NFT New York Dyker Heights / Bensonhurst

Dyker Heights / Bensonhurst

Nothing big ever happens in the Dyker Heights/Bensonhurst part of Brooklyn, but then again, that's how the mostly laid-back residents here like it. Walk east across noisy New Utrecht Avenue, however, and you've stumbled upon the full-on Eastern European area of Bensonhurst. You're in for the cold shoulder treatment here because if you can't speak at least three non-English languages fluently, they can tell you're just a "new" Brooklynite. There isn't much excitement in this neck of the woods, but the specialty food shopping remains a reason to visit.

Historically, this area of Brooklyn was created as an upscale housing development and was built as such in the late 1800s. Though much has been torn down, several of these large homes are still standing today and make for a nice walk while you're not gorging yourself at the many bakeries and bagelries around town. While you're in this part of Brooklyn, you might as well play a round of golf at one of the world's oldest courses, the See more.

>Dyker Beach Golf Course. The world's busiest golf course in the mid-'50s, today the attached Dyker Beach Park has added facilities for tennis, handball, and bocce, as well as the usual American team sports.

Did you know that there's an amusement park in town not named Coney Island? That's right; the Adventurer's Family Entertainment Center (formerly Nelly Bly Amusement Park) has enough thrills, chills, and spills for anyone under the age of 10. Located along the Belt Parkway near Bay 41st Street, it's a cute park good for a family treat, but not exactly Six Flags. Around Christmastime hop on over to 84th Street between 11th and 13th Avenues, otherwise known as the epicenter for the famous Dyker Heights Christmas Lights spectacular. Join locals and tourists from all over the U.S. as they amble along the suburban-ish streets admiring these amazingly overdecorated mini-mansions.

During the warmer months take a stroll along Leif Ericson Park (66th & Fort Hamilton Pkwy), or step out right near the water's edge with a walk along the ocean. Sure, the highway's right on the other side of you, but at least you can feel that salty breeze.

The number of bars you won't pass here is staggering, unless you're talking about an espresso bar, in which case, go to town. Otherwise, go to town.

Who cares if the menu's not in English around here? Go for traditional Greek and souvlaki at Meze or pizza and upscale Italian at Ristorante Vaccaro, where you can still get a slice to go at the walk-up window.

Eighteenth Avenue is a food lover's paradise and has some of the best specialty food shopping in the city -- Hungarian marts, ravioli outposts, and fresh, local rabbit vendors. No joke. Stop by B&A Pork Store and other bakeries on 13th Avenue for great eats and a semi-local specialty called Pizza Rustica. This thick, savory pie is stuffed with prosciutto, ham, egg, cheese that's more calzone than pizza.


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