The lush rainforests of Brazil, the scenic landscapes and exotic cities of Morocco and the hot dog- eating contest in Brooklyn? Brooklyn is not out of place in that trio. Really. In fact, the borough has won a hard-earned spot among some of the hottest cities in the world, a world-respected travel guidebook is asserting. Brooklyn, according to Lonely Planets Bluelist: The Best in Travel 2007 is booming, and visitors from around the world, well, best recognize it. Any New Yorker worth their street cred knows the new downtown lies just across the East River, over the stately 19th century bridge sharing its name with its home borough, Brooklyn, the USAs biggest city-within-a-city, the 260-page book notes. The Go List of top destinations includes Brazil, India, Morocco, Mexico, Greece, Spain, Cuba, Nicaragua, Argentina and Turkey. The top destination was China. Brooklyn, along with Hawaii and New Orleans, was included in the entry about the United States. The hot list was compiled by Lonely Planet editors, according to spokesperson Frank Ruiz. This is Brooklyns first time on the list, but the borough is always included in the companys city guides, Ruiz said. Heres how Lonely Planet editors account for the boroughs surging popularity: As Manhattan real-estate prices in the 1990s skyrocketed beyond normal budgets, artists, hipsters, yuppies, workers, families, students and emigrants seeking space and rent looked east to the borough that made John Travolta famous. By fate or fortune, a cultural movement emerged, and now Brooklyn stands proud as the hippest part of New York City, Blue Planet asserts. Borough President Marty Markowitz hailed the inclusion of Brooklyn in the book as confirmation of the boroughs rise to the upper echelons of global tourist destinations. I commend Lonely Planet for recognizing what Brooklynites have always known: our borough is not just the best place to live, work, and raise a familyits also a world class place to visit, the boroughs top boss said. Presaging the honor, Markowitz opened the Brooklyn Tourism and Visitors Center in 2004. Brice Gosnell, Lonely Planets regional publisher, said Brooklyn is the new downtownwith urban hipsters, diverse communities still intact, its own parades and festivals, and its own unique blend of small businesses and restaurants that make it must-see for any visit to New York. The book, $19.99 and widely available, refers to Bruce Ratners Atlantic Yards project as the Hot Topic of the Day. On the plus side, the book says, is pro sports return to the borough on the minus, its a land grab scam thatll boot out tenants and further Wal-Martify NYC, the book warns. Notable attractions the book cites include the Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Park, Williamsburg nightlife, Coney Island and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Festivals and events of note include Coney Islands Mermaid Parade, the Atlantic Antic and the hot dog eating contest held annually at Nathans Famous in Coney Island. Travelers will have a defining experience if they mostly stay well north of the all-beef wiener munching set, the book advises. First, according to the book, bike across the Brooklyn Bridge, explore DUMBOs art galleries, check out the views form Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, indulge at Jacques Torres Chocolate on Water Street, and model [Williamsburg-based] Triple Five Soul streetwear and knock back some Brooklyn Lagers while blasting Asteroids at Barcade in Williamsburg. The most bizarre sight in Brooklyn, the book claims, is Takeru Kobayashi of Japan, reigning hot dog eating champion, outchomping challengers and hoisting trophies at Nathans Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. The Bronx, oddly, is listed under the entry Whats Hot in the books two-page spread on Brooklyn. New Jersey is deemed not hot. Life changing experiences can be found two ways, according to Lonely Planet. Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge and imagining how the Manhattan skyline looked pre-September 11, 2001, or by passing out on the BDF train after a big night out, then waking in Coney Island to see the sun rise over the Atlantic. Times sure have changed: Nary a mention is made about the possibility of having ones pockets slashed (and wallet stolen) while unconscious on the Stillwell Avenue-bound train.
©2007 Community News Group
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