Brooklyn has fast become New York's go-to destination, and no destination is complete without a guide for the "young, sexy and broke."
"Off Track Planet" is a travel magazine and website looking to give worldly insight to the independent and budget traveler. OTP started in 2009 in a Brooklyn hostel, said editor-in-chief Anna Starostinetskaya, so the borough was the obvious choice for their first physical guide.
"We hold true to the young, sexy and broke ethic and have eaten the cheapest, best food in the borough, partied for free for the last six years," Starostinetskaya told amNY. "Brooklyn is unique in that it's such a mix of cultures and although gentrification has it in a chokehold, the city is still vibrant."
The 223-page guide is a compilation of neighborhood histories, food, nightlife, lodging and things to do while traversing the borough, ranging from finding the spiciest taco in Sunset Park to where to get the best tattoo on Montrose Avenue.
The recommendations don't stop at food and ink: the book lists important things to take with you and tips for travel ("People hate the G train every day of the week. You'll find out why soon enough."), as well as where to buy condoms or find the cheapest Airbnb. Whole pages are dedicated to Brooklyn institutions like Di Fara's pizzeria ("the only reason you will go out to Midwood"),what can be rummaged at the Fort Greene Flea market and where to see some of the best street art.
"Our demographic, as we established in our online publication, is made of backpackers, deal-seekers, thrill-seekers and overall experiential travelers," she said, adding that she wanted to cater to this audience. "They like street food, cheap accommodations, quality tattoo shops, free shows and good booze at fair prices. I gave the people what they wanted."
These listings were curated by Starostinetskaya and co-editor Freddie Pikovsky, enlisting the help of Brooklyn-oriented freelancers, personal experience and "putting in the elbow grease by visiting places, eating food, drinking drinks and talking to the people that make them," Starostinetskaya said.
The book is the first in a series, with a guide to San Francisco slotted to debut this fall, but Starostinetskaya said there's a reason OTP covered Brooklyn first: "There's a real soul to Brooklyn and I hope my readers feel it when they read the book."