Top spots in Brooklyn: according to staff at the Brooklyn School of Languages

Cactus talks to staff at the new Brooklyn School of Languages to get the low down on the coolest places in town…

1. Dennis Chase – Director of Studies

Dennis is originally from Connecticut and moved to New York five years ago. He originally moved because of his wife’s job but he loves the restaurants, nightlife and jazz clubs of the city.

Dennis’ Top Tips for Jazz in New York:

Low end: Fat Cat in Greenwich Village

Great for: Live jazz, ping pong and foosball

Mid range: Smalls in Greenwich Village

Great for: Feeling like you’re back in the 1950s

High end: Smoke on the Upper West Side

Great for: Top level musicians and excellent food menu

Dennis’ Top Tip for your stay: Check out Barclay’s Center.

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2. Eva Kramer – Administrator

Eva is a born and bred Brooklynite, from the Fort Greene area. She loves Brooklyn because it is less touristy, quieter and calmer than Manhattan. Once you cross the bridge there is a change of pace and things are more residential.

Eva’s Top Tips for Eating Out in Brooklyn…

Brunch: Olea in Fort Greene

Great for: Mediterranean and Turkish style breakfasts

Lunch: Farmer in the Deli in Fort Greene

Great for: the biggest and cheapest hero (baguette style sandwich) in Brooklyn

Dinner: Fortune House in Brooklyn Heights

Great for: hot and sour soup

Dessert: Junior’s in Brooklyn Heights

Great for: the original New York cheesecake

Eva’s top tip for your stay: don’t go home without visiting Coney Island and the Transport Museum.

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3. Mathilde Brouillet – Head of Admissions

Mathilde has lived in NYC for three years but she is originally from Paris, France. She likes Brooklyn because although it’s very close to Manhattan, it’s quieter and has a real sense of community.

Mathilde’s Top Tips to avoid culture shock in New York…

Tipping: Everyone is expected to tip in New York – even if you think the service was bad. A good rule of thumb to follow is:

Happy – 20%

Ok – 15%

Not happy – 10%

Plan before you arrive: NYC can be overwhelming with so much to do and see. Mathilde recommends going online before you arrive to find out what’s happening during the time you are there and to plan what you want to see. Good places to start are Time Out and About.com.

Medication: Bring your own if you need it as medication is very expensive, especially compared to Europe.

Thank to Dennis, Eva and Mathilde for giving us their top tips for Brooklyn and New York. If you’re heading there, don’t forget to look these places up! And feel free of course to give us recommendations of your own…


The Brooklyn School of Languages offers year-round adult English courses, junior summer camps and daytime and evening foreign language courses.

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