Thursday, July 04, 2013
After two days of torrential rain in New York (hello tropical storm Andrea), we farewelled the octogenarian traveller. Miraculously the clouds parted as he headed for Newark airport and we jumped a taxi downtown to our new digs in West Village. It was a relief to leave the tourist tat of Times Square behind.
Dropping our bags at our Airbnb apartment and slipping into walking shoes, it was time to activate the virgin subway card and hit Brooklyn.
It wasn’t so much a shopping trip but a street food pilgrimage.
After a quick look at the Fort Greene greenmarket we hoofed it to the Saturday Flea. Though a better than average vintage and craft market, the best thing about it was the grazing.
First off, some vegan ‘noodles’. In need of something raw and nutritious this amply hit the spot.
Once the nutritional halo had been polished it was time for sugary refreshments. Couldn’t go past the rhubarb and Thai basil soda. The savoury hit after the initial fruitiness on the palate was inspiring.
Scouting for vegan goodies was derailed by the discovery of mahi-mahi taco (sans crème), fresh soft tortilla, grilled tuna and an inspiring green apple salsa. The green apple salsa got me googling for recipes.
With the afternoon getting on we jumped the subway to Bedford Ave and lucked upon the coolest place in New York, closed to traffic for the day. Hipsters chilling out on astroturf, a swathe of great shops and even a vegan ice cream truck – who could ask for more?
After a wander and partaking of the food truck’s delights, the day was getting on. Smorgasurg awaited and the biggest surprise wasn’t just the awesome array of vegan foods on offer, amongst the usual piggy parts, but the amazing view of Manhattan just across the East River.
It almost broke my foodie heart to not be hungry but somehow forced down a tart cherry cola (not as exciting as the rhubarb) and sampled the blackberry chocolate vegan ice cream. We thought the Van Leeuewen was good but the Alchemy Creamery nudged them out of first place.
The Saturday Smorgasburg has a laid back vibe, wonderful views and food worth fasting a day for, to work up a worthy appetite.
After a gazillion photos of the Manhattan skyline, we had a quick rummage at the artist and flea market on 7th Street. (Tip: probably the closest toilet to Smorgasburg), then back to the wonders of Williamsburg Walks and delights on Bedford Ave. With its stylish boutiques, browse-worthy bookshops, cafes and yet another vegan restaurant, Williamsburg on a sunny Saturday put the glitz of 42nd Street to shame.