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Best Tour

  • Brooklyn Navy Yard

    63 Flushing Ave., nr. Carlton Ave., Ft. Greene; 347-618-8687

    New York is spotted with entrancingly decaying ruins; most, how­ever, are truly abandoned—legally off-limits and unexamined by historians. Not so for the Brooklyn Navy Yard, whose visually spectacular expanse is crisscrossed by an entertaining, informative, and oddly uplifting $30 excursion run by the Urban Oyster tour company. Touching on almost 400 years of city history (Did you know that more Revolutionary War soldiers died in prison ships anchored off Brooklyn than in battle?), the trip traverses the giant naval yard in about two hours. The complex’s life story includes not just a rise (at its peak, it employed tens of thousands of workers turning out aircraft carriers) and a fall (it was left largely unused for almost 30 years) but an ongoing resurrection as a haven for artists and entrepreneurs, which should cheer up anyone who’s spent too much time recently thinking about economic and political malaise.

From the 2012 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine