Archive | July, 2010

Picnic in the Park

31 Jul

My greenmarket picnic ingredients

I woke up this morning with one goal in mind for the day: picnic in the park. I arrived at Borough Hall Greenmarket upon its opening at 8am. I loaded up my bike basket with a freshly baked baguette, heirloom tomatoes, green grapes, cherries, sharp cheddar cheese, and pickles, and rode back to my apartment. I tossed all ingredients into a tote, along with a bottle of red wine, cups, and napkins, then made my way to Prospect Park.

If you don’t have a greenmarket nearby, but still want the best sandwich ingredients possible, there’s one right at the edge of the park at Grand Army Plaza. I highly recommend this market over others because it has EVERYTHING, from maple syrup, to turkey burgers, to large loaves of zucchini bread. You also won’t have to carry everything as far if you stock up there.

Steering clear of the baby-filled sections of the park, we camped out under a giant tree to enjoy our picnic lunch and some sunshine. Why can’t I do this every day?

Prospect Park

Greenmarket at Grand Army Plaza

From Street to Graffiti Chic

30 Jul

Graffiti art in Dumbo, Brooklyn

While graffiti was once perceived as disrespectful– a criminal act of defacing of city property, it is now often looked at as an art, with graffiti exhibits, large wall murals, and even graffiti-covered home decor. Like the look? Check out Re-Surface.net, a Brooklyn based company selling hand crafted, graffiti lighting, in a variety of styles, from large overhead lighting to glass candle holders. Re-Surface brings Brooklyn street style right to your apartment. Purchase yours on their home site or at one of my favorite online shopping destinations, SupermarketHQ. Prices range from $15-$400, and are a guaranteed unique piece to add to any living space.

(Picture via RE-SURFACE.NET)

(Picture via RE-SURFACE.NET)

Where to Eat Right Now

29 Jul

Where can you find a gorgeous view, rooftop dining, mouthwatering guacamole, and giant pitchers of sangria? Alma Restaurant in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Alma is the perfect summer spot for authentic Mexican food and refreshing icy drinks, so of course it’s currently at the top of  my list of must-go restaurants in New York.

The dinner menu includes entrees like enchiladas, poblano relleno, and  pan roasted mahi mahi with a mango cucumber mint salsa. I suggest the brunch menu– an extensive list of egg dishes like huevos oaxaca, or two fried eggs with black beans, spicy tomato salsa with jalepeno potatoes and plantains. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2:30pm. Visit Alma this weekend at 187 Columbia Street at the corner of Degraw Street; it’s worth the trek to Red Hook!

My New Bike

28 Jul

Having a bike to ride around the neighborhood on is crucial to becoming Brooklyn. Last week, I made the investment, and participated in a Craigslist Street Corner Buy. I purchased a 1970’s blue one speed cruiser. It’s not high tech, maybe a little rusty, but it’s cute and it will get me down to Iris Cafe for a cup of Stumptown Coffee.

I picked my wheels up today from Brooklyn Heights Bike Shoppe at 278 Atlantic Avenue, after a quick tune up. My priority was a basket– but the kind owner convinced me that a lock might be just as important. He was also kind enough to give me a deal on the tune up, so I highly recommend them.

The Best $4 You’ll Spend this Weekend

28 Jul

(picture via Prospect Park Alliance)

Looking for something to do this weekend but only have $4 in your pocket? I know the feeling, but there IS something to do for close to nothing. Head to Prospect Park for an Electric Boat Tour. While private boats are not allowed in Prospect Park, The Independence launches from the Boathouse at the Audubon Center. Boat tours run from 12 to 4:30pm Thursday through Sunday.

Have some extra dough? Take a Twilight Tour, which includes wine and cheese on the Audubon Boathouse balcony. After the boat ride, an Audubon Naturalist will lead you on an exclusive evening “Bat Tour Walk.” Twilight Tours run 6:30 to 8:45 on July 29, August 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, and September 2nd. Tickets are $30 a person, but the wine, cheese, and bats(?) might make it all worth it.

DEMOLISHED!

26 Jul

The old building that once stood near Brooklyn Bridge Park is now a pile of rubble.

Sephora Eyeing Downtown Brooklyn?!

25 Jul

Makeup lovers may no longer have to trek to Manhattan for their favorite beauty products. The Real Deal reported that Sephora is interested in Brooklyn ever since Barney’s Co-op decided to open in the borough. The real estate agent said that the makeup chain is considering the Fulton Street Mall in Downtown Brooklyn. I love Sephora, but do we want more big businesses moving into the neighborhood? I’m torn.

D-I-Wine at Brooklyn Winery

24 Jul

Soon, Brooklynites will have the opportunity to make their own wine from grape to glass right here in Williamsburg. Brooklyn Winery, now under construction, is set to open in mid-September. In the interim, the passionate owners are holding “hard hat tours” for the public. I ventured down to the space to check it out for myself. Take note now– the Brooklyn Winery is the future Mecca for local wine lovers. Not only will this be the spot to grab some friends and create your own barrel of wine, but it will also be a wine bar, wine tasting area, and private event/party destination.

You might be thinking, “Make my own wine? How does THAT work?” First, you pick your own winemaking package. You and your friends/family/co-workers head down and figure out what you want to do. Once you decide on the type of wine you want to make, you go through a hands-on process of crushing your own grapes, pressing, racking, tasting, and finally bottling (with help along the way from the expert wine-making staff, of course). YOU pick the name, the label, the graphic design, and the taste!

“Not only will you get good wine, but you will also have a finished product that looks pro,” winemaker Conor explained.

Some of us are lazy. We don’t want to crush grapes. That’s okay too– the staff is willing to do the work for you. Or, you could just hit up the wine bar. Because Brooklyn Winery gets to buy wine in bulk from other wineries, prices will be as low as $5-$6 a glass! (for real). The winery will also offer wine classes and bottle trading sessions, so you can learn while you drink AND bond with other wine enthusiasts.

“Community is so important to us, that’s what we’re all about,” Brooklyn Winery c0-owner Brian said.

Interested? Visit the winery for your own hardhat tour at 213 North 8th Street fon Friday 5-7pm, or Saturday 1-5pm, and have your own unique wine making experience upon opening this September.

Mediterranean On Smith

23 Jul

Restaurants are popping up every day on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill. Broken English opens today at 68 Bergen Street (right off Smith), and a new Mediterranean place is set to open soon at 213 Smith near Baltic. Check out the signage below!

The Ultimate Brooklyn Tee

22 Jul

A few weeks ago, I showed you a selection of fab Brooklyn tees at Brooklyn Industries. I decided to invest in one of my own. Take a look! It’s not pressed (Sorry, Mom), but you get the idea.