to cater to this new crowd. Today, SoHo is one of the best places to shop in New York. Many galleries still thrive here but these are not the galleries of the struggling artists of 50 years ago. Nonetheless, gallery-hopping in SoHo is a favorite thing to do for many New Yorkers and visitors and it’s absolutely free!

The Essentials:

Antique Garage, 41 Mercer St. (212)219-1019.www.antiquegaragesoho.com

Animazing Gallery, 54 Greene St. (212)226-7374www.animazing.com.

Morrison Hotel Gallery, 124 Prince St. (212)941-8770.www.morrisonhotelgallery.com

Opera Gallery, 115 Spring St. (212)966-6675www.operagallery.com

Moss, 150 Greene St. (212)204-7100www.mossonline.com

Pop International Galleries, 473 West Broadway. (212)533-4262www.popinternational.com