Product designers, entrepreneurs, attorneys who also make jewelry. If there’s one thing for certain, it’s that the Airbnb hosts who call Brooklyn home are a varied—and very inspiring—bunch. While we gear up to celebrate the Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon, we wanted to take a chance to sit down with them, share some of the stories, and hear some of their favorite local recommendations–the places they love to share with their guests. So whether you’re in town for the race or just looking for a reason to discover (or rediscover) Brooklyn, these are the people to know. And, you know, to stay with.
Sure, Prospect Heights has plenty of attractions, but if you book a stay with Kathleen, you may be tempted to while away an afternoon just listening to the host’s life story. A retired physician who hails from Jamaica, she previously traveled extensively in her role with various international hockey organizations. Now she welcomes Airbnb guests from all over the world into the brownstone that she has called home for the past 35 years. (So, yes, that also makes her a font of information on the neighborhood.)
Kathleen’s Must-Visit Brooklyn Recommendation:
BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC (BAM)
“It’s like a small replica of (Manhattan’s) Lincoln Center—you can see films, opera, ballet. There are so many things you can do there.”
For Laura, Airbnb allows her to fulfill “that little girl dream I had of owning a bed and breakfast in Vermont,” she says. (Laura is currently the program director and teaching artist for a yoga start-up.) An avid runner, she’ll be participating in the Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon this month. In the days leading up to it, you may find her training in Prospect Park, or carbo-loading at Bamonte’s or Il Passatore. Prepping for the same race no doubt ups the camaraderie among a host and guest!
Laura’s Must-Visit Brooklyn Recommendation:
“Bushwick Bark on Knickerbocker, because we’re dog owners, and our neighborhood has a great pet community. They know all the dogs by name here! We bring Sailor to the store’s DIY shower after the dog park.”
Meet Karen & Joshua
Karen and Joshua have been hosting for four years now, so they’re well-versed in creating a comfortable retreat for their guests, as well as offering the kind of tips that only locals can. But perhaps the most awesome part of a stay with these freelance artists? The adorable greeters in their Flatbush home. Their 6-year-old daughter has “recently taken to greeting guests with a hello in their native language and then showing them their room and where the bathroom is down the hall,” says Karen, “while our (2.5-year-old) son will just stand at the front door as they enter and jump up and down enthusiastically. Though if they’re particularly lucky, he’ll even run over and give them a big hug.” We can’t think of a better welcome after a day of travel.
Karen & Joshua’s Must-Try Brooklyn Recommendation
“This year-old cozy, daytime retreat features a limited but excellent local organic menu, including a delicious selection of baked goods and the best cup of coffee in Brooklyn. Owned and operated by a young family, the neighborhood establishment has quickly become known for its warm atmosphere and friendly service.”
Meet Patricia and Jimmy
For Patricia and Jimmy, hosting serves as an inspiration for future travel. “It’s nice to have people from different parts of the world come in and give us traveling tips,” says Jimmy. Added bonus? Patricia is an attorney but she’s also a jewelry maker. So if you hit it off, you just might receive a pair of handmade earrings.
Patricia and Jimmy’s Must-Try Brooklyn Recommendation: THE HABITAT
“They have a seasonal food menu but the mainstay is the burger. They are absolutely finger licking good.”
Meet Mike & Diego
We’re not saying you have to cook for your hosts, but it certainly doesn’t go unnoticed. Mike and Diego recently welcomed a French couple who had never left their children at home before. “We felt like their kids because they were coming home early at night just to cook for us.” They had been looking forward to shared meals and conversations with people from across the globe, but this was a particularly pleasant surprise.
Mike and Diego’s Must-Try Brooklyn Recommendation: GLASSERIE
“We ordered about everything on the menu. And when it ended, we were all in a minor state of depression.”
An Airbnb veteran, Jeanne has been hosting in Brooklyn since 2009. That is some serious Airbnb street cred. From the start, she has been intent on making her listing homey and comfortable for her guests, so she sticks to the golden rule: “It has all the amenities I look for in a home myself.”
Jeanne’s Must-Try Brooklyn Recommendation: KARCZMA*
“My favorite thing on the menu at Karczma is the borscht in the bowl of bread. It’s so unique and homey and comforting. It’s a perfect example of local cuisine in the neighborhood.”
*Karczma is also listed as one of the Brooklyn community’s favorites spots in our Local List.
Heading to Brooklyn for the Airbnb Brooklyn Half? We know a few authentically local places to stay.