Everyone knows Brooklyn is a New York must, but how do you sidestep the tourist traps and live it with authenticity? Dan Correa is a registered NY tour guide, Contiki Trip Manager, and born and bred Brooklynite, with all the answers…
What was it like growing up in Brooklyn?
Growing up in Brooklyn was very special to me. Brooklyn has always been very different from the rest of New York City. We have a unique approach, an extremely noticeable swagger. It’s always been a center of innovation and creativity. For that, I can attribute my successes, my drive, perspective on life, and personality to Brooklyn.
How does your version of the city differ from someone visiting? What do you know that they wouldn’t?
Brooklyn is still very new to the tourism scene. It’s more widespread than Manhattan. For most, they wouldn’t know where to begin. Me on the other hand, I grew up here. I know time and money are both very precious. So in that case, I make it a point to weed out the generic destination sights. Most blogs might report on something that’s been around for years, and what we locals consider “overly saturated” and it won’t have the same impact. Stick with me, and you’ll avoid this mistake.
How much of an influence has immigration had on your neighbourhood?
Immigration has had a huge impact on the development of Brooklyn. The creation of the Brooklyn Bridge was made possible from the determination of a German immigrant family.
Immigrant neighbourhoods in Brooklyn, have all contributed to the melting pot of this city. We embrace different cultures, customs, food, and learn new languages as if they were part of our native tongues.
Without immigration, Brooklyn would not be the city that it is today.
What would be your perfect way to spend a weekend in Brooklyn?
Perfect way to capture essence of Brooklyn, is to get outdoors! Enjoy a brisk morning walk in historic neighbourhoods such as Brooklyn Heights. Indulge in some of the best food you’ll find in the US, specifically brick coal oven pizza! Marvel at the crafty architecture from the prototypical Brooklyn brownstone. Soak in some rays at our fabulous parks like Prospect Park! Hop on the subway and visit Coney Island and walk the legendary boardwalk. Jump on the Cyclone, the world’s first wooden roller coaster and calm your nerves after with a hot dog at the original Famous Nathan’s.
Hands down the best food spot in Brooklyn?
It’s always changing, but at the moment Llama Inn- Peruvian Cuisine (Williamsburg, Brooklyn). And pizza, always pizza.
As above, best bar, and why?
Loosie Rouge. Great vibe. Every night has a different theme that ranges from Jazz to Hip-hop. The signature cocktails are on tap, so every ingredient is poured to perfection. The ambience is phenomenal. The décor is delightful. The staff are professional and friendly. Fellow bar goers range from a mix of locals, to foreigners as well.
Want to see Dan’s full guide to his home hood of Williamsburg and beyond? Featuring pizza tips, the best street food in NY, where to head for street art and heaps more, this is basically all you need to see Williamsburg like a real local. Head here for more.