After being here for well over a year, I thought I had seen it all. I thought nothing in Brooklyn could be new to me. I didn’t’ expect to stumble across some exciting places that are so close-by to the ones I know so well. Well, Pier 6 in Brooklyn Heights is one of these spots.
Due to an article assignment I was sent over there last Sunday and I must say that I am very glad it happened to be me who ended up discovering it. If you’ve ever been to New York, you might have gotten the chance to walk the Brooklyn Bridge (Tourists who have only been here for two days don’t count. I understand that it is not your top priority to walk the bridge when you have a limited time in this city). Starting out in Brooklyn or Manhattan, most people explore Dumbo first or end up there when crossing the oldest bridge of the Big Apple.
Dumbo, such a funny name, isn’t it? Whenever I heard this term in the first few months here, it reminded me of the elephant cartoon which used to be popular in our childhood years. This Dumbo has nothing to do with flying circus animals, though, as it stands short for DownUnderManhattanBrooklyn
bridge. I guess the correct abbreviation Dumb or Dumbb was too self-explanatory or simple for even the most correct New Yorker, so a nice twitch was added with an additional “o”.
To get back to the story, Dumbo is fairly common to not only locals but also tourists. They stroll across Pier 1 and the parks in between both bridges. They stand in line for Brooklyn’s “Best Pizza,” which has a sanitary B grade. They buy $7 ice cream at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory because their tourist guide tells them to do so. They are simply being ripped off and they enjoy wasting their money on these things. Well, I used to be one of these creatures and I thought Dumbo and the parts of Brooklyn Heights from the High St Station to the water were all that was worth seeing. Wrong!
I should have known better. Occasionally I saw a group of people approaching me from the other end of Brooklyn Heights. “What train station are they coming from?” I wondered, “Am I missing out on something over there?” But yesterday, the day of enlightment, I actually read the signs right because I was on a search and I finally saw the pointer to Pier 6!
So I made my way past all the other piers, wandering around the green areas, always with the Manhattan sky line to my right. One of the most beautiful views you can have when heading off to a new destination, by the way. And eventually, after passing couples who were picnicking on side benches, Orthodox Jews who were posing for family portraits, and boys who were trying out their new skateboards, I made it. I arrived at Pier 6! I had expected another park, some people there, nothing out of the extraordinary. So I got confused when I approached and heard kids’ laughter, joyful screams and other soundtracks indicating a bustling scene. Boy, did I feel stupid! I couldn’t believe I had been missing out on this fun park for so long.
Pier 6 offers beach volley ball courts for sport nerds (doesn’t that exclude each other? Playing sports and being nerd?!), a grand playground for children, a fountain area for the entire family (I’ve seen them jumping into the fun and getting all wet!), a nice park, and a roof terrace with refreshments! No wonder some families choose to spend an entire Sunday afternoon over here! You also have a nice scene because ships enter and leave the port-like area (hence the name “Pier”) – something you will hardly find anywhere else in Dumbo made accessible to the public.
I didn’t have my
imaginary kids with me, and I had forgotten to bring my sportswear, therefore, I decided to go for the refreshment part. So I walked up to the roof to see what they had to offer. The walk up was designed in a square-like shape. Remember those circle-like entries that lead you up to a platform? Well, this was about the same, only in squares. I walked up, cornering the walls a few times, until I found myself in a quite exclusive area that was nicely shielded from the rest of the park but still offered an amazing view. A few picnic tables with umbrellas made sure the crowd did not overheat during the hot summer day. And a Bark Hot Dog stand offered … yeah, well, hot dogs (surprise!) with a variety of toppings and prepared in many different ways. Bacon Cheddar Dog anyone? Bark’s also had other types of food, such as sandwiches, fries, onion rings, and sausages. They deserve a huge plus because they offer something called the Veggie Dog: A vegetarian hot dog, unfortunately $2 more than a usual hot dog (why so expensive, there is no meat involved?). Aside from food, they had beer and soft drinks, making the beer garden atmosphere almost ideal. All of this topped with the New York skyline in the background and the proximity to the East River, which might ensure a cool breeze or two during the hot summer months.
Exploring Brooklyn: I am TOTALLY into it!