Monday, April 26, 2010

Sheepshead Bay on a Budget


Neighborhood to explore: Sheepshead Bay on a Budget

Blessed with an enormous building and redevelopment boom in the past five years, the bay that separates Brooklyn from Coney Island otherwise known as Sheepshead Bay is currently a pretty rad place to be. It has all the charm and quiet of a familiar Brooklyn neighborhood, and you’ll get the added adventure of feeling like you’ve ventured out of New York City and into a magical place where residents dress up in suits and dresses for a night of dinner and dancing. From the 1970’s wooden houses to the well-maintained parks and trees, Sheepshead Bay is a great place to unwind, relax, and smell the fresh salt air.

EAT/DRINK:
1. Little Cupcake Bakeshop (9102 3rd Ave) is an old-school-styled bakery, complete with crown molding and crystal chandeliers. Decorated in the vein of the Jazz Age in all its glory and splendor, this bakery is unlike anything you’ll find in lower Manhattan. Cupcakes come in flavors including coconut cloud, German chocolate, cookie dough, southern red velvet, carrot, and plain ol’ golden vanilla for just $2.25 each. Open Monday-Friday, 7a-11p and 8a-11p on weekends, satisfying your sweet tooth seven days a week.
2. For Polish cheap eats, stop by the Polonica Restaurant (7214 3rd Ave) for a late-night fix. Try the Ukranian borscht or the cucumber-pickle soup ($2-4), potato pancakes ($5), and cheese and blueberry blintzes ($5). While $20 will get you a feast set to leave you full for days, we’d recommend picking up a little snack of potato pancakes to eat on the run to your next adventure.
3. Skinflints (7902 5th Ave) touts the Best Burger in Bay Ridge, and we’ll take their word for it. Burgers will set you back a mere $6.75, and their baked sweet potatoes ($3) are nothing to sneer at- plus the low prices will leave extra dollars for beers at the bar. Open Sunday to Thursday, 12p-12a and Friday and Saturday, 12p-3a.

SEE:
1. The Holocaust memorial park is located at the water’s edge and created by gracious support from the Holocaust Memorial Committee. June 10th will host the 23rd Annual Gathering and Exhibit, celebrating Jewish community leaders. Plans for a future establishment, the Holocaust Education Center, have been discussed in recent years, and we can only hope they come to fruition. It’s also used throughout the year for commemorative events.
2. The Enrico Caruso Museum of America (1942 E 19th St) was built on the second floor of a curator Aldo Mancusi’s house and is a shrine to the opera singer Enrico Caruso. Overwhelming displays act as shrines to the turn-of-the-century performer, featuring records, heirlooms, pictures, photos, and rare films. Open by appointment only (contact amancusi@enricocarusomuseum.com). Save money for the gift shop!

DO:
1. Indulge in all-you-can-eat crabs every day at Clemente’s Maryland Crab House (3939 Emmons Ave) for just $29.95, cash only. All right, it’s not exactly “on a budget” friendly, but all-you-can-eat deals catch our fancy every time. Especially those from establishments recommended by Time Out New York that come with sides of corn, fries, and plastic bibs.
2. Try for a strike at Gil Hodges Lanes (6161 Strickland Ave) on one of the 34 lanes. Budget specials include Silly Sundays (All you can bowl for $25 a lane, 9a-noon) Dollar Mania (Mondays and Wednesdays, all you can bowl for $1 per game from 9p to closing), Nifty Fifty (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12p-4p, all games for $0.50) and Glo-Bowl (Fridays and Saturday evenings, 11p to closing).
3. Stroll the surrounding residential neighborhoods and try to find Larry David’s house. He was born here in 1947.

SPLURGE:
1. Visit the ex-Soviet-themed nightclub Baku Palace (2001 Emmons Ave). Everyone will be dressed to the nines and ready to dine under the stars in the summer months. Upstairs resembles a tacky catering hall with more subdued dining on the bottom floor, but that doesn’t matter- first bites of your grilled shrimp, Chilean sea bass, grilled lamb, and tiramisu will render you in a immediate food coma. Unlike anything you’d find at Webster Hall or Marquee, the Baku Palace is great for a night of fun when you have dollars to spend on drinks and dinner.

SPEND: (not including $2.25 metrocard) $11-13

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