Category: new york

Brooklyn Diary

Brooklyn June '15

We were back in New York City for a little holiday last week. We had such a good time on our last trip that we basically booked almost the exact same trip to do it all again. We got an Airbnb a few streets down, re-hit some favourite spots, did the same old walk-eat-shop daily schedule. I didn’t take many photos (lots of Instagrams though) but here are a few snippets.

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Brooklyn shopping

Brooklyn Flea Market
Brooklyn Flea Market
Brooklyn Flea Market
Brooklyn Flea Market

We went to the famous Brooklyn Flea, but to the Saturday one at Fort Greene, not the main Williamsburg one. It was pretty good – quite small (I guess the main one is bigger) and a lot of vendors selling new stuff but a few gem stalls with that awesome Americana I was hoping to find. Sadly the crates at $25-40 each were never going fit into my suitcase home…

Brooklyn Flea Market
Brooklyn Flea Market
Brooklyn Flea Market

But I did pick up a little 50s wooden K from a guy with a fantastic stall with little collections of just about everything: shoe lasts, baseball cards, gumball toys and so on. I fancied one of the big metal letters too, but again with the suitcase space.

Junk, Brooklyn
Junk, Brooklyn
Junk, Brooklyn
Junk, Brooklyn

Back in Williamsburg near our apartment on Driggs & Bedford was a big old emporium full of wonderful old junk – I think the store actually is called Junk from a bit of google research, and most reviews I found say it’s overpriced tat. It actually seemed fairly reasonably priced to me given that mason jars were selling at the flea for $25 each and they were $5 a go here. Old soda bottles and medicine bottles were $3-4 each too. I made away with a sweet grey and yellow bowl and some old cotton reels. Very sad the amazing huge lamp at the left of the last photo couldn’t come home with me too.

Bit of a tangential story here, but I love the NYC weekend stoop/yard sale culture so very much and this explains why. Sunday was a 30-degree day where we’d walked a hell of a lot and my poor swollen feet were completely clapped out from my shoes rubbing like crazy. I sat on a bench to recover a bit opposite a lady doing a yard sale, and she offered me some sandals she was selling for $3. Turns out they were nearly new Aerosoles and when I slipped my foot in it was like the heavens opened. No pain any more! I skipped down the street and that’s when I found some free mason jars.

Brooklyn Flea Market

They were laying outside someone’s house in a box on the street saying FREE on it, so I helped myself to a few. I guess they were used for someone’s wedding since they had ribbons on and a little candle wax left in the bottom. Love me some free street treasure. Best Day Ever.

Madewell, NYC

It wasn’t all cheapskatery. I had a proper shop over in Manhattan at Madwell. Damn I love that store, please come to the UK? The aesthetic’s so very me and the clothes really feel very nicely made. I got a colourblocked sweater, nice rust-coloured trousers and a speckle grey cardigan – good autumn basics. I also bought a knit biker jacket from Anthropologie: it’s a bit cheaper over there.

Brooklyn shops
Brooklyn shops
Brooklyn shops

The hipster grocery stores are a real treat to browse. Who knew $26 artisanal bitters could be so enticing?

Shops, NYC

Did a bit of interior store window shopping too: CB2, Jonathan Adler, West Elm (who I’m excited are opening up in London very soon), Paper Source. Sadly I didn’t make it to a Williams Sonoma this time, perhaps my favourite store discovery in San Francisco, but as they own West Elm too I am hopeful they might make an appearance on these shores sometime too.

Brooklyn & NYC Eats & drinks

Brooklyn

This was always going to be an indulgent foody holiday. I’d saved about 200 places to my Foursquare list and Google map and was determined to plough through as many as possible, waistline be damned. I think we did pretty well! I don’t know if it was the exchange rate or being in Brooklyn rather than Manhattan, but prices everywhere seemed really reasonable, and it was a delight to have so many places on our doorstep in Williamsburg.

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Around Brooklyn

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We just got back from an awesome week in Brooklyn. It was basically the antithesis to our last holiday to Barbados: concrete instead of beaches, cocktails and beer instead of rum punch, brunches and Mexican and Chinese food, walking until my feet quite literally gave out…

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We stayed in yet another great Airbnb rental, a stylish apartment in a modern 4th storey block right next to the Williamsburg Bridge. Here’s the link to the listing with more photos. It was the perfect size for relaxing in, with cool decor and – omg – a built-in catty roommate buddy. Fluffy giant Mitt was so sweet!

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The best part about it though – perhaps even better than Mitt – were the incredible views. We had the bridge bearing down from one side and a panoramic view of Manhattan, emcompassing the Empire State Building and the Chysler Building, from the balcony. The sights were amazing at every time of day, from the golden light just after sunrise (hi jetlag) to the dusky sunset. I didn’t really think I was a views type of person – I’ve always preferred ground floor flats in London – but I really miss it.

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Oh yeah, the apartment also had a rooftop terrace for extra amazingness, though we didn’t have time to use it much.

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The location of the apartment was great for exploring Williamsburg and further afield. We had loads of amazing things in the neighbourhood from superb foody joints to cool bars and shops – I’ll write separately about all those next. It was only a few stops on the subway into Manhattan (mostly ahem, for fabric shopping, which I’ve written up on my sewing blog) but we also did the trip via the East River Ferry.

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The boat was an awesome way to see the Manhattan riverfront from a different angle and only four bucks. We caught it downtown to DUMBO as well for another day out. More to show soon!