Out + About

IMG_0832 I finally decided to venture outside of my neighborhood. Must have been some sort of spring hibernation period. I've made a few occasional outings here and there, but today was a conscious effort to do something I'd added to my "what to do on my NYC vacation" list. Though, technically I don't think I can consider myself on vacation anymore since I have no plans to go anywhere else just yet. The job front seems promising and apartment prospects seem hopeful. Nine months of occasional couch-surfing is slowly creeping into the desire to feel like an adult again, and host cozy dinner parties in a future closet-sized apartment in Manhattan. Yippee!

I am now in Bittersweet, a tiny café in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, open since 2007. I needed free wi-fi as well as decent coffee, and chose this place over Smooch, even if the latter's cute Australian owner (and his great hat) was there. Next time, maybe. I am still pleased with my iced mocha, the music, the funky staff, and the desire for yummy homemade ice cream the next time I'm around. So happy that New York is finally getting hip to the funky café vibe. It's definitely something I miss by not being in Seattle. Though I am looking forward to Stumptown coffee opening soooooon.

What drew me to venture out to my old Fort Greene/Clinton Hill stomping grounds in the first place was the Brooklyn Flea. Its outdoor market just opened back up a few weeks ago on Lafayette and Vanderbilt. Having gotten my recommended nightly allowance of 11 hours of shut-eye, I awoke quite excited to score a $1 mini chocolate cupcake from Kumquat Cupcakery, and peruse the vintage t-shirts, furnishings and knickknacks. I did all of that indeed, AND had an uber-delish grilled cheese and pickle panini from Saxelby Cheesemongers. Hot & crispy, grilled on a cornmeal dusted outside griddle, it was the perfect 1pm breakfast on a muggy, overcast Saturday afternoon. I do so love cheese & pickles. What about a grilled panini with sharp cheddar & Branston pickles? Huh? Huh? Mmmmmm…

Knowing that this Mother's Day might be a bit awkward for me with everyone running off to visit their mums for the weekend, my very good friend C.C. Adcock invited me to have lunch with him, his mom, aunt, cousin and our mutual friend Linda at Balthazar (only my FAVORITE restaurant in NYC). He was in town for the screening of his latest documentary The Promised Land: A Swamp Pop Journey, featuring Lil' Band O' Gold. An incredible, heart-warming film (Watch the trailer!), if you know this area of Louisiana, then you will feel nothing but nostalgia and love for what's on screen. If you don't know it, then you'll soon be packing your bags and heading down to visit one of most incredible places on earth, Lafayette, Louisiana (and the surrounding area). No, really. But meet people there. It's better if you get the real inside view of this spectacular character-filled community. My bet: October for Blackpot Festival. Incredible!

Balthazar was delish, and like any good Louisiana folk, we quickly made friends with the manager and even ran into other Louisiana friends who just happened to be dining there. Small world. C.C. and his crew were simply magical, and I thank them for inviting me on such a beautiful outing. The film screening at the Tribeca Screening Room as well as the after party at Sweet and Vicious were also spectacular, and I wish them much success at Cannes and in the future distribution of the film. Really worth checking out.

Aside from these tidbit outings, I ventured out again to Baby Bo's on 2nd and 34th a couple of nights ago, and the rest have been spent jumping between Paddy Reilly's and Sam's Waterfront Ale House. Must venture out of hood more often. Though nesting is highly underrated. Where are you going these days? Bon appétit!

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