Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Brooklyn Love

As some of you know I'm a New Yorker living in the Sonoran desert.  Tucson and I have had a bit of a rocky relationship.  When we first met we didn't hit it off at all.  Second time was not that much better.  It took the third try to make it stick.   As I have, ahem, matured, so has Tucson and we have reached a common ground.  In addition to loving our home and beautiful hikes near by there is now more art, culture and some really good food, like amazing gelato (Frost) and pastries (Frog's Bakery) available.  Honestly, it's the good food that makes all the difference.

As much as I can wax poetic about NYC there are some, nay, many things that make living there difficult.  Small apartments, lots of people and expensive everything make for trying times.  BUT the art, the diversity and so many creative and talented people make the city, at times, magical.  Then there's the food.  The food in NYC is legendary for a reason.  Its.  Really.  Really.  Really.  Good.  

When you mix creativity & passion with lots of style that is when the awesomeness happens and it's happening in a new coffee shop in Brooklyn.  Coffee Mob is pouring coffee for the lucky peeps in Ditmas Park, my old neighborhood.  For those of you who have never heard of Ditmas Park it's the "Best Small Town in America - in Brooklyn".  Officially.  Ok, officially in my opinion, but it also happens to be true.  Coffee Mob is owned by my bestie, Jeannine and her husband Buck.  Buck has a passion for, or some may say an obsession with, coffee.  Really good coffee.  They're raising the bar for Brooklyn coffee shops.  Which is saying a lot.  The space will be AMAZING.  The coffee will be AMAZING. And for those of us who appreciate vintage look out for the Ben Seibel Impromptu coffee cups among the stunning decor.  I did mention that they had style right? 

So you've heard of Brooklyn ('cause you don't live under a rock) but you don't know anything about Brooklyn.  Lucky for you I know some things and I'mma gonna help you out.  Below is my perfect day.  Ditmas Park, Bklyn edition. 

  • Start at Coffee Mob.  Obvs.  Since your going to stay for a while and hang, maybe sit at the bar and chat with Buck, get a real coffee, a pour over,  a cap, a latte, or maybe go for one of Buck's chais (no pre-made nothin' - it's got Buck's home made secret sauce).  Grab a yummy pastry (how many times can I mention pastries in one post?) or a real Bklyn bagel (just so you know, that doughy thing you call a bagel is not a bagel), take in the beauty of the space and watch the world go by.  
Next up you must take a stroll through Ditmas Park.  Why?  Because I want to hear you say, "This is Brooklyn?" multiple times.  Beautiful Victorian homes on tree lined streets will transport you to a different time and place while smashing any preconceived notions of Brooklyn.  Take a long walk up to Prospect Park.  Visit the Brooklyn Museum or Botanical Gardens.  Whatever you do make sure you're hungry for lunch.

NYT Diner's Journal Seth Wenig/Associate Press
  • Difara Pizza in Midwood.  Best. Pizza. Ever. Seriously.  It's been said by many and it's worth the visit just so that you can see it for yourself.  It honestly defies reason that one man has made every. single. pie. that has come out of that place.  (OMG!!  Wait. What? According to their website they recently opened in Vegas?  Stomach growling, where are my keys?  Honey, don't wait up.)
After lunch hop on the train or drive down to Coney Island.  It was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy but lots of renovations have been going on since then.  Ride the Cyclone.  Then do it again.  Take a stroll on the beach.  Hang on the boardwalk and watch the locals pass by.  Keep your camera handy.  Skip the greasy and overrated Nathan's so that you will be ready for dinner.
  • Taci's Beyti on Coney Island Ave.  Best Turkish food.  No joke.  You know when you go to a restaurant and 99.99% of the people in that restaurant are from the country of origin of said restaurant?   Which then means that in no uncertain terms you are most definitely in the right place.  That's Taci's.  The shepherd salad, the pide, the hummus.  The Bread.   So. Freakin'. Good.  So hungry right now.
This might be the end of a fun filled, action packed, food lovers day.  But no, you're in Bklyn and you've only had four out of the five NYC food groups by now. Let's review...

1. Coffee
2. Bagels
3. Pizza  

4. Ethnic Food  

And the fifth? 

5. Alcohol.  Of course.

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Head over to Sycamore Bar & Flower Shop to cap off a perfect day.  It's a flower shop by day, and I'm not talking tie dyed carnations kind of flower shop, and hip bar by night.  Hang in the back garden or hear a band downstairs.  So cool.  So Bklyn.

Ok so by now you're hungry, thirsty and searching for flights contemplating a trip to Brooklyn.  Once again I'mma gonna help you out (damn, I'm so nice) and show you the very best place to stay.

  • The Griffin B&B  remember I mentioned all those lovely Victorian homes in Ditmas Park?  Many of them are also B&Bs and it just so happens that very good friends of mine who are opening this very fab coffee bar also have a very fab B&B.  Fancy that!  
The Griffin B&B

Just so you know that if you should visit my Brooklyn and hit my favorite spots I will simultaneously be insanely jealous and insanely happy for you.  

Feel free to share some Bklyn love in the comments below.