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?



8 Responses to “A Brooklyn Amble”

  1. Luisa November 16, 2006 at 11:06 am #

    This is a seriously wonderful post. I love it! From the pictures (gorgeous) to your walk to the stops you made: fantastic! Isn’t this a great city we live in? You really captured the atmosphere. And it’s such a relief to have a nice day after a crappy one last week, isn’t it? I kind of feel like taking this walk in reverse…

  2. sher November 16, 2006 at 12:05 pm #

    Thank you!!!!! I absolutely loved those pictures. It started off with that fabulous shot of the leaf flying in the wind and got better and better. You have so much talent with a camera. Henri Cartier Bresson lives within you! Walking is very good for you, so please feel free to do this as much as possible. :):) I love breakfast, so I’ll eat your waffles.

  3. ann November 17, 2006 at 8:35 am #

    Luisa, it is great, isn’t it?? Always something new, nothing’s ever the same twice. It can be disconcerting and exhilirating. Thank god it’s mostly the latter! Do the walk, its fabulous!

    Sher, thanks for the suggestion and the compliments. You’re welcome to my waffles any day ;-) lol!

  4. Julie November 17, 2006 at 9:13 am #

    I can’t agree more about you and Luisa living in a great city. I’m amazed at all the worlds you get to walk through when you’re walking through Brooklyn and where else in America could you have a pickle platter for breakfast?

    Love the 19th century rowhouse-architecture and I think it always looks its best against the autumn leaves. And wasn’t this past Saturday some gorgeous weather? I think it was 70 degrees in Baltimore.

  5. s'kat November 17, 2006 at 11:53 am #

    I’ve never been to New York, but you really make it look like a beautiful place. Please, feel free to take us along on any of your walks!

  6. Tim November 18, 2006 at 5:24 am #

    It sounds like quite a walk! I am going to be in NYC at Christmas but suspect that I will have missed all of the colour of the leaves! At least I now know where to go for breakfast…

  7. Tiny Banquet Committee November 20, 2006 at 7:55 am #

    Great photos – I almost feel like *I* got some fresh air!
    A walk with cheese at the end is the very best kind, I think –

  8. groceryguy December 1, 2006 at 12:24 am #

    Hey Ann,

    Nice pictures.. again! I finally got a digital that cost more than a nice bottle of wine and boy is it a pleasure to shoot with though I doubt I will ever match your mastery.

    Anyway, about your swing by GG HQ:

    Like Dr. Dre I was running shit like I wasn’t there. Only, you know, I was.

    Unless it was a weekend, then I’m not. A rare and hard won perk of slogging it out in the foodie trenches for so goddamn long.

    Normally I’m there from 9 to 6 M-F like a office-type person. Swing by around six and we’ll do us up some oysters and bubbly on the GG dime.

    Ask Jamie from CurdNerd. Marlow does not fuck around.

    Also, we should have us a propery blogger dinner one of these days. I say we order in and get drunk as hell. Cooking is for suckers.

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