Things to do in Brooklyn, New York: Expert tips from an expat

DIMITY JONES

Originally from Tamworth, Dimity Jones has lived in New York City for 25 years, 19 of those in Brooklyn, on the south side of Williamsburg – a bit cheaper, a bit grittier than the north (but not by much). She is a food stylist and cooks for the odd-200 person dinner party on request, dimityjones.com

SEE

I don't always get a chance to make time for institutionalised art, and honestly I prefer to wander the streets and see the more organic: street art, murals, graffiti, billboard art, pavement chalk art. Williamsburg North and South and even East (Bushwick) have a ton of street art and tours. Or just walk - as everyone knows, New York is a walking town, freetoursbyfoot.com/new-york-graffiti-street-art-tours/

DO

Like most New Yorkers I don't have a car. I'm a big subway girl, and buses are the best way to see the city. Deciphering the bus maps can seem harder than deciphering the Dead Sea Scrolls but take a risk. The J, M and Z subway lines go to South Williamsburg and the view over the W'burg Bridge is not to be missed.

EAT

I go back to my must-eat list time and time again, which includes the Maple Crueler at Daily Provisions. Get in before 10.30am for a life-changing ring of fried Pate a Choux, a relative of the donut with notes of maple and cinnamon. As an Australian, I consider it my duty to eat every sausage roll I can find in New York, and I believe Butler has the best: Michelin star pastry chef/owner and friend Ryan Butler (hello!) layers the most exquisite, super-buttery puff pastry around a gorgeously marbled pork 'slab' and serves it with cilantro aioli. Drop the urge for tomato sauce, it's to-die-for. And order a cheeseburger medium rare with cheddar and thick-cut steak fries at the old, original American diner Diner. Dip the fries in the lemony mayo, and realise that all is right in the world, dailyprovisionsnyc.com, butler-nyc.com , dinernyc.com

DRINK

Honestly? I find prices too prohibitive to drink out, however, Miss Favela is a Brazilian joint near the bridge with bracing Caipirinhas and a fun vibe. No one really goes there for the food, and frankly you shouldn't either. I see tourists head into Dunkin or Starbucks, near the N7th subway stop. Avoid that move if you can. There are great local coffee houses with a much better local vibe. In South Willy, I like Devocion, missfavela.com, devocion.com

AVOID

I advise forgoing the cab or uber and just walk or subway it. Some areas of South Willy can get a little dodgy near the main Marcy Avenue subway stop: I've never felt threatened or in fear, but you just have to keep an eye out.

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