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Old 11-19-2012, 12:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Brooklyn Impressions

Here's a little scouting report for our fellow a-10 road warriors who plan to go to the tourney in march:

Arena: very nice. Seats approx 17,000. Upper level is high- very vertical

Neighborhood: Surprisingly nice. Lots of nice shops and restaurants and bars.

Brooklyn Queens Expressway (major highway into Brooklyn from Verrazono Bridge): Just plain awful. 5 miles in 1 hour . Some of this may be because the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel is still closed b/c of the hurricane.

One word of warning for the drinkers out there- They cut off beer sales right BEFORE halftime (and dont care to tell the patrons in the long lines that they have done so)
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Brooklyn Impressions

I live a 5 minute walk from the Barclay's Center and would be happy to provide recommendations on anything related to the neighboring areas. It's right next to some of the most beautiful neighborhoods in NYC but also jettisoned in between two extremely busy thoroughfares and across the street from a monstronsity eyesore of the Fulton Mall. Great restaurants abound for those interested in that kind of thing. Plenty of bars, but most aren't sports bar inclined so aren't perfect for large groups, though I am sure with advance notice you could set something up for a group.

Transportation: Don't drive. Multiple subway lines run directly to the arena. By FAR the simplest way to get there from anywhere in NYC. From Penn Station, it's about 30 minutes via the 2 or 3 train. From Grand Central Station, probably the same via the 4 or 5 train. From Union Square, 15 minutes via the Q or 20 minutes via the 4 or 5. Parking is a disaster, the diverging intersections will cause you headaches and it's full of aggressive drivers making wild lane changes, plus bus lines, double parkers, etc., etc. Just take the subway and spare yourself the headache. Never drive on the BQE if it's anywhere close to morning or evening rush hour. Ever. Period. There is always something causing a traffic delay on that road and it's a terrible one to drive on to boot. If you have to drive and you're coming from the Verrazzano, get off at the 3rd Ave. exit a few miles early and take 4th Ave. north to the arena area. Way easier.

Anyway, am glad to assist with recommendations come March.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Brooklyn Impressions

Park Slope is a very nice neighborhood in Brooklyn. If you like authentic italian food I highly recommend Al Di La. It's one of my personal favorites. Just be prepared to wait, it's small and crowded (as most NYC restaurants are). Also, if you happen to be staying in Manhattan and taking a taxi over, be sure to grab and open the door handle before the driver can shout "No Brooklyn!" in broken English and drive off. Legally they have to take you, but trust me, that doesn't stop them.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Brooklyn Impressions

Most taxis are fine taking you to Brooklyn except in the late night hours when people are coming out of the bars and they want to stay in Manhattan. Never had an issue in that regard. I take a taxi home from E. 27th St. once a week (I live in Park Slope) and it comes to $18 for the 15-20 minute ride, which is about what it will be with no traffic to Barclay's. With traffic, prices and times will vary wildly.

I don't see much of this board being the Al Di La crowd, but perhaps I'm mistaken. Pork Slope, definitely (highly recommended).
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Brooklyn Impressions

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Most taxis are fine taking you to Brooklyn except in the late night hours when people are coming out of the bars and they want to stay in Manhattan. Never had an issue in that regard. I take a taxi home from E. 27th St. once a week (I live in Park Slope) and it comes to $18 for the 15-20 minute ride, which is about what it will be with no traffic to Barclay's. With traffic, prices and times will vary wildly.

I don't see much of this board being the Al Di La crowd, but perhaps I'm mistaken. Pork Slope, definitely (highly recommended).
I will say my experience has come from late night bar trips. Hanging out in the meat packing district and west village. 3 separate times. My brother also lives in Park Slope but close to sunset park.

I also see your point about Al Di La. I have the love for Italian food so I had to throw it in there. I thought the sidecar cafe was pretty good. Not phenomenal like Guy Fieri would have you believe, but not too bad. Also, if you are on the run, any bodega with Boarshead Meats are fantastic! Sorry all I know is food. Fat boy's gotta eat! Lol
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Brooklyn Impressions

I think I'm heading to the tourney this year. Hopefully when it gets closer to time I will be able to get some good advice on where to stay, how to get to the games, where to eat, etc.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Brooklyn Impressions

Being a former Prospect heights resident. May God help you if you are on the BQE when someone gets in an accident!
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Brooklyn Impressions

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Originally Posted by hawkhill View Post
One word of warning for the drinkers out there- They cut off beer sales right BEFORE halftime (and dont care to tell the patrons in the long lines that they have done so)
Pretty aggressive anti-drunk-driving policy for a building that's such a hassle to drive to.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Brooklyn Impressions

Hawks were the 2nd (late) game of a doubleheader Saturday nights, so I imagine beer sales had been going for awhile beforehand. Not sure on Friday - were they the late game?

Alcohol sales are approved at Barclays until 1 a.m. so it may be policy for doubleheaders like that to cut sales early, like they do by 7th inning at baseball games.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Brooklyn Impressions

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Hawks were the 2nd (late) game of a doubleheader Saturday nights, so I imagine beer sales had been going for awhile beforehand. Not sure on Friday - were they the late game?

Alcohol sales are approved at Barclays until 1 a.m. so it may be policy for doubleheaders like that to cut sales early, like they do by 7th inning at baseball games.
Baseball games cut off beer sales at the end of the 7th inning*, when there is less an a quarter of the game left to play. I understand that baseball games are significantly longer than college basketball games thus the cut-off has to occur at an earlier stage, but to cut off before halftime of the last game is completely asinine and a complete dis-service to both the patrons and the beer vendors.

*I was at the recent NLCS game that featured a 4-hour rain delay with 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th - beer vendors never had it so good...by the end of the delay every ATM machine in the stadium was out of cash - truly a great moment in sports alcoholism
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Brooklyn Impressions

You could make the argument that at the end of halftime of game 2 of a doubleheader, there is less than 1/4 of the event left, particularly if you factor in doors opening 30-60 minutes before the start of game 1. And time-wise, it is what, about 45 minutes of real time to play a half of hoops?

Plus, anyone wanting more beer postgame had about 4 1/2 hours of beer sales at any nearby bar, assuming that the game let out at 11:30.

I'm merely playing devil's advocate here, btw. There is no excuse for not letting people know of the cutoffs, likely new building working out its kinks.
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