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A Brooklyn Amble

16 Nov

Last week sucked. So, on the advice of blog friends Sher and Julie, I took a walk. From Windsor Terrace to Williamsburg. Of course the boy came along, too. It just wouldn’t be a long walk without him!

Ft. Greene Park Leaf

We began with breakfast. It seemed a logical starting point, and the sanest thing to do given our goal of walking several miles. My favorite place to break my fast in the Five Boroughs has got to be Café Steinhof on 7th Avenue in Park Slope. It’s a quaint, sunny Austrian joint with really good un-breakfasty food because in all honesty, I’m not a huge fan of breakfast.

I hate waffles and pancakes and, to be honest, don’t really care for eggs all that much either. But when the eggs surround light-as-air dumplings and pan-fried mushrooms and are served with a peppery cress salad, yeah, I’ll eat the eggs, and I’ll love every minute of it!

Unfortunately they were down to one working burner and were serving only the simplest eggs (sunny-side up or over-easy only) and sausages, as well as salads and sandwiches. This was a near tragedy. They were forcing me to break out of a rut!

But as with most happy accidents this one had a happy ending. I cannot implore you enough if you go, to try the Steinhof Salad Platter. I don’t know how they can call them salads, they’re more like pickles, really, really good pickles. That platter very nearly eclipses the one served at Momofuku, and that’s lofty praise! There’s pickled red cabbage that sits perfectly on the fence between sweet and sour, vividly vinegary chilled potatoes, paper thin cucumbers, and my favorite, savory rosemary tomatoes. Sorry there are no pictures, but we absolutely inhaled this dish. Utterly delicious.

Fully sated, we headed due north, down the Slope. Saturday was a perfect fall day, so I’ll stop my babbling and let the pictures tell the story.

The brownstone-lined streets of Boerum Hill, are to me, much finer than those of Park Slope.


The ginkgos in Ft. Greene Park were in full flame.

Ft. Green Park

As were the elms (and there’s that guy that always walks through my photos).

Ft. Greene Park

The neighborhood surrounding the park has some absolutely stunning architecture.

Ft. Greene brownstone

And some fairly pedestrian buildings as well. But I love old carriage houses, I love imagining what New York was like when it was a city that ran only on real horsepower.

Ft. Greene carriage house

Somewhere past Pratt we turned left, heading for Williamsburg. I have no idea what neighborhood this was, but there was a guy schooling his pigeons. It was lovely. I love how so many individuals move as a whole.

Ft. Greene pigeons

We walked along the edge of the Navy Yard. The neighborhood we skirted is populated mostly by Hasidic Jews and for some reason I felt bad taking photos. It was the shabbos, families were out strolling about, visiting with friends, it just felt tacky. So you’ll have to trust me that the balconies on all the buildings that we can only infer are used for making sukkahs for the celebration of Sukkot, give the area a very Old World feel.

We finally made it to the water. Just over there on the other side of the bridge is where we live.

Williamsburg Bridge

Our ultimate goal was a sample sale which turned out to be a total bust, but the walk wasn’t. I love this fire escape on the side of an old shrine.

Williamsburg fire escape

The neighborhood really is changing, but there will always be hipsters in Williamsburg, and their ironic conveyances.

Ironic Williamsburg El Camino

Finally, it was time to head home. We were pooped. We tried to stop by Marlow & Sons to say hi to Grocery Guy, but he didn’t seem to be there.

We briefly toyed with the idea of walking home over the bridge, but our feet were just too tired. Instead we tromped up Broadway, past the Williamsburgh Bank and the famous Peter Luger Steakhouse to the elevated J-line.

Williamsburgh Bank

Back on the other island, we popped into the Essex Street Market to visit Max, because, what long walk doesn’t deserve a little cheese at its end?