The diehard Sex and the City fans out there will remember that in season six, much to her chagrin, Miranda had to move to Brooklyn, declaring that “Even cabs won’t go to Brooklyn!” This was certainly true when the season aired in 2004 – Manhattan was the only desirable borough to live in or visit – but boy, how times have changed!
In the recent years, northern Brooklyn (the side closest to Manhattan) has become a mecca for young New Yorkers, as well as yuppie families, who can’t afford Manhattan’s sky high rent. A certain attitude and lifestyle go along with living in northern Brooklyn. Most, not all, that choose to settle down there ride bikes instead of driving, shop at Whole Foods, spend their weekends perusing farmer’s markets, and eat at restaurants that have rooftop gardens. Sure I’m generalizing but the picture I just painted isn’t inaccurate. I have mixed emotions about this ordeal but I’ll save them for another post.
Fact: Brooklyn is actually three times the size of Manhattan.
Greenpoint is slowly becoming one of these gentrified neighborhoods; presumably because it’s right next door to Williamsburg and they’re running out of space over there. You may know Greenpoint as the neighborhood where Hannah and Marnie reside on HBO’s Girls. (I really know my HBO shows, huh?) Greenpoint is predominantly Polish, and because Rene is too, I asked him to take me there last weekend and show me around. Greenpoint is small, quiet and residential, so we just strolled down Manhattan Ave.
He took me to a Polish restaurant called “Krolewskie Jadlo.” It’s best that neither of us try to pronounce this but it translates into “A King’s Feast.” Luckily, Polish food is similar to Ukrainian so I was familiar with most of the menu.
The bread was served with the most delicious spread instead of butter. From what I understand it was cooked pig fat, ground up into a paste with fried onions and spices.
Next there was beef tartar. Yup, raw ground beef with a raw egg, onions, pickled mushrooms, capers and pickles – the point is to make it into a homogenous mixture. This is one of the many reasons I love my boyfriend: when we go out to eat, every now and then orders the craziest thing from the menu. He does it nonchalantly, as if ordering a grilled cheese. The first time we hung out, I took him to Bare Burger in Greenwich Village. When the waiter came around, Rene ordered an ostrich burger. My eyes rolled to the back of my head and I thought, “Oh God. Now we’re gonna spend the rest of this meal looking at a half-eaten ostrich burger, ’cause there is no way he’s gonna eat it!” But sure enough, he did. Another time it was pickled cactus tacos, and another, goat ramen. I had only a little of the tartar because the idea of it freaked me out. But I must say, it wasn’t bad.
For my entree, I ordered beef Stroganoff in a bread bowl. The sauce was more tomato-based than I am used to but the dish was great. It tasted homemade. After I got through the stew, I devoured some of the soaked sourdough bread bowl, and that was the best part.
For dessert I took him to a doughnut shop I’ve been wanting to go to, called Peter Pan. I tried their doughnuts once when someone brought them in to work for their birthday (Nell, if you are reading this, I am talking about you!) and I was hooked. These were the airiest, most delicate doughnuts I have ever had. Seriously. I wanted to take one home, gently tuck it in and read it a bedtime story.
We took the doughnuts to a nearby park and ate them in the grass. Rene swooned as well.
What is your favorite NYC neighborhood and why?