New York: Brooklyn
SEE Lower Manhattan's Skyline (Brooklyn Heights)
Take the A/C to High St., or the 2/3 to Clark St., and head west
For stellar views of the bottom half of the Big Apple, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge or along the Brooklyn Promenade, a 1?3-mile-long boardwalk that runs from the edge of the East River up by leafy, brownstone-packed Brooklyn Heights.
SEE Smith St. (Carroll Gardens) and Fifth Ave. (Park Slope)
Stroll these arteries and check out the borough's hottest boutiques, bars, and restaurants.
EAT 360 (Red Hook)
360 Van Brunt St., at Wolcott St., 718/246-0360
A French-blooded eatery and labor of culinary love. Dishes on its jaw-droppingly affordable three-course prix-fixe menu change daily, and there's an unusual selection of organic wines. Take a cab ($12 from Lower Manhattan). Reservations highly recommended. Cash only.
EAT Applewood (Park Slope)
501 11th St., between Seventh and Eighth Aves. 718/768-2044, applewoodny.com
The husband-wife team here creates an inviting atmosphere, and offers a wholesome, hormone-free menu of seasonal ingredients-which means you won't feel quite as bad stuffing yourself silly on good American eats. Closed Mon.
EAT Frankies 457 Spuntino (Carroll Gardens)
457 Court St., between Fourth Pl. and Luquer St. 718/403-0033, frankies457.com
Hands-down, one of the best new additions to Brooklyn's exploding dining scene. Pick from a grab-bag menu of hearty, Italian snacks, including crostini, cured meats, roasted veggies, artisanal cheeses, and Roman-style pecorino bread.
EAT Zipe Zape (Williamsburg)
152 Metropolitan Ave., near Berry St. 718/599-3027
Nibble on some traditional tapas dishes or tasting menus of 5 or 10 at this friendly corner resto-bar straight from the Iberian Peninsula. In case you're wondering, it's named after a Spanish cartoon character. Closed Mon.
DRINK Barcade (Williamsburg)
388 Union Ave., 718/302-6464, between Bowers and Ainslie, barcadebrooklyn.com
Take a nostalgia trip to this Billburg bar, where Ms. Pacman likes to toss 'em back with the Super Mario Brothers. There are some 30 original arcade games in all, and an expertly curated selection of microbrews. Here, the fun comes cheap-25¢, to be exact.
DRINK Brooklyn Social (Carroll Gardens)
335 Smith St., near 2nd Pl., 718/858-7758
This former Italian social club channels the Big Band and Rat Pack eras with verve. Well-dressed bartenders shake and stir drinks such as the Society Riposto-the club's namesake, made with vodka, tangerine, and rosemary.
SHOP ABC Carpet & Home Warehouse (DUMBO)
20 Jay St., near Plymouth St., 718/643-7400, abchome.com
Discounts from this legendary temple to good taste can reach as much as 75 percent during warehouse sales, but even on a regular day expect prices to be slashed in half. The selection of furniture, linens, and rugs is dizzying, and the store ships! Call 718/842-8772 for info on its Bronx location.
SHOP Soula (Boerum Hill)
185 Smith St., near Warren St., 718/834-8423, soulashoes.com
Sneaker snobs (John Varvatos for Converse, anyone?) will love this place. It also sells loafers and summer slides, and for a good deal less than what you'd pay on "the Island." The store's owner is a former shoe buyer for Barney's-need we say more? Closed Mon.
PLAY Deno's Wonder Wheel and The Cyclone (Coney Island)
wonderwheel.com, astroland.com, Take D, F, N, or Q train to Stillwell Ave., the last stop
The Wonder Wheel ($5 per ride)-85 years old and once the world's tallest Ferris Wheel-and the 78-year-old, wood-frame Cyclone roller-coaster ($5 per ride) are Coney Island institutions. Both rides, which undergo strict inspections, make even the bravest thrill-seekers scream-that's why people love 'em! Open Apr.-Oct. Check online for complete schedule.
North Fork Wineriesnorthfork.comThis branch of outer Long Island, known for its golden beaches and 25-plus wineries, couldn't be more different from its snooty South Fork neighbor the Hamptons. Take a Vintage Tour (631/765-4689; vintagetours.com; from $58 per person, including lunch with wine) and bunk at the Red Barn B&B (631/722-3695; Redbarnbandb.com; rates from $125). Drive to Orient Point for scenic ocean views. Located 85 miles from Manhattan, driving time (without traffic delays) is under two hours. Take the LIE (495) to Riverhead and Rt. 25 beyond; daily car rentals in Manhattan from $69. Or, hop the LIRR to Greenport ($14.50 each-way off-peak) and arrange for tours to pick you up there. For a list of wineries and their hours, contact Long Island Wine Country (631/369-5887; liwines.com).
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