Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Big Apple

This week's column, Weekend trip to New York just what mom needed, gave a little peek into my weekend getaway in New York. Colleen and I had a great time. Our reasons for going--beyond just taking a break from the daily grind--was to check out the Renegade Craft Fair (Colleen) and do a lot of eating (me).


It just so happens that Colleen's sister-in-law, the lovely and super talented Allison Smith, has an apartment in Brooklyn just a hopskip from where the craft fair was being held. Allison kindly agreed to let us stay with her and even better--she took us to all of the best restaurants and bars her awesome little neighborhood (Greenpoint) had to offer.

Fancy cocktails surrounded by hipsters

Hanging out in Brooklyn was awesome. So neighborhoody and cozy and hip. Some highlights:

Everyone rides bikes. (Allsion actually knew this woman and despite what you are thinking, she is not in the roller derby.)

Biking in heels

Just about every street has bike lanes. You have to look for both cars and bikes before crossing.

Bike lanes

Art is everywhere.

Truck art

Really, everywhere:

Art is everywhere

Allison took us to her studio, which was amazing. This building pictures is all studios!

Allison's studio building

Inside Allison's studio, she has all kinds of treasures. Her latest medium is old bike tires. This is the turtle and the hare.

Tortoise and the hare

I also loved her series of gun targets. That Allison--so talented!


On Saturday night we went to an opening in Williamsburg for Pat Shaw, a friend of Allison's. Isn't her work cool?

Pat Shaw opening

The best part about the opening? The after party at Good Company Bar, where everything was on the house! They had house infused liquors and a giant Jenga game out back on the patio.

A lot of bars and restaurants had secret patios, which I thought was pretty cool. A new place near Allison had giant glass garage doors that opened so that the whole bar was open air. A lot of places had sidewalk seating and it was very common to see to go windows on the street.

Five Leaves to go window

And there were food trucks everywhere! Coffee, ice cream, cupcakes, yogurt, tacos, you name it. Allison told us about a few places that outgrew their trucks and became actual restaurants. Very cool.

Coffee truck

We ate at some really good places. Five Leaves was my favorite. We went there twice. The Five Leaves Burger with pineapple, pickled beet, and an over easy egg with a side of truffle fries was YUM.

Burger w/pineapple, pickled beet, sunny side up egg, and cheese

So was the giant bucket of mussels that we ate.

Bucket o mussels

And I loved the grilled octopus salad at Cafe Collette.

Grilled octopus

Oh and I had some amazing beverages--grapefruit margaritas, the El Jardin with cilantro infused gin, and the Saint 75 (a St. Germaine twist on a French 75).

Saint 75

I could have stayed in Brooklyn forever, but it seemed silly not to go into Manhattan at least for a day. I loved seeing the hip subway performers.

Subway performers

And the doormen in Soho were pretty easy on the eyes too.

Hollister in Soho

I spotted some emerging food trends, like this rice pudding bar. Who knows, we might get one sometime in the next ten years!

Rice pudding bar

We also had to visit the High Line. The landscaping was amazing.

Colleen on high line

It had all sorts of arty features, like this very practical bird feeder.

Bird feeder on High Line

And I was a huge fan of the DIY billboard.

High Line billboard

And there was an interesting inflatable play area at the end.

Inflatable park

The High Line also had food vendors, but we were there late in the day and most were sold out. I was sad about missing out on the paletas, but we found the mothership, People's Pops, at the nearby Chelsea Market. Colleen and I both had the Stumptown Coffee pop.

People's Pops Stumptown coffee

That should give you a little taste of what New York had to offer. (You can see all of my pictures here.)

A HUGE thank you to Colleen for inviting me along and a HUMONGOUS thank you to Allison for taking care of us while we were there.

I love New York!

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