05 April 2015

A Sunny Day in Windy Williamsburg

The sky had run out of rain by the time I woke up yesterday morning, and the sun had come out instead. We headed into Central Park for a quick leaping session, and then for a run. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to complete my usual 10K circuit of the park as 8,000 kilt-wearing, Caledonia-loving runners were taking part in the 10K Scotland Run. It was quite surreal to run against the tide of runners spurred on by the sound of bagpipes.

After breakfast, we got the subway down to Williamsburg. First, we popped into the Artists & Fleas craft market, where I picked up a pretty, turquoise microbe-inspired (!) necklace from Stern Design Works. I was pleased to discover that the giant, river-front street food market known as Smorgasburg had just reopened after its winter hibernation. The beards and plaid shirts were out in full force, and so was the sun, but it was seriously windy; so windy that I had to use both hands to eat my (amazing) lobster roll to stop the lobster being blown off the top! I also tried a couple of delicious oysters and an egg-and-bacon roll from Rise & Swine. Puns + bacon + sunshine = win!

We walked back towards the main drag — Bedford Avenue — and sought shelter from the wind in Toby's Estate, a fab roastery and cafe. I've visited their Flatiron branch before, but it was my first time at the hipster-packed Williamsburg location. It was pretty busy inside, but we managed to find a table to perch at while we drank our pourovers (I had the Bolivian Amor De Dios, which was delicious) and flipped through today's New York Times.

After a bit of shopping on Bedford Avenue, we caught the East River Ferry back down to South Street Seaport. Fortunately, it wasn't any windier on the boat than on land, and sailing down the river is both an efficient mode of transport and a great way of viewing the New York skyline and it's three most famous bridges.

Later in the afternoon, I walked for a while along the High Line, which was also super-windy. I visited the new-ish concept store Story, which changes its collection of wares every four to eight weeks or so. The current story is 'the story of you', although it seemed mainly to be the story of various YouTube personalities' favourite things. Nonetheless, there were some cool lifestyle goods on sale and I picked up a couple of gifts. On my way back to the hotel, I stopped off at Intelligentsia's newest NYC branch, which is in the unlikely location of the Herald Square Urban Outfitters. I had a Rwandan pourover, which I drank while resting my aching feet and people-watching. All of that walking was hard work and so I felt I had also earned a peanut butter and jam doughnut from Doughnut Plant, which was seriously tasty: the doughnut was coated in delicious peanut butter and contained just the right amount of strawberry jam.

In case I hadn't already eaten enough, dinner was a Mexican feast at Rosa Mexicano. We've been to the Lincoln Center branch a few times, but this was our first visit to their Union Square location. The guacamole and the frozen pomegranate margarita were both so good that by the time my main course (the budín de pollo) arrived, I wasn't very hungry. Still, I managed to make a respectable dent in the dish, which layered chicken, peppers and grilled corn with soft corn tortillas and cheese. Yum!

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