Saturday, 27 September 2014


Cherry blossoms at Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

Name:  Netra

Where are you from? I was born and brought up in a suburb of Boston. However, my parents are from Bangalore and I lived several years in Bangalore, so I feel like I should also call Bangalore home. 

How long have you lived in New York? 
We have lived in Brooklyn (NY) since early 2009.

What do you do?
I am the co-founder of a tech start-up out of NYC. 

Where can we see your work?

What is your Brooklyn famous for?
The neighborhood I live in is famous for its beautiful brownstone homes, tree-lined streets, and for its large park (Prospect Park), which many prefer to Central Park.

What are the 3 best kept secrets of Brooklyn, which only the locals are aware of? 
  • The sense of community. It really feels like a small town. Every time you step out of the house, you inevitably run into at least one person you know and have a lovely conversation with them.
  • The local cafes. There are so many small local cafes (almost one every block) that every street has its own little local hangout.  You see the same regulars with their laptops there every day.  
  • It's an amazing place for families. OK, this one isn't such a big secret. But people don’t always think that a big city can be an amazing place to bring up kids.  Aside from the playgrounds, great public schools, and many child-friendly establishments, the sheer variety of activities and classes for kids to participate in always blows my mind. Think of anything that your child wants to do, and you can probably find a class for it here. 

3 foods that one should taste in Brooklyn and where can we find it?
  • Bagels at Bagel Factory (612 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215, United States)
  • Hazelnut latte at Postmark Cafe (326 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215, United States)
  • Cake at Ladybird Bakery (1112 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215, United States)
Petting zoo at Prospect Park

3 best places to shop in Brooklyn
  • Two lovers — amazing little boutique that stocks secondhand designer clothes for adults and kids at very affordable prices. (227 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215, United States)
  • The Farmers Market on 5th Ave and 3rd Street. It’s not just great fruit and veggies. There are delicious pastries, breads, cheeses, ice pops, frozen foods, even fusion samosas.
  • Something Else on Fifth — really fun and unique clothes for men and women. (208 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215, United States)

3 must-see sights in Brooklyn..
  • The Cherry Blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanical gardens. This happens once a year, in the spring, and it’s really beautiful. It’s definitely worth seeing.
  • The view of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline from one of the taller new buildings.  It’s incredibly clear and is especially beautiful at sunset.  You can even see the fireworks on the 4th of July and New Years eve without the crowd. 
  • The parades. There are many of these that happen in Manhattan and are really worth seeing! People go all out for these!

3 things a traveler should know about NY...
  • Every borough (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island) is a city in itself. Each has got its own landmarks, things to do, and amazing restaurants and shops.  Manhattan is only one part of NYC.
  • The subway is the most reliable and fastest way to get around. You’ll never get stuck in traffic and it covers almost every block of the city. 
  • Weather doesn't stop New Yorkers.  Life goes even in the rain, the snow, the freezing cold, and the blazing heat. 
3 things a traveler should do in New York

  • Lie on the grass in Prospect Park in the spring, summer, or fall
  • Attend a session of TedxNY, NASMO or one of the other cool informal meetups that bring together smart, creative, young locals
  • See a Broadway show. Even though everyone does it, it’s really worth it!

3 things a traveler should not do in NY
  • Hang out in Times Square. It’s extremely crowded and there’s nothing much to see!
  • Travel everywhere by cab. 
  • Get stuck in Manhattan.  Every neighborhood in every borough has got amazing things to do and see, its own character and charm, its own local restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and shops. It's this variety that makes New York a really special place.