Taking a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the nicest things you can do with an afternoon. It takes less than half an hour to meander across the bridge although there are many (many) cyclists you’ll need to weave around. The views back towards Manhattan are stunning.
DUMBO or Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass is one of Brooklyn’s nicest areas and it’s basically at the bottom of the Brooklyn Bridge. We love pottering around the cobbled streets here or sitting by the water with a coffee in hand. We took a little trip in to West Elm Brooklyn Market and picked up some home goodies and coffees for our walkabout in the area. If you love the food in Shake Shack and you can’t be bothered to wait 6 months in the line in the one in Times Square then it’s worth stopping into the Shake Shack here. Great views. And shakes. I keep meaning to visit the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory here too but we haven’t made it yet. Next time for sure! Jane’s Carousel, created in 1922 has now found a home in the Brooklyn Bridge Park ($2 per ride) and is just stunning. I read in the NY Times that it took artist Jane Walentas 20 years to restore the 48 wooden horses (complete with gold leaf) that make up the carousel. It’s beautiful. Artist Tom Fruin created the stained glass house or Kolonihavehus in the picture below from a thousand pieces of plexiglas. Delighted we got to see that.
We decided to take a trip out to Greenpoint one afternoon…mainly because it’s where Girls is set but also because it’s yet another NY area we hadn’t yet mozied around. We also wanted to check out Cafe Grumpy but that was a huge mistake. Grumpy by name and apparently staff grumpy by nature. Well, one staff member anyway. But still. There honestly wasn’t much to Greenpoint, we walked around for a couple of hours and kind of found ourselves walking towards Williamsburg so we just kept on going. There are definitely a few cute cafes and some good photo opps around here but there’s not much to do otherwise. Up and coming I’d say.
We headed out to Williamsburg a number of times. It’s a fantastic area to potter around, particularly at the weekends when it’s heaving. The Artists & Fleas Market is a great spot to stop off en route to the foodathon that is Smorgasburg. There are lots of stalls here selling art, jewellery, clothes and music. I know every time I talk about New York I drone on and on about Smorgasburg (Exhibit A) but all the food here is perfection. End of. Actually no, not end of – we had donuts (which we had to queue for aaages to get but so worth it) at the Dough stand. I went with Chocolate Salted Caramel (amazing) and the Hibiscus ones looked as tasty as they did pretty. I can also recommend the lobster rolls from Red Hook Lobster Pound and John’s a fan of the meatballs from Rock the Kasbah. We didn’t get a chance to try the chips/fries from Home Frite but judging by the queue this is the place for all your potato needs. There are a number of Smorgasburg’s now open; they just opened one in Coney Island which I’m sure would make for the perfect weekend date spot.
Obviously, the coffee scene in Australia is fantastic and New York seems to be catching up. We did have Toby’s Estate in Australia (the one in Chippendale in Sydney has recently been revamped) and there’s one in Williamsburg which seems to be where the cool kids hang. The queues are insane all the time and the chances of getting a seat inside are slim to none but it’s a lovely location and John thought the coffee there was some of the best he had in New York.
I went off Starbucks for years but I’m pretty partial to their chai lattes lately. I know they’re nothing like a real chai latte but they’re just so christmassy and since I love Christmas I’d have a cinnamon-ny drink every day of the year if I could. Anyway, there’s a Starbucks Reserve in Williamsburg which does tasting classes too. It’s huge and you could sit in here for a year and I don’t think a single person would bother you. I think Starbucks is growing on me again…