I’m back!! I’m online with my new Macbook Pro, pictures have been uploaded without my computer crashing, and I’m blogging successfully. Alright, let’s (finally) recap my recent adventures…
First up is my awesome Brooklyn tour that Tom organized for my birthday. We’ve never really explored Brooklyn – it’s so close, yet so far. But we hear great things, particularly about the food and all of the different sub-cultures. So it was time to experience it for ourselves while the weather is nice.
usually always the planner, so it was difficult to give up the reigns and let Tom plan the whole thing. But, hey, I’m impressed. Maybe he should plan all of our trips. (Haha, I’m not that laid back yet.)
Our first stop was DUMBO – which I found out, stands for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.” Immediately, I understood (for the first time) why people like Brooklyn. We first stopped at little French cafe called Almondine.
We had a quiche, which was one of the best I’ve ever had (in this country anyway), iced coffee (super satisfied), and a pain au chocolat (my favorite of all pastries). Tom had heard the pain au chocolat was the best in Brooklyn, so naturally he had it on the list. This place was quintessentially “me” – at least the guy knows me well after 5 years!
After wandering around the cobblestone streets and shops, we headed to the parks along the water, looking at the city from a much different angle than I’m used to. Look at this view!
Other than the noise from the two bridges overhead, this place amazing. And I’m still dreaming about that quiche …
Even though we were still full from that French goodness, Tom had another French sweet treat as our next stop. Right out of the subway on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope, we popped into Crespella. I ordered a strawberry and Nutella crepe, which was mouthwatering and beautiful when it came out. But the crepemaster saw me snapping pictures and immediately proclaimed that if he knew I would be taking pictures, he would have made a pretty one. I thought he was joking – this was one gorgeous crepe – but he came out with a near-perfect crepe worthy of a magazine feature. Well, ironically they WERE featured in a magazine, which he proceeded to show me. Look at this masterpiece!
Next we walked along the busy streets, keeping our eyes open for celebrities that flee the Manhattan chaos and choose to settle in this little ritzy district. We walked up to the Brooklyn Museum where we bought a double pass to tour both the museum and Botanic Gardens.
I thought the gardens would be a little more “colorful” but I suppose the greenery was just as nice. It was still a beautiful place to practice my photography.
Next stop, hipster-heavy Williamsburg! A long bus ride took us north to the land of fulfilled-stereotypes. Now this is the Brooklyn I know. But, what would Brooklyn be without the spectacular culture of inked plaid-wearing, concert-attending post grads living up the modern-day hippie lifestyle? It was a cute part of town, with coffee shops, bars, and places for gathering on every corner and everywhere in between. Despite the clear identity of this place, you still feel like you fit in.
We headed to Smorgasburg, the Brooklyn Food Flea Market, the event that represents Brooklyn in one lot full of festive food trucks overlooking the East River. We arrived a little late, when some vendors were packing up, but we were still able to snag a quinoa falafel snack (below), teriyaki balls, and a blackberry mint tea.
And since this market is set up right on the beautiful shore, it’s also a perfect photo op. It’s our first pic together on this side of the river….
Completely satisfied, we walked inland past Brooklyn Brewery and stopped in at the Shanty, a gin distillery with a warehouse-like bar attached. It was our first drink of the day (we were proud) and the unique cocktails were a nice relaxer for our walking tour.
Last but not least, we hopped on the L train back to Manhattan for an “anniversary re-do” dinner at Gnocco in the East Village. (Our real anniversary got crashed by a tow truck who had impeccable timing for confiscating Tom’s car.) I love finding new favorite restaurants (although Tom found this one too!) and this place had it all – food, wine, atmosphere. We sat in the garden and enjoyed Caprese salad, gnocchi (what else?) and rigatoni in a broccoli rabe sauce. Yum, yum, yum.
The perfect meal to end our perfect day of eating our way through the boroughs.