Our daughter recently graduated from college and we celebrated with a champagne brunch for family and friends and a surprise trip to Brooklyn. She’s always wanted to visit NY and it was the perfect Mother/Daughter getaway…lots of shopping, eating and sight-seeing. Here are some highlights from our trip in case you’re planning a future visit of your own!
1. Visit the Top of the Rock – I’ll admit, I was a bit reluctant as I thought it was touristy, but I’m so glad we did it. The views are spectacular, truly. It’s easy to pin point landmarks of the famous city from above and fun to visit with tourists from all over the world. From there, you can walk to Times Square and see Japanese girls take round-about photos of themselves with selfie sticks.
2. Eat at Buvette or Via Carota – Both places are utterly charming. Owner Jody Williams, wrote one of my favorite cookbooks – Buvette. In fact, I love it so much, I often give it as a gift to friends. The simplicity and beauty of simple ingredients shine through in her recipes and restaurants. While Buvette has a Parisian vibe, her newest venture, Via Carota honors old world Italian roots.
3. Explore the neighborhoods – Whether you stay in a hotel or rent a brownstone, you’ll definitely want to spend time walking the neighborhoods. We spent days doing just that…stopping for coffee, popping into small shops, photographing graffiti, strolling the waterfront parks and people watching. We got a kick out of the coffee drinking yoga hipsters in Williamsburg and the early evening porch stoop gang yelling, “How ya doin’ Snowflake?” Ha! Only in NYC!
4. Coffee culture – There’s just so much seriously good coffee in Brooklyn. A few of our favorites were: Sweetleaf, Blue Bottle, and Toby’s Estate. We also loved Four & Twenty Blackbirds and Bakeri…if you’re looking for pie to go with it.
5. Get a Slice – Roberta’s Pizza is a hipster joint with wood fired pizzas, homemade pastas, and refreshing salads. The atmosphere is lively and completely laid back. We had the Bee Sting Pizza which isn’t on the menu but I highly recommend. It’s drizzled with honey just before serving!
Other great places to eat – Pok Pok NY for the most amazing Thai food, Saraghini Brooklyn where everything and I mean everything was delicious, Reynard at the Wythe for an early supper then up to their rooftop bar The Ides for sunset views!
6. Retail Therapy – A few of our favorites were Bellocq – very small tea atelier, Catbird – tiny jewel box of a shop, Sprout Home – lush garden store, Aesop – skincare at it’s finest, Spoonbill & Sugartown – great little independent bookstore, and Holler & Squall – well curated antique shop. There were many more I can’t remember, but as you explore, you’ll be sure to stumble on plenty!
7. Hit the Brooklyn Flea – We went to both Brooklyn fleas, Williamsburg and Fort Greene and had a great time. They’re much, much smaller than the CA fleas I’m spoiled with but that didn’t stop me from finding a few treasures. They also run the Smorgasburg food festival in conjunction with the flea markets…selling everything from handmade hibiscus donuts to Korean tacos. Unfortunately, we we’re too full to try anything when we went. Most likely from all the pie and coffee we consumed around every corner of Brooklyn.