Last weekend, my parents came to visit and I decided to show them the sites of Brooklyn on their first day in the city. Unfortunately, it was one of the coldest winter days we’ve had yet, but we still got around to an amazing amount of sights. Also, I’m just going to tack on the day before when I went up to East Williamsburg (Bushwick? neighborhood lines are confusing to me) to the 3rd Ward Holiday Craft Fair where a friend was selling her jewelry. (It is very cool stuff made from denim and other fabrics, check it out here: J-Flo/KWILTI.)
I had a whiskey and with delicious Red Jacket Orchards cider and walked around the area to see some of the interesting street art, like the pasteup of the Rabbit vs. Taranchuula above. I also enjoyed this effort at making the barbed wire on a fence a little more festive for the holidays.
Now back to my parents’ first visiting day, which started with coffee and a walk through Park Slope and then over to the Brooklyn Flea. We looked at the trinkets and curios being sold in the beautiful Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower and then got Salvadoran pupusas from one of the Red Hook food vendors that work out of the old bank vault.
We then took the train down to my neighborhood to see my apartment and warm up for a little while before walking over to Green-Wood Cemetery. With all the leaves off the trees, there are even more stunning views of Manhattan. From Battle Hill, we looked from the Minerva statue facing the Statue of Liberty out to the harbor.
From there, we took the train down to Coney Island, where a bitterly cold wind was blowing off the ocean. Most everything was closed (except for Nathan’s), but we still saw most of the Boardwalk and walked by the Cyclone and Wonder Wheel.
I was sad to see that the Coney Island Bank, which had been in the process of being demolished last time I was there, was completely destroyed. You can see the beautiful stonework that was lost on this Scouting NY post from April.
There were some colorful, and hopeful, murals painted on the shutters of Ruby’s on the Boardwalk. It is one of many businesses that is having its lease revoked. I recently wrote about the closures in this Atlas Obscura post: Coney Island is Dying.
Although everything was closed, there were quite a few people out taking pictures, maybe capturing what might be lost before next summer. You know I have never actually been to Coney Island in its summer peak. I kind of prefer it in winter, without crowds, with just the year-round characters and soft light. After we could no longer take the cold, we ate delicious, but unhealthy, samplings of the traditional Coney Island foods. (Cheese fries.)
By the time we got off the train in DUMBO, the sun had set and the Manhattan Bridge was lit by its necklace of lights. We walked down to the water to see the skyline of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge, lights glancing off the freezing water.