I’m not sure there’s anything better than a weekend with friends, homemade taco nights and visiting one of your favorite cold brew destinations in Brooklyn. And that’s just the start of my recent weekend adventure to NYC.
Keep reading for the who, what and where of the city girl experience I like to call N(ew).Y(ork).F(riend).W(eekend)..
Because nothing is ever perfect, I arrived in New York on Thursday night amid a downpour. My little H&M canvas sandals (R.I.P.) did not survive the cavernous puddles that I failed to see now that the sun dips below the skyline earlier than I’m used to. Following the directions of my best friend and fellow city girl, I made it to the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn only slightly damp and more than ready to eat the delicious tofu and beet tacos she had prepared. We caught up over stuffed blue corn tortillas and two bottles of Malbec and then rested up for the weekend ahead.
I woke up on Friday morning curious and ready for caffeine. My first stop was along Myrtle Ave., made famous by the likes of Nas, Ludacris and Doug E. Fresh, at Little Mo. Foursquare notes that it is rated #2 for Asian restaurants in Brooklyn which makes me think they should probably run a poll for coffee houses that make up cold brew. (It would be #1 or #2 in my book.) Nobody here is going to hold your hand when it comes to the coffee/ drink menu but there is an opening in the wall to guide you to their sit-down restaurant serving up spring rolls, organic friend chicken wings and “little bao” steamed buns. Other menu items that intrigue me include; the housemade limeade, “L Train” banh mi and lemongrass chicken noodle soup.
After acquiring the necessary caffeine for my excursion, I turned around and followed Broadway towards Williamsburg, another one of my favorite neighborhoods in Brooklyn. I had plans to meet up with another friend uptown and wondered how far I could get before requiring the assistance of public transportation. It was a brisk anthropologic study of gentrification as I passed by dozens of bodegas, “mom and pop” retail shops and public parks. I stopped briefly at Sternberg Park to sip my cold brew before the ice completely diluted my coffee and appreciated everything good that has come since that terribly tragic day fourteen years ago.
About four miles later, I was over the Williamsburg Bridge and about to enjoy my first bowl of ramen with my friend and New York native, Sam. Ippudo, located in Greenwich Village, had been on my list for a long time and I had never officially officially tried ramen (unless you count college and this amazing broccoli slaw my mother makes). For those of you who don’t know, ramen is pho’s Japanese cousin and is basically wheat noodles in a beef or fish-based broth seasoned with soy or miso, and in this case, mushrooms, pickled ginger and scallions. The hirata pork “bao buns” were a pleasant start to the meal which we washed down with dassai sake, Sapporo and ample reminiscing.
Following lunch, Sam and I walked off our full tummies by wandering through Greenwich Village towards the Meatpacking District, the hub of fashion week and the location of the new-ish Whitney Museum of American Art. This spot, tucked below the High Line, is already ideal for people-watching and Sam and I took in the art of the area courtesy of his NYU student i.d.. Amid the collection of modern art were paintings, photography and drawings by some of the greats including Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keefe and Andy Warhol. If you like great views of the city with a side of contemporary works, a little architecture with your art or a casual and cultured stroll along walls that are almost more artifacts than art collectibles, this spot is for you.