This piece was written in partnership with Matter. The original article can be seen on Matter’s Journal here.
#THEMATTERWAY | THE STYLE BLOGGER’S GUIDE TO BROOKLYN
Hi, I’m Natalie – a Brooklyn-based digital storyteller, singer-songwriter, and founder of The Hidden Harmony – a sustainable style blog that was born out of a desire to inspire people to curate an eco-friendly wardrobe. You can often find me perusing local thrift shops, blogging in cafes, or strolling through the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. I have a deep-rooted love for local and ethical brands, and strongly value collaboration over competition. I currently live in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn and although I’ve only lived in this borough for just a year and a few months, I’m lucky enough to know (and love!) some native Brooklynites who have shown me some of the very best spots Brooklyn has to offer. From its rich culture and history, to its one-of-a-kind restaurants and shops, Brooklyn is a place that always will keep you coming back for more. Let me show you around!
01. Brooklyn Bridge Park
This breathtaking waterfront stretches 1.3 miles along Brooklyn’s East River edge shoreline. Stop by for the gorgeous views of the lower Manhattan skyline, photo ops on the iconic Brooklyn Bridge (of course!), and come the warmer months – kayaking, roller-skating, fitness classes, basketball, tennis and more. Love live music? Bargemusic has free Neighborhood Family Concerts every Saturday at 4pm.
02. Brooklyn Botanical Garden
The perfect place to start off your morning! Take a stroll through the rose gardens, make your way to the biomes, and don’t forget to stop in the bonsai room! There’s plenty to see, and a ton to learn about!
TIP: Go in the spring for the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival! Coming in the winter? The garden is free every weekday!
03. Prospect Park
With over 525 acres of land, this is the largest park in Brooklyn. There’s so many paths to wander down, meadows to picnic on, and of course – dogs. Dogs EVERYWHERE. Plus – it’s located next to the Brooklyn Public Library and the Brooklyn Museum. Pro tip: Go on Saturdays so you can experience the local Farmer’s Market! Coming in the winter? Be sure to head to LeFrak Center at Lakeside for ice-skating located inside the park.
04. Coney Island
One can’t leave Brooklyn before riding the historic Cyclone rollercoaster – one of the OLDEST wooden roller coasters in the country! Ride all the rides, grab some eats at the original Nathan’s Hot Dogs, and when you’re feeling like it’s time for a nap, hit the beach for an afternoon snooze.
05. Brooklyn Museum
New York City’s second largest museum in physical size – holding over 1.5million works of art! Their exhibitions are always fantastic, and its dreamy interiors will make any art and design lover swoon. Be sure to check out what exhibits are up before you head on over, and purchase your tickets in advance!
TIP: If you’re coming with kids, there’s a Brooklyn Children’s Museum walking distance.
06. Brooklyn Historical Society
Recognized across the nation, the Brooklyn Historical Society is located in the gorgeous Brooklyn Heights neighborhood as well as Downtown Brooklyn. This is a great place to visit if you’re interested in learning about Brooklyn’s rich 400-year history! Check out their website for a list of upcoming public programs and their latest exhibitions.
07. In Pizza We Crust
There’s nothing like a classic New York slice, and lucky for you, Brooklyn has some of the very best. Head to L&B Spumoni Gardens for their famous sicilian square pizzas, Originals Pizza for an incredible white slice, Roberta’s for wood-fired pies topped with fresh ingredients from their very own rooftop garden, and Joe’s for the quintessential New York slice. Always go for the fresh mozzarella!
08. Pasta That’s Worth The Wait
My boyfriend and I waited months and months to get in to Lilia’s, located in prime Williamsburg. After taking a seat, we understood why. Their fresh homemade pasta is to die for. Make that reservation ASAP and order the fettucine.
09. Keep Calm and Brunch On
Southern comfort food + amazing brunch cocktails = 0 room for disappointment. Head to Sweet Chick for all of this and more, and order the fried chicken + waffles. Tucked away in Prospect Heights is a darling local brunch spot called Lazy Ibis. Order the cinnamon honey latte, and (healthily) indulge in their amazing egg platters. For authentic mediterranean food, stop by Miriam in Park Slope. Their Shashuka dish is heavenly.
10. Brooklyn Food Landmarks
Classic roast beef sandwiches and shakes from Roll n’ Roaster for lunch, family-style Italian cuisine from La Villa for dinner, and the dreamiest homemade ice cream from Brooklyn-based company, Van Leeuwens, for dessert. It’s the Brooklyn way!
11. Comfy shoes, a good backpack, an unlimited Metrocard, cash, and water!
Since you’ll be walking around a lot and taking plenty of subway rides, you definitely want to make sure to wear your favorite comfy kicks. Bring cash with you too since there are some places that are cash-only, and if you’re here for a while and want to explore different Brooklyn neighborhoods, get an unlimited Metrocard for the week to save money on single rides and cabs!
I hope you enjoyed strolling through Brooklyn with me! Follow along on my Instagram for more Brooklyn adventures, sustainable style tips, thrift hauls, and more!