Best New Bike Lane
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Sometimes we wonder how the hundreds of millions of dollars that went into this flashy new waterfront park were spent, and then we remember this lovely bike lane, the Rolls Royce (er, the vintage limited-edition Schwinn) of Brooklyn bicycle lanes. Now if only its integration into the continuous waterfront greenway were a little more seamless...
Worst Beach (tie)
Brighton Beach and Sea Gate
All but one Brooklyn beach was spared the tides of crap that had been predicted following a late July fire at a sewage treatment plant in Harlem, one of the city's largest, and it was in gated projects-adjacent beach town Sea Gate. But Brighton Beach was shitty before the fire, logging one of the borough's highest levels of water contamination in a National Resources Defense Council study. Deadly boardwalk shootings and the upcoming local Jersey Shore-style reality series Russian Dolls aren't helping Brighton's case.
Photo by Cody Swanson
Best Way to Commute from North Brooklyn to DUMBO
East River Ferry
So long, awful L-to-the-F Manhattan transfer; see you in hell, perpetually late and over-crowded B62; we take the ferry now, just like Walt Whitman.
Worst Thing About Taking the Fung Wah Bus
faraway, so close
The driver's been barking into his headset for five hours (traffic on the Mass Pike) and some stranger is in the aisle seat next to you, sitting on your shirttail, because you're a good person and don't put your bag down in the unoccupied seat like you're saving it and the overhead light isn't working so you can't read and your laptop battery is dead and you can't get your work done and now you're off the Triboro and taking the BQE all the way down Greenpoint, through Williamsburg to downtown Brooklyn so you can take the Manhattan Bridge back to Chinatown oh god oh god just LET ME GET OFF NOW PLEASE I'M SO CLOSE and inevitably Brooklyn-bound F trains are going over the A line between West 4th and Jay Street thus bypassing East Broadway this weekend.
Best Miss Havisham House
The Joseph Steele House
Long owned by the same family, the Joseph Steele House, on the corner of Lafayette and Vanderbilt at the border of Clinton Hill and Fort Greene (across the street from the Brooklyn Flea), is a stately, yellow, 19th-century Italianate house with black shutters, perpetually drawn curtains, and a cobwebby cupola. Once a year, during the NYC Marathon, you can almost see a wizened face peaking out the window at the young bodies streaming past—or is that just our imagination?
Best places to meet other ZipCars
–The Red Hook Fairway: How else is anyone supposed to get all this cave-aged goat cheese home?
–Fort Tilden: The Hamptons for hipsters. You can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach.
–Storm King: Wear those standard iPod adapters out. Worst Place to Smoke Cigarettes
City Parks and Beaches First it was the bars, now it's the public outdoor spaces. In May, a citywide ban on smoking in city parks, and on beaches and boardwalks and golf courses and stadium grounds, went into effect. The fine for transgressors is $50, but officials aren't out enforcing the law; instead, the city expects disapprovers to nag their neighbors into compliance. How's that going, anyway? Awesomely?
Best Place to be a Goose This Year
Last year, 368 Canada geese were rounded up in Prospect Park and misguidedly gassed in the name of aviation safety; 1,676 geese were murdered across the entire city. This year, the city will continue to trap and murder geese, but the few left in Prospect Park—estimates put their population now at less than 30—will be spared because their numbers are so low. Pyrrhic!
Worst Place to Dredge or Anchor a Boat
Last month, the Coast Guard officially declared a safe zone around the Brooklyn tower of the Verrazano Bridge—boats, divers and fishermen must remain 70 yards away until the 1,500 rounds of ammunition and three-inch bomb currently littering the seabed, remnants of a navy ship that capsized in the 1950s, are cleared away.
Worst Place to Watch 4th of July Fireworks
For the third year in a row, Macy's decided to host their pyrotechnic extravaganza on the Hudson, giving Jerseyites a great show while leaving north Brooklynites to watch it on TV like a bunch of Middle-American suckers.
Worst Place to Hear Classical Music Outdoors
It was bad enough that the Metropolitan Opera had scaled back its summer outreach efforts in recent years, and then this summer the Philharmonic—because of clumsy and money-driven scheduling—goes and cancels its beloved free outdoor concert series. Officials swear the concerts will return next year. They'd better! Don't be another Macy's, Philharmonic.
Best Public WiFi Access
The local Business Improvement District teamed up with locally dominant real estate agency Two Trees to make the entire neighborhood wireless—the first such community in the city. Now somebody can create the next eBay without having to sit in an office in 45 Main Street, where their coworkers insist on turning on the fluorescent lights even though summer sun is shining through the windows...