death by paper cut

{July 30, 2011}   Brooklyn, New York

the vibe of brooklyn is very different from manhattan. it is more residential than commercial, has hardly any skyscrapers and tangibly moves at a calmer pace. however is it also much quieter at night and i might not be as keen to commute at night in brooklyn as i did in manhattan.

i spent a day in brooklyn with cw checking out places i’ve earmarked and running some errands on the side. brooklyn is her turf because she lives there and attends pratt institute.

the most scenic way to get to brooklyn is to walk there from manhattan. it was a glorious day and the sun was out in the blue skies. we saw many people traversing the brooklyn bridge and interestingly clusters of primary school students and parents working on some questions on a worksheet. i think that is a brilliant idea for a school to organise.

Brooklyn Bridge 3

pedestrians were so fascinated with the men at work that they stood to gawk. me included.

Brooklyn Bridge 7

crocheted bicycle at the base of the brooklyn bridge

Brooklyn Bridge 8

the brooklyn bridge park is accessible from the foot of the brooklyn bridge. it is not a large area, but it is a pretty park to view manhattan from. the children’s playground seems quite popular with young parents. the only drawback is the booming noise from the traffic on the brooklyn bridge. i’m not sure if that can be helped.

kindervan, brillant way to move around with a bunch of toddlers

Brooklyn Bridge Park 2

or, and when they can walk, herd them with these chain rings. i’ve seen these on jon & kate plus 8.

Brooklyn Bridge Park 4

after a short stopover at brooklyn bridge park, cw and i made our way to coney island. coney island is not really an island because it is attached to the mainland. it is a recreational park at the south coast of brooklyn. because we were not there on a weekday, it was not crowded which was nice. the best thing about coney island is the time cw and i spent catching up while walking the broad walk and stuffing our faces with mediocre nathan’s hotdogs and cheese fries. but hey, that’s the thing to do at coney island. it was a really nice day but rather hot.

Coney Island, Brooklyn 1 Coney Island, Brooklyn 2

nathan’s hotdogs

Coney Island, Brooklyn 10

and cheese fries (with bacon chunks)

Coney Island, Brooklyn 9

healthy young man working out under the mid day sun

Coney Island, Brooklyn 20

elderly man hooked up to an oxygen tank enjoying coney island just the same

Coney Island, Brooklyn 21

the beach and jetty

Coney Island, Brooklyn 26 Coney Island, Brooklyn 27

the meal of mention in brooklyn is at the buttermilk channel. i came across their fried chicken and waffles on food network and made it a point to go there. using the subway, cw lead the way. the tree and shop lined court street lies in the quaint suburbs of cobble hill and carroll gardens in brooklyn. it reminds me of south melbourne.

Buttermilk Channel, Brooklyn 1 Buttermilk Channel, Brooklyn 2

the interior looks kind of posh, so i expected it to be on the pricy side. the ala carte items were in the $20s to $30s range but cw and i had a very good deal because we shared one three course set meal between the two of us priced at $25++.

freshly baked buns on the house

Buttermilk Channel, Brooklyn 4

the thin browned glaze makes for a crispy out shell that contrasts with its soft and fluffy inside.

cucumber and zucchini soup

Buttermilk Channel, Brooklyn 5

the soup is surprisingly savory. there is no strong vegetable taste at all!

the main course – fried chicken and cheddar waffles.

Buttermilk Channel, Brooklyn 7

Buttermilk Channel, Brooklyn 6

the waffles are not dense and the cheddar does not come on too strongly. the chicken is beautifully done. i think it is pressure cooked first because the meat is evenly tender, very moist and extremely juicy. it is almost like steamed chicken. however, the fried exterior is of a completely different texture. it is very crispy without being overly oily. in fact there were hardly any residual droplets of oil.

that’s not all, there is the dessert – chocolate bread pudding and vanilla ice cream

Buttermilk Channel, Brooklyn 8

the bread pudding has tiny crystals of salt sprinkled sparingly among the fudgy caramel drizzle. the measured saltiness contrasts delightfully with each chomp of the bread pudding. the piece might look small, but it is power pack with goodness best shared.

on another day, i visited brooklyn again with dc and this time on a saturday to check out smorgasburg at williamsburg. it happens every saturday in summer along the west coast of brooklyn.

the brilliant sun and blue skies made it another great day for photos.

lines at food stalls

Smorgasburg at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 1

a more industrial looking skyline of manhattan from williamsburg

Smorgasburg at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 2

lawn to sit around on and people watch

Smorgasburg at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 30

Smorgasburg at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 4 Smorgasburg at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 5 Smorgasburg at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 14

some sampling of the food we tried, and loved

Smorgasburg at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 21

Smorgasburg at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 19

Smorgasburg at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 24

Smorgasburg at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 23

although all the food was good, the highlight for me would have to be the tripple cheese grilled cheese sandwich.

the wait was longer than most food stalls, but it was worth the wait.

each type of cheese (aged gruyere, aged cheddar, creamy blue cheese) brings with it a different degree of savoriness and texture at various stages of melted heavenly viscosity enclosed within buttery grilled bread slices.

Smorgasburg at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 25

Smorgasburg at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 28

with our stomachs very full we sauntered around the rest of brooklyn and ended up at a few eclectic flea markets.

flea market one: williamsburg walks

williamsburg walks is very casual. everyone and anyone seemed to be able to set up a space and sell something. it is essentially by the neighbourhood for the neighbourhood.

Willamsburg Walks at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 1

Willamsburg Walks at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 7 Willamsburg Walks at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 5

Willamsburg Walks at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 4 Willamsburg Walks at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 2

flea market two: crest art show
crest art show was a one day affair that we happened to stumble upon. crest is actually a hardware store that organises this designer market in a party atmosphere annually in its own premises. it was very crowded and warm so we didn’t stay long but did see a range of  zany stuff like crochetted people. brooklyn seems to have a thing for crochetting large objects.

Crest Art Show at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 1

Crest Art Show at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 2 Crest Art Show at Williamsburg, Brooklyn 3

flea market three: fort green flea market
this flea market features 150 vendors every saturday and is opened from april through november; the warmer months. it is pretty much like camberwell flea market in melbourne. most things are memorabilia, art works, vintage fashion and *ahem* vintage technology .

Brooklyn Flea at Fort Greene, Brooklyn 1

Brooklyn Flea at Fort Greene, Brooklyn 12 Brooklyn Flea at Fort Greene, Brooklyn 13

Brooklyn Flea at Fort Greene, Brooklyn 14 Brooklyn Flea at Fort Greene, Brooklyn 5 Brooklyn Flea at Fort Greene, Brooklyn 7

we were totally bushed after smorgasburg and visiting three flea markets in the summer heat. one last point to note, be prepared for disruptions in the public transport system in new york on weekends because some train lines are shut down for maintenance. it took dc and i double the time to get to smorgasburg than we intended to. best to plan for ample buffer time when commuting on weekends.

the best way we could end the day was to kick back with some ice cold drink which we found at catherine’s caffe a few blocks down from fort greene.

Catherine's Caffe 6

gloriously refreshing


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