Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
Concierge.com's insider take:
This stage-set of a neighborhood remains the most expensive real estate in the borough. The Promenade was once the saddest place in New York, with its grandstand view of the burning twin towers—and it hosted many a candlelight vigil—but that same panorama of the (truncated) Lower Manhattan skyline remains a great sight. From there, amble the streets and ogle the Federal, Italianate, and Greek Revival brownstones, atmospheric backdrop for the many writers—Walt Whitman, Truman Capote, Paul Bowles, and W.H. Auden—who have called this quarter home. A stop off at the Brooklyn Historical Society will put the surroundings in context (128 Pierrepont St.; 718-222-4111; www.brooklynhistory.org; closed Mon. and Tues.). Be sure to pick up a pocket-sized map at the front desk listing architectural highlights. Henry and Montague Streets are lined with restaurants and shops, though there's a surprising dearth of decent food here, considering the moneyed surroundings. Jack the Horse Tavern, a gastropub on the Heights' northern edge, is probably your best bet (66 Hicks St.; 718-852-5084; www.jackthehorse.com). At the southern end lies Brooklyn Borough Hall, a Greek Revival structure known as Brooklyn's oldest public building. Visit its farmer's market every Tuesday and Saturday year-round (as well as Thursdays from April to December). The New York Transit Museum hidden in plain sight on Schermerhorn Street below a sign that looks like an actual subway stop, is well worth your time—it has interactive exhibits and vintage train cars from all eras (corner of Boerum Pl. and Schermerhorn St.; 718-694-1600; www.mta.info/mta/museum).