Why Everybody Should Create A Travel Bucket List

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Have you created your travel bucket list? For all we know, you may have already ticked off half of the things on your list already, but if you haven’t made one yet, perhaps now is the time you did.

Why?

Here are some good reasons if you need convincing.

  1. Life is too short

Sorry to put a downer on things, but it would be a shame to miss out on the many opportunities and sights that await you in the world. We aren’t necessarily talking about getting on a plane, either, as there may be travel spots you haven’t visited in your own country. Why stay at home and have the same experiences day in and day out, when you could experience something new and exciting away from the norm. A bucket list is about making a plan, setting yourself goals; those things you want to see and do before you are longer in a position to do so.

 

  1. You will see more of the world

The world is just begging to be explored, and there are so many incredible places to visit. Whether you wander around Europe or explore the heart of Asia, you will see sights you have never witnessed before, eat foods you have never tried before, and meet people that you would otherwise never have the opportunity to meet. In short, you will experience new ways of life, and as a result, you will benefit your life by broadening your horizons in the many places available for you to visit.

 

  1. You can step out of your comfort zone

There are bound to be things you have always wanted to do but were a little bit afraid of doing them. By travelling outside of your comfort zone, you can push yourself into doing something new. You can still stay in a fancy hotel if you don’t want to give up all of your home comforts – you will fall in love with this art deco hotel, for example, – but at least you will be somewhere different, outside of your usual limits, with opportunities that will make you feel as if you have achieved something. It’s about taking risks, and you will only regret not taking them later on in life when you’re no longer able to travel.

 

  1. You will benefit from new experiences

A travel bucket list has two purposes. It’s about visiting places you have never been too before, and it’s about gaining new experiences when you’re at your chosen destination. You can hike through new terrains, try foods you have never tasted, take part in activities that you have only dreamed of previously, and test your limits in so many new ways. Consider these travel bucket list experiences, for example, and allow yourself the opportunity to try any that take your fancy.

And so…

If you haven’t made your travel bucket list yet, then perhaps now is the time to do so. This time next year you could be swimming with the dolphins, climbing through Aztec Ruins, or eating a barbecue down under. You could be doing any number of things, but the first step is in putting pen to paper after doing a little bit of brainstorming and dreaming about the things you would like to see and do. We wish you many happy travels. Thanks for reading.

 

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Paris: So Much More Than The City Of Love

Renowned as being the city of love, Paris is famed as being the world’s most romantic city, but there is so much more to Paris than a city steeped in romance. The city’s boulevards which are lined with historical monuments, its beautiful boutiques, and classic bistros, and its traditional museums combined with its more modern tech start-ups, design stores, quirky wine bars and cocktail lounges, and multimedia galleries are what makes this city such an incredible place to visit and explore.

There four things that make Paris well, Paris, and these are the iconic architecture, the glorious food, the stylish boutiques, and of course, the creative treasures. Paris is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most incredible cities, and not just for loved-up couples but also for solo travelers and family groups. It’s one of Europe’s most enthralling destinations because of the amount that it has on offer to see and do – there is nowhere quite like Paris.

Paris is the city that inspired countless renowned authors to pen some of their most imaginative works, from Victor Hugo to Ernest Hemmingway. It is also the place where most of the significant art movements of the past 50 years have been born. To top it off, Paris is where classical music, jazz, and theatre have thrived.

If you’re planning a trip to Paris sometime soon, a word of advice – plan like crazy. Why? Because you could, quite literally, spend weeks exploring Paris. When you’re heading off to somewhere like Paris that has numerous attractions to offer, planning your time really pays off. Paris is so much more than the city of light and love, so here’s how to make the most of any trip to this incredible place.

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Put at least one museum on your radar

When it comes to choosing a museum to visit on your trip, The Louvre is an obvious choice. It’s an incredible place complete with three wings packed full of history dating back to Greek times. Of course, being such a popular place, The Louvre almost always has huge queues, which can mean waiting in line for hours to get in, that’s why it can be beneficial to plan your visit in advance and book queue jump tickets from sites like The Paris Guy.

Not keen on seeing The Louvre, alternatively you could visit the Musee d’Orsay which houses some of the city’s most incredible Impressionist painting. There’s also the Musee Picasso and the Musee Rodin, both of which are smaller but no less impressive.

Stroll along the river Seine

Fancy spending some time outdoors? Then a stroll along the river Seine could be a great option to consider as it’s one of the most enjoyable ways to spend time outside in this incredible city. A great place to start is at the Jardins du Trocadero – you can see some incredible views of the Eiffel Tower from here.

If you choose to cross the river, there’s the Berges de Seine, a pedestrianised area which is often filled with bouquinistes – aka second-hand book stalls. You can walk down this route towards the Cathedrale Notre-Dameon, which is another impressive sight.

Don’t forget Montmartre

Montmartre is a must-see location when in Paris. It might be a highly popular hilltop sight, but the crowds don’t tend to impact how beautifully charming this place is. It’s a fact that no visit to Paris, regardless of how long or short, would be complete without exploring Montmartre. While there, you have to climb the steps to the Scare-Coeur – it’s incredible views are a must see.

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Be quintessentially Parisian and have a picnic

If the sun is shining, there’s nothing more Parisian than having a picnic. Pack a hamper full of gourmet treats – or better yet, buy a readymade picnic from one of the many delicatessens that span this city – and head to the Jardin du Luxembourg. The best street to head to for picnic supplies is Rue Montorgueil, a shopping street lined with cheese stores, bakeries, and patisseries serving all many of incredible cakes.

See the Marais

The Marais are made up of a network of ancient streets that have a distinctly different feel to the rest of Paris. Originally the Jewish area of the city, this area is now known for its beautiful boutiques and an incredible array of independent galleries. In the Haut Marais area, you will find a selection of modern cocktail bars; there’s also the Marche des Enfants Rouges here. While in the south of this area, you will find the Place des Vosges – a beautiful sight that you don’t want to miss.

Head east

The east quarter of Paris has changed significantly over the past few years and was once the rather run-down district just east of Canal St-Martin. But today, whether you are looking for a fantastic coffee shop, a quirky bistro or a night out, the east side of Paris is a must-visit location.

You can explore the Bassin de la Villette, go for a walk through Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, or have a picnic there on sunnier days. The east area of Paris has plenty on offer, whether you plan on visiting in the daytime or at night.

Explore the modern art scene

Paris might be famous for its classical artworks but what about the modern art scene? Paris actually has a pretty incredible of modern art as well as more classic artworks, so if you’re a fan of this type of art, you want to make sure that you explore the modern art scene while in this amazing city.

The best places to visit to see a wide range of modern art are the Musee d’Art Moderne which is located in the Pompidou Centre. Here you can see works by the likes of Pollock, Picasso, and Matisse. For more challenging exhibitions, the Palais de Tokyo is a great place to visit – the artwork here is extremely unique and insightful.

Discover little-known gems

What’s fantastic about Paris is that it has many little-known gems packed into it. These are the kinds of things that unless you’ve lived in Paris or know someone who has, you wouldn’t know. That’s why, when you’re in Paris, if you can make friends with some of the locals, you will find it far easier to find all of Paris best-kept secrets.

Whether you’re a huge fan of ancient history, are mad about installation art, or have a real passion for cooking, you are guaranteed to find a little gem somewhere in Paris. There’s so much more to Paris than you will find in the travel books, which is why exploring and seeing where the locals recommend is so essential to making the most of your time there.

 

Be a smart traveller

To save money, be financially savvy and sightsee on a Sunday. Did you know that on Sundays in Paris entry to most big museums is free, or is free every first Sunday of the month? Of course, this will mean rather large queues, but if queueing for free entry allows you to see more of Paris then it is definitely worthwhile doing so.

Paris is one of those cities that can be easily explored in a manner of ways. Travelling on foot is one option, as is travelling by bicycle. However, for longer journeys, public transport can be a useful way to get around. The best way to get around is via the metro or by bus, depending on which mode of transportation you prefer.

Did you know that on Sundays and Mondays many restaurants in Paris are closed? That’s why it’s so important that you take the time to carefully plan your meals and determine where you will eat when so that you aren’t left without anywhere to have dinner.

When it comes to your accommodation, there are various options to consider, from fancy five-star hotels to more budget-friendly options.

For the epitome of luxury, Hotel Plaza Athenee is one of the grandest hotels in Paris, complete with lavish features, Eiffel Tower views, and a Michelin star restaurant.

For a more decadent stay, Le Bristol is the hotel of choice for many celebrities because it’s wonderfully glamorous.

For a beautiful location, the Le Meurice, located next to the Jardin des Tuileries is one of the most beautiful 5-star hotels in the city, with the staff going above and beyond to cater to your every need.

For a more budget-friendly option, camping can be a great choice. Did you know that you can camp in the centre of the city? At Bois de Boulogne there is a campsite with room for around 500 tents, in addition to space for campervans and caravans. You can easily walk into the city from here, and staying here won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Paris is one of the world’s most famous cities. While it’s known as being the city of love, Paris is so much more than a location for a romantic break away. It’s a city with real depth to it – there is so much on offer to see and do here.

Make the most of a trip to Mexico

Mexico can have a reputation for being unsafe in some places, but it’s still an extremely popular travel destination. As well as receiving plenty of visitors from the US and its other neighbours, people from all over the world come to enjoy Mexico. Beach resorts are particularly popular, and places like Cancun, Cozumel and Tulum see lots of action. If you’re thinking of taking a trip to Mexico, a bit of planning can go a long way to help you make the most of your time there. There’s lots to see and do, so start thinking about how you want to experience the country.

Learn Some of the Language.

Being fluent in Spanish certainly isn’t necessary if you want to visit Mexico. You can get by with English but, as in any country, the locals will appreciate it if you make an effort. Knowing at least some basic phrases can get you far. Even if it doesn’t help you to understand people more, it can make the locals like you more! Look for the best online Spanish course for your needs if you want to learn. Learning online is a good idea if you want to fit your learning around a busy schedule. You can study when and where you want. But try to get some real-world practice too if you can.

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Know How to Stay Safe

Mexico’s reputation for being unsafe isn’t exactly fair. While there are certainly some regions that you wouldn’t want to visit, most tourists are likely to be perfectly safe. Any area that sees a lot of tourism, such as beach resorts, major cities and historical sites, is likely to be safe for you. However, you still need to be careful, just like you do in any other travel destination. Take the usual precautions that you would while travelling to keep you and your possessions safe. One thing you might want to be particularly careful of is taxi scams.

Decide How Much You Want to Spend

Many people will tell you that Mexico is very cheap and you can make your budget go far. While you can find some bargains, you might also discover that locations popular with tourists aren’t always so cheap. If you want to choose a more affordable location, you will generally find that places on the Pacific coast are more affordable than those in the east of Mexico.

Go Beyond the Beaches

 

Mexico has some incredible beaches that can offer you a fantastic stay. However, there’s more to Mexico than just the beaches. There’s a lot more to see, from mountains to plenty of culture in the cities. If you’re going for a beach trip, that’s fine. But if you don’t want to spend all your time on the beach, you can explore further afield. Consider taking a road trip or joining a tour so that you can see more of the country.

Mexico has a lot to offer travellers of all types. If you want to have a memorable trip, keep your mind open about where to go and what to do.

Picnic under the Brooklyn Bridge

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Parisian elegance in New York City

Spring is my favorite season in New York City. I adore the colorful blooms, happy faces walking the streets and it is the perfect weather to spend time outdoors, and adore the parks and green spaces that is in New York City. We have so much greenery in this concrete jungle.

It was an honor to be contacted by Corinne and Laéthycia from Personal attention – these incredible Parisian ladies, run a private concierge and event planning company, here in New York City.  When asked if I would like to attend a picnic hosted by them, I jumped at the chance. I was not disappointed, these ladies know how to throw an elegant and charming picnic.

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A dreamy spring night at the Brooklyn bridge park

Personal attention put a lot of effort into making an enjoyable and memorable experience, one that I will never forget and will be forever grateful for. The weather was perfect, the location was stunning  and their set up was incredible. We arrived to be greeted by the happy crew at Personal attention, who had just finished setting up the picnic, their positive energy set the scene.  The setting was amazing, with a beautiful blanket and cushions to sit on, looking out to the Manhattan skyline with views of both the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridge.

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Attention to detail

The picnic was perfect. We were provided games to play (frisbee and uno)  and music to listen to. The cushions and blanket were extremely comfy and made for a relaxing evening. The food was perfect, which included a cheese platter, fruit salad, a hearty salad for each of us, and delicious sparkling apple cider.  The atmosphere was amazing, we spent three hours enjoying the picnic and watching the sunset over the Manhattan skyline, a perfect spring night in New York City!

If you’re looking for a unique and elegant New York City experience, look no further than Personal attention. They excel at creating beautiful  and memorable events. A highlight of my time living in this amazing city.

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Roosevelt Island

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Roosevelt Island

A gem of New York City. Roosevelt Island is a narrow island located in the East River. The Island is considered to be  apart of the borough of Manhattan. Manhattan sits to the west of the island and the borough of Queens sits to the east. Once known as Blackwells island, and also welfare island. The island was home to prisons, hospitals and asylums. The island was renamed in 1971 after Franklin D Roosevelt.

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What to see and do

Roosevelt Island tram

Take the aerial tram at least one when visiting Roosevelt Island. The views are amazing, providing a unique skyline view of the city. The tram runs from 59th street and second avenue in Manhattan to Tramway plaza on Roosevelt plaza. The tram ride definitely offers an exciting aerial view of the city. A must see for anyone visiting New York City.

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Four Freedom Park

This beautiful four acre park is a memorial, dedicated to President Franklin D Roosevelt. The park celebrates the Four Freedoms he articulated in his 1941 state of the union address. The park is located at the southern tip of the island, and I would recommend this to be the number one sight that you must see on Roosevelt Island. The landscape is stunning and the views of Manhattan and Queens are gorgeous.  If you love sunsets, I would suggest viewing one during the winter the months, they are absolutely breathtaking.

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The smallpox hospital

A very unique sight to see in New York City. The hospital is a historic landmark structure. The hospital was built in 1854 and was the first major hospital in the United States dedicated to treat the victims of smallpox. It is an interesting sight to see and represents an era of old New York life. It is great to see at different times of the year. The fall foliage is gorgeous, the winter adds more of an eerie vibe and it is  very pretty during the warmer months, with the greenery covering the hospital.

Small pox in the fall

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Cornell tech

An impressive engineering campus, with  an innovative design and beautiful grounds. Exploring this area is a change of scenery from the rest of the island, as it represents modern growth.

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Blackwell Island light house

The majority of the sights to see on the island, are located in the southern region. However, a visit to the northeast tip is well worth the walk (or bus ride) to view the pretty stone lighthouse, which was built in 1872.

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From stunning aerial views, escaping the chaos of midtown,  relaxing with  the breeze of the east river and exploring historic sights Roosevelt Island is a top place to visit when exploring New York City.

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Brooklyn bike tour

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Get up and ride

Explore New York City by bike, with your guide as a local New Yorker. Get up and ride is rated as New York’s number 1 biking tour company! So I was honored to be asked to join and review one of their tours. The company did not disappoint. I love the concept of get up and ride – allowing visitors (or locals) to bike around the city in small groups and learn about the area from a New Yorker. Not only do you get to bike around, your guide will also highlight interesting facts about the area, and take you to their favorite coffee and food places! You definitely learn a lot, experience the real New York and have fun while doing it!

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Bike tours

Get up and ride offer three tours:

1. The central park and more bike tour

On this tour, your guide will take you around central park and through the upper west and upper east side of Manhattan.

2. The lower Manhattan bike tour

This bike tour will take you around the charming greenwich village, the trendy lower east side and Chinatown.

3. The Brooklyn water front tour

Ride through the hipster neighbor of Williamsburg, then onto the stunning Brooklyn water front.

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The Brooklyn waterfront bike tour

It was hard to decide which bike tour I would like to attend, in the end I decided to go on the bike tour in my neighborhood-  I live in Williamsburg. I thought this would be a nice way to explore my surroundings via bike and as I have already biked around Central park and the west side of Manhattan numerous times I thought the Brooklyn tour would be best.

And it was amazing! Even though I live here, I still learnt a lot from our friendly and engaging tour guide. We met at the get up and ride bike store in Williamsburg, here we were fitted with our bikes and set up our walkie talkies – this would be the way our tour guide could communicate with us during the ride. It was a nice small group, with four people from Germany, a lady from California, the tour guide and the two of us. A small group allowed for a more intimate and fulfilling tour.

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Williamsburg

So the start of our tour began in my neighborhood of Williamsburg, a hip neighborhood which has a great nightlife scene, with plenty of rooftop bars and live music venues, trendy cafes, chic boutiques, the cutest coffee shops and vibrant street art. We rode through the streets and the gorgeous McCarren park, stopping to see some of the oldest street art in the area, then at one of my favorite coffee shops “Devocion” here we stopped to rest, enjoy each others company and drink a delicious coffee in a beautiful setting.

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Brooklyn navy yard

After our coffee, we continued on our bike tour. From Williamsburg we headed to the Brooklyn navy yard. The navy yard was once a ship yard and is now an industrial park with a mission to “demonstrate how modern manufacturing can thrive in urban America”. A highlight of our visit to the navy yard was our tour of the Brooklyn Grange – a world leading rooftop farm with a sustainability center. Here, they design, build and offer landscape services for gardens, farms and green spaces in NYC. As I work within the sustainability and conservation field, I was so excited that this stop was on our tour. The rooftop farm is very impressive, and the views of Brooklyn and Manhattan make it even more impressive! Our guide also pointed out that the navy yard also has a rooftop vineyard, which is now on my list to visit.

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DUMBO – Down under the Manhattan bridge

After the Navy yard we continued on, riding through the gorgeous Vinegar hill with cobble stone streets before stopping in the trendy neighborhood of DUMBO. The neighborhood of DUMBO is now one of the most expensive areas in NYC – once an old industrial area, the warehouses have been transformed into high end boutiques and pricey restaurants. Plus the area is now known as the tech hub of Brooklyn, with many tech companies moving in. DUMBO is also one of my favorite neighborhoods because of the stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and it’s access to the Brooklyn bridge park.  After learning about DUMBO we rode through the Brooklyn bridge park absorbing the cool breeze from the east river and taking in the iconic Manhattan skyline.

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DUMBO

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Brooklyn Heights

We continued riding through the stunning Brooklyn bridge park to the charming neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights. Brooklyn heights is an affluent residential neighborhood with the most gorgeous brownstones. The Brooklyn heights promenade is also amazing, with great views of Manhattan and the statue of Liberty. We stopped for a slice of coal oven pizza at table 87 – so delicious. Next it was time to ride back to Williamsburg, we rode through the Brooklyn bridge park and continued on the greenway trail to return to the store.

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Overall I was extremely satisfying with this tour. Biking is a great way to explore an area, and I loved how Get up and ride go above and beyond, their guides are very knowledgeable and friendly and I love how they  added in coffee shops, food places, and interesting places to stop at. I would  recommend them to anyone visiting (or living) in New York City.  Check out there website here for more information.

 

 

Brooklyn bridge park

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Brooklyn’s waterfront

The Brooklyn bridge park is a true gem of New York City. With a charming atmosphere and stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. The Park represents a reconstruction of the post industrial waterfront, which goes from Atlantic avenue in the South (the Columbia heights neighborhood), under the gorgeous Brooklyn heights promenade, past the impressive Brooklyn bridge, to north of the Manhattan bridge, to the trendy neighborhood of DUMBO (Down under the Manhattan bridge).

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What to see and do

View the iconic Manhattan skyline

The view from the Brooklyn bridge park is one of my favorites places to observe the dramatic Manhattan skyline. On a clear summers day or during a sunset, the view is incredible.

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Bike Ride

Go riding through the lush green park, taking in the views with a cool breeze from the East river. An easy 1.3 mile ride from one of the park to the other.

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Wine and dine

Picnic

With plenty of green space and iconic views, the Brooklyn Bridge park provides a great opportunity to have a picnic and chill out.

Splurge at the River cafe

With a stunning setting, a romantic atmosphere and incredible views, the river cafe is the perfect place to dine on special occasion.

Buzz bar

A chill place to grab a drink and a quick bite to eat. With outdoor seating and live music events this is the perfect place to relax after exploring the Brooklyn Bridge park.

Brooklyn ice cream factory

Satisfy your sweet tooth at the famous Brooklyn ice cream factory. The lines do get long but the ice cream is truly delicious and satisfying on a hot summers day.

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Free events

Take advantage of the events  that the park puts on during the warmer months.

From waterfront workouts, water sports (Kayaking, rowing ect), summer night movies, environmental volunteering days, and books under the bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge park offers something for everyone.

Check out their website for upcoming events – Brooklyn Bridge park website

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Visit the trendy neighborhood of DUMBO

Down under the Manhattan bridge. This area was once a ferry landing, and is characterized as 19th century industrial with warehouse buildings. With its Belgian block streets, the neighborhood definitely has a lot of charm and character. It has now been taken over by hipsters, and is one of New York’s trendiest neighborhoods, with plenty of places for weekend brunch, art events, photo shoots and is also considered to  be the tech hub of Brooklyn.

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DUMBO

Down under the Manhattan Bridge

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Take a photo under the Manhattan Bridge

Stop at the intersection of Water and Washington street to take this iconic photo. It is now one of the most famous Instagram photos of New York City. The view is pretty impressive, with the Manhattan bridge framing the Empire State building.

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The Brooklyn bridge park and surrounding neighborhoods are a true jewel of the city that never sleeps. It is one of my favorite neighborhoods and I always enjoy strolling through this area. It has changed a lot and will continue to do so. This area of the city has so much to offer. I would recommend visiting.

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Brooklyn bridge park night views