Our 5-Day NYC Trip – Day 4: Brooklyn & Dyker Heights

As we had one ticket to spare and I just wanted to see Madame Tussauds, we first tackled this on our last full day in the Big Apple. Madame Tussauds opens at 9am. We were anxious to see the line, as the day before it was way too long. When we now entered at around 9.30 we only waited for about 15min and got in. We covered the different floors and areas in about 1 hour.
Afterwards, we took the subway to East Broadway, which is close to the start of the Manhattan bridge. The idea was to walk across the Manhattan Bridge towards Brooklyn during daytime and then, right before midnight we would have the tour to the Brooklyn bridge up to the point where you can (should) see the fireworks over the Manhattan skyline.

Arrived in Brooklyn, we crossed the Dumbo area and had an amazing slice of pizza at the Front Street Pizza joint. Then we headed to the Brooklyn Heights promenade, which offers amazing views of Manhattan. Here you can also take the water taxi to various places (tickets can be bought at the ticketing machines at the promenade).

Walk the promenade passed the area with the different sport facilities right next to the water and a small park, then go up to Brooklyn Heights and walk around in the streets there, which immediately give another vibe and feel of New York City.

After strolling around and enjoying a desert and some warmth at Starbucks, we took the subway to 78 street and then walk a few blocks to Dyker Heights. This area is know for its Christmas extravaganza. As we found online, we mainly covered streets 83 to 86 and avenue 11 to 13. I really recommend it, it’s something different compared to the typical NYC scenery. But if you think you’ll be the only one there, you’ll be sadly mistaken… The more eclectic the decorations, the more popular. At some houses we had to wait in line before we could take a picture!
We left Dyker Heights again by 6pm, taking the subway back to the Financial district, where we had made reservations at the Wall Street Grill. Food is good, but service was really fast. We didn’t even got our drinks yet, when they already brought the food in. And although we asked to wait at least 15min before bringing our desert after we ordered, we got it way faster.

And then we still had about 4 hours to kill before midnight and the New Year’s celebrations took place. We didn’t want to go to Times Square as you have to wait in line in the cold for at least 12 to 16 hours, can’t go to the bathroom and have to take your own (limited) food (no backpacks allowed). Another option we explored was the Midnight Run in Central Park, but as that didn’t look to practical, we opted for our last option: a tour to the Brooklyn bridge from where you can see the fireworks at the count of midnight. Tour is offered by NYC Walks and the tour as such was good; we learned some interesting stuff. But what happens at midnight is a bummer. We only saw fireworks from Coney Island, which is pretty far away. There’s also no real countdown as they do at Times Square, so you hear several groups counting down and then it’s waiting for the fireworks… in vein… Also, there’s a lot of people there. Maybe naïve from my end, but I didn’t expect these crowds – wasn’t everyone going to Times Square? So after the disappointing midnight non-spectacle, it took like forever to get back off the bridge and head to the subway, which was of course ramped with people all making their way back.

Tips we want to share
• Make sure to take the right side of the Manhattan bridge, assigned to pedestrians. The other side is for bikes
• The Across the street place is packed with people – as soon as you enter, make sure to divide and conquer: one does the ordering, while the other stands on the lookout for a place to sit. The meat lovers and taco pizza are delicious. One (big!) slice will do

Other Countries we visited
Have a look at the other countries we ‘achievied’ to visit, and other Achievies