My favourite thing in a city is to home in on a neighbourhood and get to know it better and what's better than doing that than with a resident even a temporary one. My friend Ria showed me around Red Hook which is a peaceful little enclave in Brooklyn that is an unlikely mix of artsy and industrial - expect mammoth machinery and old dock buildings, people on bikes, artist studios, streets peppered with parked Cadillacs and murals that include pretty painted girls and intricately cut paper flowers.
If you're in the neighbourhood, stop off at Baked for a coffee and sweet and salty chocolate brownie (they're gluten free!) or save the sugar craving for the adorable Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pie. If it's lunchtime, head to the Fairway's backyard and get ribs with a view of Lady Liberty and walk the pier waving at water taxis making trips to Wall Street and Ikea.
If just food won't do the trick, stop off at Bait and Tackle. I was originally drawn into the kitschy bar by the signage, I can't resist a cute shopfront and discovered its fantastic interiors are strewn with Americana, ribbons, rude signs (SUCK IT!) and an abundance of taxidermy. Brooklyn Ice House, the bar next door has a great backyard and is a very popular hangout.
If you need more of a reason to visit (Did I mention there's an Ikea? Hej meatballs!), Red Hook hosts film screenings every Tuesday for the rest of the summer. You'll find more details here.