“We are going shopping”, the most beautiful words for a man to hear since “I do”. “We” – as in just us, without You”. Here’s how I took advantage. A Labor Dy trip report if you will…
Picked up Mr Hummus Whisperer and parked the car by the Brooklyn Bridge on the Brooklyn side. Picked up a Citibike and rode the Bridge over to the other side. Unlike the day before where we walked the bridge after (and before) visiting the Smorgasburg in Dumbo (will try to write a separate post) the bridge in the morning was fairly quiet.
“Cruised” Lafayette and dropped the bikes by Houston. Wanted to try La Colombe Coffee after watching the guy on the travel channel exploring the world for coffee beans but it was closed. I was surprised to learn how many places are closed on Mondays in NYC. Like being in Milan in August. Too hot for coffee anyway. We made our way to Russ and Daughters, picked our bagels and went to a nearby park where an elderly Asian couple were doing an exercise I haven’t seen before: Bouncing a basketball. Buttery Lox, cream cheese, tomato, onions, on a fresh crispy bagel never tasted this good. R&D, one of many Lower East Side institutions is touristy for good reason. We were without the wits of our women which means without napkins but we somehow managed with minimum stain action.
We proceeded to pick up the Citibikes nearby again and rode to Delancey and Williamsburg bridge. We crossed over to Brooklyn and just biked around Kent Ave without a plan whatsoever. None of this was planned BTW. Feeling hungry again we decided to park and just walk to Egg for another round of breakfast. But the line was too big so we just went to Verb Café nearby on Bedford and had ice coffee with our takeout Bialys from R&D. Ok, the R&D mention again reminds me that I need to go back to work.. Ok I’m back.. where was I… Oh ye. Verb Café – Ive been there before. If you ever need a reminder that you are in Williamsburg you head to this café and the mini mall attached to it
We picked up the bikes again and rode the Williamsburg bridge back. An unfortunate incident occurred where a bra-less woman riding a bike was accidentally flashing more than the laws allowed. Unfortunate for her. Anyway, we had a good laugh and continued riding by the East River toward midtown. Nice views of the manhattan skyline open up at some point with the river a few feet away. This is a nice section to bike on. We U-turned on 30th and turned on 20th toward the flatiron area. Just rode around aimlessly until it was time for you know..eat.
We dropped the bikes in the East Village. A trip like this is incomplete without eating something in the East Village. Opted to go to Maharlika but we got distracted by a little piggy and shared a Porchetta sandwich in Porchetta. In here they do it differently than in Italy. They get whole loins with the skin and all, season, roll it, and roast it for 7 hours. The result is one fatty, garlicky, porky goodness. Fantastic sandwich. Highly recommend Porchetta.
Time for a cleanser. Liquiteria is thee place in town according to my juice obsessed friend. I’ve been there before and ordered the same thing again, the Grasshopper – a great blend of apple, pear, pineapple, wheatgrass, mint, old cellphones, or god knows what else they put in there. All freshly squeezed, naturally sweet and very refreshing. A little pricey but you pay for quality
Too full for Maharlika we pick up the bikes yet again and head to Tribeca. Dropped the bikes by Whole Foods and spent some quality R&R time (Relieve and Read) in Barnes and Nobles. This branch has my favorite travel section. We are in Tribeca which means we have to go to Nish Nush. Shared a Masabacha which is essentially hummus with Tahini, some other sauce, chickpeas and boiled egg. Added some Falafel balls as well to this party. Since I introduced HW to this place a month ago he’s been here 6 times. He was so excited he stained himself again right next to the R&D stain. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is the best falafel in the city.
Time to pick up the bikes again and cross the Brooklyn Bridge back to the car. Now its raining which means I finally look cool on those bikes. I tried the one hand move before and nope.. need it to rain. The bridge is much busier now even with the rain and those darn pedestrians are all over the bike lanes. Of course I was also all over the bike lanes when I was a pedestrian the day before
We dropped the bikes for the last time and started to head home. But hey, we are already here, next to a place I wanted to visit for a while now, so whats the rush. The only one who has the balls to open a pizza joint next to Grimaldi’s is.. well.. Grimaldi. The place is called Juliana’s and the Margherita pie was absolute perfection. I’m not gonna go into the details of the story and controversy here but the gist of it was that Grimaldi’s sold the Grimaldi name rights years ago and now he’s back.. right next door. So when you come to Brooklyn to stand on the hour long line to Grimaldi’s just keep in mind that the place next door with no lines has probably better pizza – I think it does. And for the sake of the neighborhood locals who finally got their pizza back this is the last time I will mention this.
And that’s how I spent my Labor Day.