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Pope Francis: Please come to Brooklyn on your next NYC trip

Eye On Real Estate: Cool places for you to see in the Borough of Churches — Part One

September 30, 2015 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Pope Francis waves to New Yorkers outside St. Patrick's Cathedral during his recent visit to New York City. Please, dear Pontiff — come back soon to NYC, and include Brooklyn in your itinerary. L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP
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We miss you already, Pope Francis.

It was fabulous having you here in New York City. If only you had come to B’KLYN!

Please understand that no breath of criticism is implied here. The places you visited were superb choices for your first trip to NYC.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Manhattan’s famed Fifth Avenue is dear to the hearts of Catholics all over the world. It’s Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s church. And he’s a man of the people, just like you’re the People’s Pope. His church was the perfect venue for your evening prayer vigil last Thursday.

And the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center was exactly the right place for last Friday’s multireligious service.  

We know there wasn’t time for you to visit our borough. So we hope you will return to NYC soon — and include Brooklyn on your itinerary. Everybody calls this the Borough of Churches. Doesn’t that sound like a good fit?

We’ve made a list of places you would surely like — in addition to the splendid sites that draw visitors to B’KLYN like the Brooklyn Bridge, the Promenade, Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Basilica of Regina Pacis, 1230 65th St., Bensonhurst: The Pope is from Argentina and his parents were immigrants from Italy. So Regina Pacis’ story should resonate with the Pontiff.

During World War II, Italian immigrants in Bensonhurst prayed that the Virgin Mary would protect their sons and daughters who had gone to war, and promised to construct a church in her honor. After the war ended, they carried out their pledge.

Today, immigrants continue to play a big role at Regina Pacis. To minister to them effectively, priests say Mass in Italian, Spanish, Chinese and English.

A note of explanation for those who don’t know Latin: Regina Pacis means “Queen of Peace,” which is one of the many names used to identify Mary. (One of our favorites is Stella Maris, which means “Star of the Sea,” the protector of seafarers.)

Also, a note of explanation for those who aren’t Catholic: The Vatican designates churches as basilicas only if they are of great historic and spiritual significance.

Villabate Alba, 7001 18th Ave., Bensonhurst: If Pope Francis feels a little homesick for Rome, a cappuccino and an Italian pastry from Villabate Alba would be soothing.

The bakery, which is known for its cannoli and beautiful marzipan, is a short Popemobile ride from the Basilica of Regina Pacis.

El Almacén, 557 Driggs Ave., Williamsburg: If Pope Francis is gripped by nostalgia for his hometown of Buenos Aires, a meal at El Almacén, a well-regarded Argentine restaurant, should make him feel better.

He might want to try the avocado fries, which have gotten well-deserved online raves.


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