GREEN SPACE AND CULTURE
Fort Greene Park was Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux's first foray into greening Brooklyn. PROSPECT PARK, their longer-term project, is one of the borough's crown jewels. It's home to the famed Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which boasts a Cherry Esplanade, a Japanese garden, and Daffodil Hill--a magical respite. Prospect Park is a place for pickup soccer games, family barbecues, runners, bikers, dogs, and lying about.
Designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh, BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK is the newest open landscape. Pier 1, next to the Fulton Ferry landing, and Pier 6 are the first areas completed. They boast lawns, playgrounds, a dog park, and views of Manhattan.Next spring, the Empire-Fulton Ferry section will house an antique carousel in a pavilion designed by French modernist Jean Nouvel. The carousel is a gift from David Walentas, the developer who spearheaded the gentrification of the DUMBO area (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), and his artist wife, Jane Walentas.
As to art, what's life without it? Luckily, there's the BROOKLYN MUSEUM. Home to the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, it also houses a breathtaking Egyptian collection and fine decorative arts.
As well as the major institutions, of course there are myriad small galleries and alternative spaces. Check out the new MURIEL GUÉPIN GALLERY and THE INVISIBLE DOG in Boerum Hill, and Williamsburg pioneer PIEROGI.
We've heard designers say they've seen better opera at the Fort Greene-based BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC than in Manhattan. Famous for its avant-garde Next Wave Festival, BAM--as the venue's commonly known--delivers cultural gems from vintage Hollywood movies to experimental modern opera to vibrant African dance.