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The Best Spots in Brooklyn

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Brooklyn has changed so much since I was a kid, and parts of it are probably unrecognizable from when my dad was born at Brooklyn Jewish hospital in 1943. A lot of this has been good change in the form of art, culture, neighborhood-defining restaurants, shops and more. This week, we’ve gooped Brooklyn, rounding up some of the best spots for your perusal/exploration (or in case you need a bite on your way to the new Barclays Center).

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ShapeShifter Lab

Gowanus 18 Whitwell Pl. 646.820.9452

With nightly events that feature established and emerging musicians, there’s always something good playing in this performance space/jazz club, run by bass player Matthew Garrison, son of Jimmy Garrison (bass player for John Coltrane).

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The Intercourse

Red Hook 159 Pioneer St. 718.596.3000

Artist Dustin Yellin has recently opened this non-profit contemporary arts center, located in a large warehouse space, a 19th century brick and timber building, in Red Hook. It feels a bit like a young PS1, with one of the largest uninterrupted exhibition spaces in New York City, both indoor and outdoor exhibition space, public programs, artists residencies, and a magazine.

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Drummer’s Grove

Lefferts Gardens Parkside & Ocean Ave. entrance, Prospect Park

Jamming since 1968, since the Congo Square Drummers started gathering here informally, you can still catch this drum circle every Sunday, April through October, 2pm to dusk. It’s fun to just watch, listen, and enjoy.

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Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

Prospect Heights 1000 Washington Ave. 718.623.7200

Like a museum of nature’s splendor, The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens is covered in acres of gorgeous plants and flowers. From the Japanese Tea Garden to the Lily-Pad exhibit, the Rose Garden and places to stop for a snack and a drink throughout, this is a great place to stroll or spend a day with the kids.

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Brooklyn Museum

Prospect Heights 200 Eastern Pkwy. 718.638.5000

One of the largest and oldest art museums in the country, The Brooklyn Museum, housed in a gorgeous Beaux-Arts building at the top of Prospect Park, is also one of our favorite Brooklyn landmarks.

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