Sunday, July 18, 2010

Exploring Brooklyn

Yesterday afternoon Woody and I met up with some other members of the MSU Alumni Club of Greater New York to go on a tour of the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Heights. One of our members used to be a licensed tour guide and the only reason why he isn't any longer is because he doesn't get paid to give tours now so he doesn't take the test. It's cool because he does spend quite a lot of time preparing and because his family is from Brooklyn originally, this one seemed to be a bit more special for him.

We started in City Hall Park and joined the throngs of people crossing the bridge in 93 degree heat. Needless to say, we all had water with us!
We stopped twice along the bridge for Larry to tell us a bit about the construction and history. It's amazing that this was all built before phones, electricity and even 40 years before cars were invented! I had no idea that Brooklyn was it's own city at the time, either.
Once we were off the bridge and in Brooklyn (and some shade) we explored parts of Brooklyn Heights which is very close to the bridge and one of the oldest parts of Brooklyn. This area was actually farm land to begin with and then the families, after realizing the value of their land, created streets named after themselves and started selling plots of land.

Many very influential people lived (and do live) in Brooklyn. The Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims has been an important part of the community for over 160 years. It is a National Historic Landmark and a stop of the Underground Railroad Freedom Trail. The original pastor, Henry Ward Beecher was an adamant opponent of slavery and spoke against it often with vigor.
We also spent a bit of time on the beautiful promenade enjoying the view!

After the three hour tour, Woody and I stopped for a bit of refueling at the newly opened Brooklyn Bridge Park (which will be expanding over the next several years). We each enjoyed a taco from the Calexico cart (I had a delicious bean taco) and amazing ice cream (the strawberry has actual real strawberries in it - yum) from the Brooklyn Bridge Ice Cream Factory (celebrating National Ice Cream Day a day early)!

(I was so hungry I didn't think of taking pics before I started to dig in! oops!)

We love doing these little neighborhood tours because there is so much about this city that we don't know! It is a city filled with history and amazing stories. We don't want to live here for years and not know anything about it! It is okay for locals to be 'tourists' once in a while!

Have you ever taken a tour of your city?
workout stats -
15miles bike
1.5miles walk/jog intervals
3x10 front arm raise
3x10 tricep extension
3x10 weighted side bends
3x10 tricep kickbacks

I'm heading out to Astoria shortly for a yoga class with Gracela!


Robyn @ WannabeWriterRunner said...

I've always wanted to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge but I still haven't. I should explore it more considering it's where my mom and grandma grew up! Have a good yoga class!

Barbara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbara said...

Sounds like fun. Too bad it was so hot !

The Laminator said...

Great tour! If you want to learn more about the city and all it's stories you should listen to the Bowery Boys podcast - They have shows on all parts of New York including people, places, and legends. It's a fantastic listen. Highly recommended!

Anonymous said...

Glad you got to enjoy my neighborhood! It definitely is rich in history and views:) Next time try out the Jaques Torres ice cream or sorbet...mmm!