Yes! Now I don’t have to read the book…
It was Day Three of staying in a hostel in Brooklyn when I realized why there was trash all over the streets. CATS. The manager of our hostel refers to these cats as “lions” – they’re scruffy, giant city-cats who team up in the wee hours and tear into trash bags, carrying chicken bones and Golden Krust wrappers onto the sidewalks and streets.
Other than the trashy streets, I have fallen in love with Brooklyn. Our skin color made us stick out, but we were friendly and everyone was friendly right back. We walked daily to Fulton Street to eat and catch the C train to Manhattan.
You can smell Fulton Street a block away because of the hundreds of amazing and cheap Caribbean, West Indian, and soul food joints. There must have been a sale on yellow signs because they’re everywhere. I had a couple of spicy jerk chicken co-patties ($1.50/ea) and Greg had jerk chicken at Golden Krust (a Caribbean fast food chain). We ate a $3.50 breakfast two mornings in a row at a diner owned by a Portuguese family. I had THE BEST macaroni and cheese of my life at a soul food kitchen (C Train to Throop) accompanied by the cutest “Hi, honay” and “What can I getcha, baybeh?”
I bought a pair of new Nikes and Adidas sneakers on Fulton St. for $20/each. They’re ridiculous-looking and I love them. We also went to the Goodwill where I found a bunch of new, pretty dresses that were too big :( I found a brand-new black leather handbag and paid a whopping $7 for it.
It was a genius idea of Greg’s to rent bikes and ride all over Brooklyn & Manhattan. We rented two Schwinns in Brooklyn’s DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) at Recycle a Bicycle. It was only $30 for a 24 hour rental including a helmet and lock! Do you love my sweet windburn?
We got “pulled over” and ID’d by two cops in Brooklyn for biking on the sidewalk…so after that we had to bike on the street. It was scary at first but a ton of fun. We biked over the Brooklyn Bridge and navigated through crowded Canal Street, which is essentially hundreds of stores selling the exact same crappy handbag and pair of sunglasses.
After waiting a half-hour in the line outside, we ate “the best Brooklyn pizza” at Grimaldi’s. No. No way. The pizza was SO bland! The sauce was begging for a bucket of spices to be dumped on it. I am what one might call a Crust Maverick, and I left their bland crust on my plate for awhile (then ate it because I was bored and still hungry.) After not being impressed by “the best Brooklyn pizza” I officially began my quest for the REAL best Brooklyn pizza. (Coming soon to Bravo, brought to you by the creators of The Real Housewives of Orange County/New York City/Atlanta.) My second try for good Brooklyn pizza was at a Jewish pizza shop on Fulton Street…FAIL. This might just be a lifelong quest. For now I’ll stick with my town’s own Holbrook House of Pizza as my personal favorite pizza.
Last, I really must plug Pedro’s, a Mexican/Spanish/American casual restaurant/bar in DUMBO. Please ignore the “I-have-a-tamale-up-my-ass” reviews on Yelp, because this place has intense cheese tamales ($6 for 2) and salsa and a cool atmosphere – we came back twice. I wish we went back there at night. Below is the exterior, and if someone can find me this stencil I will give you $4.
So that’s the rundown on Brooklyn. My next post will be about Manhattan. Thanks for reading, betches!