If you want to be down with the kids, Williamsburg in Brooklyn is where it's at.
Bedford Avenue, the epicenter, is accessible from Manhattan on the L subway line, or the ‘Hipster Line’ as it’s sometimes known (cringe).
It’s where New York’s art/music types congregate with the fashion victims and try-hards; if you intend to fit in, make sure you’re wearing a lumberjack shirt and thick-rimmed glasses. Or alternatively, a fedora and peyot – Williamsburg has a sizeable Hasidic Jewish community
If you’re looking for some tucker, avoid SEA on N 6th - it’s the worst Thai restaurant I’ve ever been to. Right across the street is the Sweetwater Tavern (105 N 6th St) - a pub-style affair with a mahogany bar, Guinness on-tap and good bistro food (the eggs benedict is delicious), all reasonably priced.
In fact, N 6th St is probably my favourite part of this district. Head east down this slightly barren, industrial urban chic street towards the river, and you’ll find multi-coloured spandex emporium American Apparel, a nifty indoor thrift market, a couple of pricey clothes boutiques selling local designers’ wares (the mark-downs during sale time are well worth stopping by for though), art spaces, and a gorgeous antique furniture store called Golden Calf. You’ll also find Williamsburg Music Hall and some great street art down here.
Two things you should know about Williamsburg before visiting:
1) it’s the home of Peaches Geldof
2) it’s ‘the most toxic place to live in America’, due to its higher-than-average incidence of cancer
I’ll leave it to you to decide which is worse...
Subway: L line (Bedford Ave station)
Last summer I went to the Atlantis Marine World Aquarium in Riverhead, Long Island, NY. It is about one hour in the car from Manhattan but there is also a train. I looked at a giant octopus and at a tank with a giant turtle with big sharks. There is a cage you can go in to be near the sharks but you have to be 12 years old or more to go in the cage. There are seals and penguins outside and the seals do tricks. But the most exciting bit was when me and my dad went swimming in a big outdoor pool with leopard sharks, rays and other fish. You wear a wetsuit and a mask and snorkel and you can touch the sharks if you want but they are quite fast. The rays are friendly and they are easier to touch. This aquarium is much better than the London aquarium, which I also like a lot.
From Finn Bennett (age 7).
431 East Main Street, Riverhead, NY 11901
Tel: 631 208 9200
Unbelievable stock, preposterously cheap prices, gems from every era and amazing selection of jazz vinyl. Knocks all the overpriced stores in Manhattan into a cocked hat.
Easy to get to from New York City (about an hours journey) and a nice day out in leafy Princeton.
Hoboken is a mile square city best known, perhaps, as Frank Sinatra's birthplace. It also disputes Cooperstown, NY as being the birthplace of modern baseball. It is an eclectic, thriving community located directly on the Hudson River across from Manhattan, sporting amazing views from one of three riverfront parks.
The main street - Washington Street, hosts trendy and traditional cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops -a pleasing blend of the "old time" Italian and German Hoboken, and the gentrified new Hoboken.
Hudson Street, just two blocks from the river, is lined with elegant brownstones and mansions that once belonged to the rich and famous of NYC who sailed to Hoboken for a days' respite.
One can get Hoboken from NYC via the PATH train (subway from NYC to New Jersey), at Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, 9th, 14th, 23rd and 33rd streets.
A $2.30 bus ride (gate 205) from Port Authority Bus Terminal will take you to Washington Street, the main drag, and the 38th street and pier 11 ferries will give you a lovely ride across the Hudson River in a matter of minutes.
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