Last weekend, I embarked on my 27th year with a few Brooklyn-filled days. If it’s any indication of the year to come, I look forward to spending many a night in my favorite borough. The weekend started off strong with a trip to Coney Island to catch a Brooklyn Cyclones game with my co-workers. I forgot my camera so I don’t have any pictures to share, but we had a great time hanging with Sandy the Seagull, cheering on the home team and running the bases. After the game we moseyed over to Luna Park where a few of us rode the Cyclone. I typically LOVE amusement park rides, but this may go down as the most unpleasant roller coaster experience I’ve ever had. I appreciate the charm of rickety wooden roller coasters built in the 1920’s that knock you around, however, this was the first time I actually convinced myself there were crushed vertebrae at the base of my skull post-ride. Needless to say, my brain hurt. It’s a New York legend so I’m glad for the notch in my belt, but I don’t believe I’ll be riding the Cyclone
any time soon ever again.
I woke on Saturday morning to gorgeous blue skies and joined my friend Nicole and her friend Robin on a trip to Smorgasburg in Williamsburg. This food fair occupies the same water-front space as the Brooklyn Flea, which I perused for goods about a month ago. What’s great about Smorgasburg, is that it’s not too big and therefore not overwhelming (although you still wish you could find a way to magically enlarge your stomach for the afternoon) yet there is enough food to please almost every palate. Nicole and Robin munched on schnitzel sandwiches from Schnitz, while I devoured my very first Asia Dog. I didn’t choose the most Asian of selections, but with jalapeño mustard, fancy crunched potato chips and special ketchup, it beat the Nathan’s I cook at home. The pièce de résistance for me was the ice cream sandwich I had from The Cookie Guild. Here goes: two coffee stout chocolate chip cookies bookending creamy vanilla ice cream that had been topped with hot fudge. Wow. Besides the fact that the 90 degree weather turned me into a messy child, I was extremely glutinous and happy.
This picture failed to capture the incredible moment I had with my ice cream sandwich, but you get the idea.
After stuffing our bellies, we strolled through Williamsburg making our way to the Brooklyn Brewery. $5 gets you one beer and a tour of the factory. It was not actually a tour, per se, as one of the two distillation rooms was closed leaving the info-speak to be conducted in one room. Our guide Tim, who also doubles as an in-house bar tender, was both entertaining and knowledgable. We learned all about the beer making process, smelling hops and malt along the way, as well as the history of the brewery. Some cool facts to point out: 1) The building began as an 1860’s era steel foundry before transitioning into a matzah factory and finally a brewery, and 2) The man who designed the company’s logo pro bono gets free beer for life. Not a bad business decision in my book.
Lastly, we arrive at Sunday where I found myself in Carroll Gardens with friend and Brooklyn-native Monique. She always seems to know what the cool kids are up to, so when she asked me to join her at a dance party next to the Gowanus Canal, I said “why, not!” Our afternoon began with brunch at Strong Place on Court Street where we noshed on scrambled egg tacos and duck bacon sandwiches. After eating, we made our way to Mister Sunday, where a seemingly abandoned stretch of grass along the toxic Gowanus Canal hosts a dance party. Enter picnic benches, Mexican food, a bar full of Brooklyn lager, PBR and Sangria, and – most importantly – DJs, and you have yourself the makings of a wonderful Sunday afternoon dance party.
Just your average crime scene.
DJs Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin spun a medley of old school soul/funk before transitioning into house music.
We had a ball chatting, people watching and drinking sangria. We got up on the dance floor towards the end of the afternoon (the party runs from 3 – 9pm) and boogied along with an amazingly eclectic mix of people. Young and old alike (we’re talking babies to baby boomers) and every color of the rainbow danced the afternoon away.
And that brings me to the conclusion of my Brooklyn weekend. I highly suggest checking out a Brooklyn Cyclones game, stuffing your face at Smorgasburg and then dancing off the calories at Mister Sunday. Ride the Cyclone at your own risk.