Vaccinated Americans have been given the go-ahead for safe domestic travel. So at this very moment, you’re probably in the midst of planning your summer travel itinerary. As such, we’re going to be seriously beefing up our travel guides, offering you great suggestions on the places you need to visit off the beaten path, as well as advising you on which cities to turn to when you’re looking for a weekend full of partying and meeting new people.
If that’s your vibe, it’s hard to beat Brooklyn New York. BK has it all — hip-hop history, incredible pizza, and historic parties. But since guides of the borough have been done to death, we decided to veer into some weirdness. To do so, we connected with Brooklyn-based indie psych-pop act Blood Cultures, who led us on a tour of their favorite hidden gems in Brooklyn and their own photos along the way. Blood Cultures, if you can’t already tell by their press shot, is completely anonymous. We don’t know what they look like, or even how many members are actually in the band — which makes this series of photos they shared with us all the weirder.
Who are these people? Are they Blood Cultures? Has the band sacrificed their anonymity for us? Who’s to say — either way, they took us on a fun ride and we appreciate it.
Before we dive into the guide (which is created with tongue firmly in cheek but does have some good advice), check out Blood Cultures’ latest project LUNO, which features eight songs of dense driving synths, infectious ear-wormy melodies, reverb-drenched vocals, and auto-tune shimmery vocal chops — all swirled together into a dreamy summer soundtrack. It sounds just like walking through Greenpoint on a hot summer day feels!
Best Place To Grab A Coffee — Starbucks
A great way to start your day venturing around Brooklyn is with an iced coffee from your favorite local cafe. But no coffee is complete without a splash of milk alternative (at least for us). For the past few years, Brooklyn has been the trailblazer for milk alternative trends: from soy to almond all the way to oat, BK baristas and cafes have paved the way. There’s been a new organic locally sourced milk alternative (pictured here) that has been making its way around the cafe circuit that is sure to take off and become the next buzzy trendy milk alternative.
You heard it here first! The only thing better than the taste is… everything else.
Best Place To Eat — Father Knows Best
A hidden gem in the crown of Bushwick, Father Knows Best does it all. Restaurant, cafe, bar, venue, this place is a shapeshifter but can always be relied upon to serve up some good times and quality food and drink. Their off-menu items in particular are noteworthy for their rare and unique qualities.
In fact, they will go above and beyond to satisfy their customers’ off-the-book requests – even if those requests are disturbing… deeply disturbing… One is left to question: does father know best?
Best Place For A Swim — McCarren Park Pool
“Wait a minute… Is that a picture from some fancy resort hotel pool?” you may ask. No, Uproxx reader. You don’t need to go on a tropical vacation to get your swim on in a pristine pool. Travel no further than down the street to your local neighborhood city public pool. I was a little confused when I first came across this pool as there was lots of construction equipment and fencing and no sign that actually said “Pool.” But my mind quickly turned to the fact that I had the pool all to myself!
In this nearly post-covid world, I try to be extra careful about people’s germs and having some personal space, so I was relieved that I could dive into this water without the thought of it being contaminated.
Best Place To Take A Dog — Maria Hernandez Dog Park
Did you know some parks around Brooklyn have designated areas made just for free-roaming dogs? They’re not only free-roaming, but they’re also free of charge. That’s right, they don’t cost a thing — just go up and scoop up your favorite furry friend of choice and they’re all yours.
Just a warning: sometimes people may stare at you or yell strange things at you like “Hey, stop stealing my dog. Help! This person is stealing my dog!” But just try to ignore them. Boomers, am I right?
Best Place To Grab A Drink — The Johnsons
It is a legal requirement for all NYC restaurants, bars, and eateries to offer their customers complimentary water if they request it. But without contest, the best complimentary water in Brooklyn comes from, local watering hole, The Johnson’s.
“Why?” asks you, the Uproxx reader. Because they let me take this picture.
Other than their water, they also just so happen to have some of the best animal-style fries on the east coast at their outdoor burger shack. The fries, while not complementary, may be given to you for free if you cry hard enough. Give it a try and let me know how that goes for you.
Best Place To Hang Out — Green-wood Cemetary
Brooklyn bands, including us, love the graveyard vibes. As a matter of fact, it is so common for bands to hang out at Brooklyn cemeteries, that it is a statistical likelihood that you will run into your favorite local artist the next time you’re burying your freshly deceased friend or loved one. Unfortunately, we ran into, rival Brooklyn band, Cool Company, before we could enter the cemetery and by Brooklyn-band law we had to engage with them in combat.
I won’t tell you who won, but let’s just say — we did.
Best Place To Take In Nature — Highland Park
Who would have thought there could be such a serene and woody oasis in this concrete jungle we live in? You don’t have to travel far to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, just enter Highland Park and it will make you feel like you’re a million miles away. You can enjoy the suburban park bliss of grilling and playing sports in the fields or even delve into the wildlife for some quality bird watching.
But however you choose to spend your time here, always be sure to look out for a guy running toward you screaming “Hey, you! Give me back my dog you son of a b*tch!”