There's no denying the magic of New York City during the holiday season.
Bryant park, awash with artisanal vendors showcasing their wares, horse drawn carriages parading around Central Park, the glitz and glamour of Broadway and then of course the Christmas tree and ball drop in Times Square.
Been there, done that, and still, love all of it by the way. But during my most recent trip to the Big Apple, I think Brooklyn may have captured my heart. And, I ain't even mad about it.
It's just like Manhattan, only lower key, a little more hipster, a little less polished. Just how I like it. And I'm still trying (unsuccessfully I might add) to get over A.) the cafe mocha at Stumptown Coffee and B.) the design marvel that are historic New York brownstones.
AND shame on you, if you go to Brooklyn and don't explore 5th Avenue.
It all started with the outrageous Manhattan hotel prices and an AirBnB --> click to check it out.
Located in the Crown Heights area less than a five minute walk from the subway, Prospect Park, The Brooklyn Children's Museum, the Public Library, the Botanical Garden, the Brooklyn Park Zoo, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Brooklyn Doughnut Plant etc, etc, Althea's place is just the place to go if you want a laid back, yet characteristic New York feel surrounded by plenty to do, see and explore.
When we arrived on Friday we spent much of the afternoon exploring the Park Slope neighborhood. Love one of kind, vintage pieces at discount prices (who doesn't?), but hate the monotony of digging through piles of moth eaten sweaters and dingy t-shirts (me too!)? Have I got the place for you. It's called Beacon's Closet and if you thought online thrifting wasn't a thing, well then you're welcome. There's more than a few diamonds in the rough when it comes to thrifting in park slope and I ventured into as many as time and my budget would allow.
After we had checked into our AirBnB for the evening we took the subway into Midtown and risked the masses at the MOMA for free admission (Every Friday 4-8pm). I never realized how many fabulous artists works were displayed here, Van Gogh's Starry Night, Three Musicians by Picasso and works by Gustav Klimt.
After that we hit the streets in search of some Irish Pub food, a cocktail and some well deserved rest.
On Saturday morning we hit the pavement bright and early, no solid plans, we stumbled across wine bars and mini markets and bagel shops (because seriously what is New York without mile high cream cheese?). Then made our way to Williamsburg where we ate queso and choriso to our hearts content at Carino and then stumbled down the street to North Brooklyn Farms. A picturesque little treasure nestled in what used to be the Domino Sugar Refinery, North Brooklyn Farms is parallel to the Manhattan skyline and Lady Liberty. A green space for the community, it features a skate/cross trek bike track as well as picnic benches, gardens and (added bonus) a close up of the East River.
From there we hit Swords-Smith fashion, where the sweaters are a bit pricey but the perfume is to die for and the company is pretty sweet. They were even nice enough to give us a map of Williamsburg with all the best places highlighted, it came in handy just in time for a caffeine break at Oslo coffee.
From there we found our way back to Manhattan where we ate some pho-on-the-go and wandered the usual prospects on Broadway.
Heading back to the AirBnB that night, we sunk into bed dreaming of bright lights and cowboys in tighty whities :)
Sunday was a day full of sunshine, doughnuts and pups in the park (Prospect Park that is). If you're vegan, Brooklyn Doughnut Plant is the perfect place to grab a bite. We boxed up a half dozen, sipped on a delectable mocha from Stumptown and meandered to Prospect Park. Full of sugar and a bit sun-drunk we found ourselves some prime real estate and parked it on a bench happy to observe the children playing and pups running.
And just like that the trip was over and it was time to head home. But what an amazing trip and needless to say! We will definitely be back!