There’s nothing like strolling through the concrete streets of Manhattan in December (with your nearest and dearest) to get you in that Christmassy mood, especially when you’re coming from the Southern Hemisphere and aren’t used to soaring heat at Christmas time.
Since living in New Zealand I’ve discovered that it’s not an easy task getting from one place to another, with more than your fair share of flight connections to reach most destinations. But this year we endured a 35-hour journey to surprise my family in my favourite city and it was well worth it.
We arrived a day before everyone else so decided to make the most of our time alone. I wanted to check out Brooklyn and Mat was keen to see an NBA game so we killed two birds with one stone and went to watch the Brooklyn Nets. What better way to get a feel for a neighbourhood than at a local sports event?
We got to Brooklyn an hour early, my intention to walk to Prospect Park but as it was a little further than anticipated we settled for Brooklyn Heights Promenade which by no means delivered any less of a view than what was expected.
The Nets were playing the Denver Nuggets and although the tickets weren’t as hot as the Knicks v Cavs who were playing the same night it was safe to say the experience still rocked and we had a lot of fun (for a quarter of the price).
One thing I love about watching basketball live is how entertaining it is, but I suppose it would have to be to sit through a three hour game!
After Brooklyn finished the game on a high and won by five points in the last quarter it was time to eat. Being in the vicinity we took the opportunity to visit the first Welsh restaurant and bar to open in New York… Sunken Hundred!
It was late when the game finished, but like everything in New York the restaurant was open when we got there.
We were offered complimentary seaweed as we waited for our main which was incredible! I’ve never tasted seaweed like it and to add to the flavour was the story behind it, imported all the way from a county in Wales called Pembrokeshire.
Needless to say, the good food kept on coming, meatballs on a bed of minty mushy peas drowned in onion gravy, they called it Ffagodau (traditional Welsh meatballs).
Our few hours in Brooklyn didn’t disappoint and I was glad we made the effort to venture outside of Manhattan. If I could recommend a borough to visit during a stay in the Big Apple, it would be here. It feels very much like the city, safe, cosmopolitan and friendly but with its own quirkiness. Get to a game, take a stroll along the front to witness that breathtaking skyline and head to Smith Street for some fine eateries, you’ll wish you’d gone sooner.