Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Why Brooklyn's Better

In its 2007 "Blue List" of must-see yet seldom traveled to destinations, the backpackers bible, "Lonely Planet," lists Brooklyn among its top spots, the Daily News reports:

Citing its multiethnic character and multiplying number of trendy neighborhoods, the book lauded the borough as "the hippest part of New York City."

"It's a diverse place," Lonely Planet spokesman Frank Ruiz said. "There are hipster bars, there's great shopping, all along with an intimate neighborhood feel."

So adventurers seeking wild fauna in their natural habitat should go to Honduras for howler monkeys, Gabon for elephants and Brooklyn for tattooed bloggers in $50 T-shirts?

"I'm not a big fan of hipsters, but I guess it's sort of exciting that they're attracting people from the outside who want to see what's going on, what all the fuss is about," said Scott Beard, 31, co-owner of Barcade in Williamsburg, which was singled out by Lonely Planet for vintage arcade games and local brews. ...

Other Brooklyn recommendations range from the well-known - the hot dog-eating contest in Coney Island - to insider favorites like a Slope bed-and-breakfast or dinner at the Carroll Gardens Mexican restaurant Alma.

"We have a lot of people coming in from Norway, Sweden and Germany," Alma owner Ronald Starns said. "A lot of people say they don't feel like they're in the city. They're almost on vacation while they're on vacation."

See, the beauty of Brooklyn is precisely that is not Manhattan. That a Manhattan-based developer and a Manhattan-based mayor and a Manhattan-based Empire State Development chief and a Manhattan-based governor all seek to "improve" Brooklyn through the government-orchestrated development of the Atlantic Yards helps explain why Brooklynites are so uniformly opposed to the project. Turn Brooklyn into Manhattan, and that which makes Brooklyn better will be gone forever.

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