This Uptown girl has recently developed a compulsive affection for Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I seem to venture here as though I’m a resident. True story.
Let’s start with the Flea Market, an urban oasis situated south of East River State Park between North 6th and 7th. The hip bazaar offers vintage, handmade and antique goods, ranging from art, clothing, jewelry, postcards, soaps, and even rustic picture frames (and this is far from random).
Don’t even bother wearing a watch. Fact: you will spend an ample amount of time here, during which you can feast on artisan foods along the east perimeter. Deluxe delicatessen Mile End—yes. Crafty confections from Kumquat Cupcakery —yes. The dangerous-and-necessary Milk Truck Grilled Cheese —why, yes. All you have to do is forget the meaning of calories and unforgivingly dive in.
Or, if you’re a health nut, don’t live a little and just steer yourself to the sliced mango and watermelon stand.
Arrive via the East River Ferry on 34th street, a welcoming alternative to playing a forced game of standing Twister on the L train.
Williamsburg reason deux. I’ve fallen for the grilled kale Caesar salad at Isa. I immediately know what you’re thinking: you’re the health nut who doesn’t live a little. This is not true.
The creation is one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten in New York. It competes with Print’s heirloom tomato offering married with opal basil, feta and champagne vinaigrette; also in the running, Café Mogador’s plated Greek garden, which is delicately dressed with the right amount of tahini and Israeli spices.
Back to Isa, the kale is charred, producing a smoky flavor that’s complemented with a simple Caesar dressing, emphasis on the lemon and salt (I’m convinced it’s pinched with an extra something special). Really, it’s that simple — and easy to devour without regret.
Alright, thanks for reading this far. The big reason I love Williamsburg is for all the amazing coffee houses on offer, Sweetleaf in particular.
Draw yourself to the corner of Kent Avenue and North 6th street, where “Sweetleaf Espresso Bar” stares in white paint stamped along the bottom of the entrance.
Inside, the décor immediately consumes your senses. From the flooring, oversized chairs, small round two-tops and wood trim — everything is espresso-colored. It’s not overwhelming though, more like mesmerizing and comfortable.
Behind the barista bar large white bags of Ritual coffee are shelved out of reach. Not to worry. Purchase the beans, along with Stumptown coffees, upfront alongside vegan and gluten-free goods made in-house. If you like cinnamon and nutmeg, go for the carrot cookie.
My drink of choice: Iced Rocket Fuel, a concoction of cold brew fused with chicory, an herb especially popular in New Orleans-style coffee. The bev also includes maple syrup.
Initially, I was skeptical, but that lasted for a spell, broken as soon as the sweet and creamy combo flowed down my throat like a river of caffeine and unprocessed sugar.
The order immediately warrants a punch card because you’ll definitely be thirsty for more.