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Corey Smith/My Shot

Annemarie’s Brooklyn

Welcome back city-lovers, to another Wednesday edition of I Heart My City. This week’s insider guide to Brooklyn, New York was submitted by Annemarie Dooling, Community Editor at Huffington Post Travel and travel writer behind the Frill Seeker Diary. Browse Annemarie’s favorite spots in her hometown, then tell us what you love about Brooklyn in the comments section below. Plus, for more travel wit and wisdom, be sure to follow Annemarie on Twitter @TravelingAnna.

Brooklyn, New York is My City

The first place I take a visitor from out of town is the Brooklyn Museum, famous for their free nights, dance parties, and controversial exhibits.

When I crave gelato, I always go to Mona Lisa Bakery on 86th Street for a paper cup of cremalata.

To escape mall shoppers I head to 5th Avenue in Park Slope, which is lined with privately owned boutiques.

If I want to spend time with my dog, I go to McCarren Park in Williamsburg; friendliest dog runs in the city.

For complete quiet, I can hide away at the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights and take in the stunning Downtown Manhattan views.

If you come to my city, get your picture taken with Borough President Marty Markowitz, who regularly runs in Prospect Park.

If you have to order one thing off the menu from Grimaldi’s, it has to be a thin-crust pie straight out of the coal oven.

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Nostalgic and retro sweets at Dewey's Candy (Photo courtesy of Dewey's Candy)

Dewey’s Candy in Dumbo is my one-stop shop for plastic zip-tied bags of vintage candy favorites.

Locals know to skip the fantastic, but overcrowded, Brooklyn Flea and check out the Brooklyn Night Bazaar at DeKalb Market instead.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped I go for the best and cheapest tacos at Original California Taqueria in Cobble Hill.

For a huge splurge I go to Century21 in Bay Ridge where you can peruse racks of couture clothing for hours without anyone bothering you.

Photo ops in my city include fantastic bridges and the best vantage points are on the waterfronts in Bay Ridge and Red Hook.

The most random thing about my city is the underground MTA Transit Museum where you can find old subway cars and faux station entrances.

My city has the most creative men.

My city has the most outspoken women.

In my city, an active day outdoors involves a game of tennis at the Parade Grounds at Prospect Park.

My city’s best museum is the newly renovated Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Kids will also love the Little Things toy store, where old-timers like Slinky’s and green army men live, and the Superhero Supply Co. for capes and green tights.

My favorite jogging/walking route is along the beach beside the Belt Parkway and right under the Verrazano Bridge.

For a night of dancing, go to Latin night club Bembe. Or, for live music, check out The Bell House.

The Vegas Diner, a 24-hour vintage eatery, is the spot for late-night eats, including fries piled high with cheese and a rotating case of pies.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, readBrooklyn Based,’ ‘Brooklyn Vegan,’ or ‘F’d in Park Slope.’

You can tell a lot about my city from the more southern neighborhoods like Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, and Bay Ridge.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they don’t live in Williamsburg.

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Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Photo: Ken Konrad/My Shot)

In the winter you should stay warm by taking in an independent film at BAM.

In the spring you should see the cherry blossoms sprout at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.

In the summer you should try to eat an entire sausage roll while wearing a velour tracksuit at the 18th Avenue Festival.

In the fall you should enter your dog in the canine Halloween contest at Fort Greene Park.

A hidden gem in my city is Pastosa Ravioli, where locals line-up around the block for fresh, delicious pasta.

For a great breakfast joint try the locally sourced dishes at Jamie Lynn’s in Bensonhurst.

Don’t miss the amazingly colorful West Indian Carnival festival in Prospect Heights.

Just outside my city, you can visit Enoteca Maria, a restaurant manned by a crew of Italian grandmothers just over the Verrazano Bridge in Staten Island.

The best way to see my city is by bike, traveling neighborhood to neighborhood.

If my city were a pet it would be a raggedy mutt with a wagging tail and good intentions, dressed up in a designer collar.

If I didn’t live in a city, I’d live (where?) in probable misery; it’d be difficult to leave the childhood memories and old friends who make up Brooklyn.

The best book about my city is Angela’s Ashes. Sad as it was, it’s a great reminder of old Brooklyn.

If you have kids, you won’t want to miss the newly reconstructed Jane’s Carousel at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The Coney Island Mermaid Festival, a parade of beach goers in candy-colored shell bras, could only happen in my city.

My city should be featured on your cover or website because there’s more to Brooklyn than ironic mustaches and designer cupcakes.

Tell us what you love about Brooklyn. Leave the details in the comments section below.

Want to see your city on Intelligent Travel? Copy and paste our list of fill-in-the-blank questions into an e-mail, fill in your answers, and send your responses (with any photos, videos or links) to


Photo: Corey Smith/My Shot