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Old School Vs. New School – BROOKLYN Edition!

Some famous writer once said “Only the dead know Brooklyn,” which means he must’ve been talking about Green-Wood Cemetery and all their famous corpses. And those under the dirt might know a bunch, but lemme tell you, Brooklyn has changed since those guys started pushin’ up the daisies. And we think that there’s a lot to tell about Old School Brooklyn vs. the New School.

Esposito's Jersey Pork Store in Carroll Gardens - Old School!

Luckily for a busload of fun-lovin’ Dutch businessmen & women, they picked the right tour company to show them around the borough of Kings! And being native Brooklynites, we never let ANYONE forget that! This is the third year in a row that I had the pleasure of touring NYC with a bunch of IBM-business types who were in town just for fun. The past two trips we simply sightsaw around Manhattan. But that’s island’s old hat, so this year we took ‘em on a 5 hour tasting and tippling tour of Brooklyn!

We drove our way across the Manhattan bridge and stopped for some photo ops under the Brooklyn Bridge at Fulton Ferry Landing, a perfect mix of Old School vs. New: the vintage suspension bridge, courtesy of John, Washington & Emily Roebling is as old-school awesome as it gets. Right next door, the brand-spanking new Brooklyn Bridge Park. So new, its not even done yet.

The whole Avnet group, lounging about at Fulton Ferry - Old School!

After our photo op we boogied through Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. I bought the boys and girls some black olive loaf at Caputo’s Bakery and some fresh mozzarella and soppressata at Esposito’s Jersey Pork store. Old School all the way. Then we picked up some tacos at Xochimilco and some Chinese dumplings at Tasty Dumpling, both in Sunset Park. Totally New School – hardworking Latino and Asian immigrant and ethnic cultures replacing the classic Irish-Italian-Jewish mix that epitomized Brooklyn for the most of the 20th century.

John loves showing off his pizza! Old School!

After Sunset Park snacks we roared down into the southwest slope of Brooklyn for the oldest-school bite one can find – a killer corner slice joint featured on our #GooglePizzaBus tour! Our main man John Fruente dished up slices of the Carbonara and the plain cheese for all my Dutch boys. They couldnt believe that a regular corner slice joint like Valentino’s crafted such superlative pies.

Nicole Austin explains the science and magic of Whiskey Distilling - New School!

But after so much Old School Brooklyn, I kept explainin’ how Brooklyn no longer equals working class, blue collar, tough guy widda heart of gold. Now Brooklyn means young multi-culti DIYers, striving to make new paths in passionate fields like music, art, photography, furniture, recreation, brewing and distilling! So we swung by the Kings County Distillery, NYC’s Oldest Distillery (founded 2010!) for a tour of their closet-sized whiskey manufacturing shop in Bushwick, Brooklyn, amidst lots of graffiti.

Moonshine! (Definitely New School.)

Of course, no New School micro-micro-distillery is complete without tastings, right? So we treated the Dutch boys and gals to a little bit of whiskey, Brooklyn style. And then they all got to take a bottle home with them at the end of the day. After Moonshinin’ and imbibin’ the guys still had a few hours to kill before we poured them onto a plane heading back to the original Breukelen, so our last two stops were a pleasant mix of Old School and New School Brooklyn:

Enjoying some beers in the Brooklyn Brewery. Old meets New School.

Brooklyn Brewery & Brooklyn Bowl. Housed in the landmarked Hecla Iron Works, 1882, Brooklyn Brewery has been brewing fine craft beers since 1988, and opens their brewshop every weekend to thirsty tipplers. After a 30 minute power-(half)hour, we strolled around the corner to Brooklyn Bowl, one of the newest New School shops in BK – a 600 capacity, 23,000 sq foot restaurant / live music venue / 16 lane bowling alley that is also the nation’s first LEED certified green bowling alley!

Matt about to bowl a strike! (Check out that Dutch Orange shirt!)

We tossed some bowling balls, sipped some Brooklyn beers, ate some tasty bites and remarked about the beautiful Old Vs. New School attitudes of what is certainly NYC’s most exciting place to be.

By Matt Levy
Pictures by Kevin Eichelberg

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Comments

  1. Kevin Eichelberg says:

    Hi Matt,

    Great story, nice pictures :-).
    We had a very great day and i recommend the tour to everybody.
    Hopefully till next year.

    Greets
    Kevin E.

  2. Arno van Galen Last says:

    Hi Matt,

    Again, this was a great trip, really one to remember, I hope we will see you next year again and we will, for sure, do a Brooklynn trip again! Man, this is soooo different then the Manhatten we thought was New York!

    Again thank you for being the best tourguide and getting us all asleep in the plane with the moonshine/bourbon and beers! Say hi to everyone from us and till next year!

    Arno

  3. Heather Duva says:

    Mr. Brooklyn!!! Great blog and great times! Thanks for keeping us entertained year after year!!

    Heather

  4. Heather Duva says:

    STROOPWAFELS!!!!!

  5. Matt

    Don’t toss bowling balls you roll them. LOL. Great article.

    Chris

  6. Why Old School VS New School, I think Crooklyn’s providing an excellent example of how the two can dynamically co-exist! Old School AND New School!

  7. Great piece of writing. Wish I had been there.Sounds like they all had a ball.
    Good concept: OLD/New

  8. Dennis Molenaar says:

    Hi ‘mad’ Matt;)

    Really nice story and pictures!! It was a great tour and we saw some awesome things!

    Thanks!

    Grtz

  9. Valery Dupont says:

    Hey Matt,

    i beg to differ but not all of us were Dutch guys.
    You won’t get any Belgian beers buddy !!! ;-)

    Kidding apart, this was an aswome day spent together traveling around Brooklyn.
    Thanks for sharing your hometown’s love with us (and the nice places too !!!).

    Cya soon !

    Val

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