In the twenty-first century as since, well, forever, we’ve always tried to have the most convenient route possible. Many times we try to find the quickest route imaginable because we want to get to our destination for whatever reason, work, class, etc.,. When we plan a trip or vacation somewhere we don’t necessarily look for the most ‘beautiful’ or ‘longest’ route possible because it’s just not something we normally do or think of.
As we go on with our days we seem to have lost the touch of exploration, similar to Will Self, whom walked from JFK International Airport to his hotel room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. That is exploration.
I’ve created a mere alternative route upon leaving the Borough Hall (2, 3, 4 & 5 trains) orCourt Street (R) stations. Ideally it would take about 15-20 minutes give-or-take from the station to City Tech. Most of us likely get off from the metro and head as fast as we can straight along the street we face. This is likely Remsen Street or Joralemon Street and then turning into either Jay or Adam Street. The proposed route I’ve created takes you, the walker straight to Court Street itself and headed northward for the Manhattan Bridge.
Walk straight along Court Street and as you walk, you can pause and admire the architectural design of the Borough Hall building right outside. Though it is not used much, it is still a sight worth admiring. The Borough Hall building and surrounding buildings lets you take in what Brooklyn looked like back in 1800s before Brooklyn became part of what we now know as New York City. The area surrounding the Borough Hall building is Brooklyn’s own smaller skyline in front of the skyscrapers in Lower Manhattan to the west. When Court Street becomes a curved road, walk onto the pavement on Cadman Plaza and proceed to the centre where the trees leave an open space. Take a breather and take a moment to take in the surroundings. Look south along Court Street and you will notice the stark difference in how the streets look. Court Street would appear to be a modernised view of Brooklyn meanwhile the street to the left would appear to be a bit more old fashioned. Borough Hall is the centre piece of this juxtaposition of what you can call past and present. Continuing to walk northward you’ll see a fountain and listen to the sound of the water as it flows from the fountain, assuming it’s sunny or at least not sleeting or raining. To the north end of Cadman Plaza, is the Korean War Veteran’s Park which is accessible by continuing to walk straight ahead through the tree line. It’s almost as though strolling through Central Park is all the same. This area is designated as a memorial for the fallen in the Korean War of 1950-1953. Depending on how you may feel, it’s courteous to pay respects to the fallen. Being in there can bring a sense of peace and tranquility. It’s quite calm being so close to the street where cars hustle and bustle to get somewhere.
Upon reaching Tillary Street. It can be a bit decisive, continue or turn east toward Jay Street and to City Tech which is right next to where you’d likely be standing. Deciding to continue northward leads to the Brooklyn War Memorial. It is designated for men and women whom served in World War II and whom were from Brooklyn themselves. Similar to the Korean War Veteran’s Park it brings a sense of peace being there. The trees and the grass can help with feeling closer to nature. Perhaps even more so than at Central Park! A suggestion would be to take another breather and to perhaps sit in a bench nearby, enjoy the breeze a bit and take in the sights that you’ve witnessed through this route. A brief look into the historical point of view that is the area around Borough Hall.
It may be time to go to City Tech, simply turning east toward Cadman Plaza East and crossing through the extension of trees and grass will place you back onto Adam Street. City Tech is a block south along Adam Street and will be easily spotted upon reaching Tillary Street and then turning into Jay Street which is recognisable by the large sign and by a playground across the street.
Cadman Plaza is by no means Times Square or Union Square, however it too has it’s own respective sights to see. The area around City Tech is a great place to see and to get a glimpse of what Brooklyn was like in the 1800s, perhaps not identical or even close to mimicking it but you can get a sense of how much this borough has changed over the years and how it has developed into what it is today. Happy walking and enjoy!