Discovering a new neighbourhood is like re – living a little of your youth. It’s new, it’s exciting, and there is something delicious and delectable to see every day, especially, if your neighbourhood is in New York City. We are slowly getting used to the idea that this strange collection of rooms has become our home, and maze of streets and houses, our neighbourhood.
What a fabulous time to explore new surroundings in New York…. Fall.
Fall, a season I have yet to experience. In England, we get Autumn. This reminds me of rainy days, muddy dogs and wellies, and the evenings closing in. In Sydney, well, there are really only ever two seasons… warm, and a bit hotter.
In New York, you get scorching sunny afternoons, glorious hues of green and yellow…. tonnes of seasonal fruits and veggies, and you get pumpkins!
I first came across some baby pumpkins, amongst shelves of multicoloured Autumn vegetables, at Union Market. A gorgeous little Park Slope supermarket, right up my street. (And, it is actually, right up my street).
In honour of embracing my new surroundings, I’ve become a seasoned coffee drinker. I have been known to do this in the past, on and off, normally due to a situation whereby I find myself surrounded by other coffee drinkers and wanting to enjoy the addictive black nectar as much as they appear to. Coffee can be surprisingly addictive. After a few days of ‘grabbing a coffee’ at the end of the dog walk, I find my eyes now spring open and I can’t wait until I get that first delightful taste. I’ve had to wean myself off it and only allow myself to drink it two to three times a week. My waistband and my purse strings will thank me for it later.
Park Slope and Fort Greene offer several coffee spots, of varying value and calibre. There is a little slip of a place on Fulton St called Annex. They serve strong, delicious coffee, but unfortunately asking the best part of $5 per regular mocha, my weapon of choice.
Gorilla Coffee, on 5th Ave, is always busy and is my true local BUT unfortunately, despite being the best coffee in my area, they don’t serve your daily dose with a smile.
My favorite spot based on taste, price, proximity to Fort Greene Park has become BitterSweet. A cute name, for a lovely little place that always appears to be bustling at the seams with dog owners and commuters on their way to the subway. Despite the obvious lack of seating, the place always has a queue out of the door, and several dogs of various shape and size are tethered to the fence outside.
Aside from these delightful pockets of space offering caffeine infused delicacies, there are a couple of other local spots that I really want to shout about.
Sun In Bloom on Bergen, a vegan, gluten free and raw café. I know what you are thinking, but what is there here to enjoy? Believe me – this food is SO delicious. And guess what else, it’s served not just with a smile but with warmth, friendliness, and WIFI. If you ever happen to stumble upon this place, the kale salad with live ginger dressing, followed by a vegan gluten free cookie sandwich will really make your day.
Then there is Betty Bakery on Atlantic. What a cute little space juxtaposed with the noise and mess of Atlantic Avenue. A real safe haven. I have to walk across Atlantic Avenue every day to get to the park. Past the crazy smells and sounds, Chuck E Cheeses, and AppleBees, an aspect of the US still unknown to me, but I assume an assault on the senses as well as the cholesterol level.
Thank goodness there are still little independents dotted all over my area to bring me back down to earth, even if they contain naughty but nice temptations. After all, a temptation is never quite as nice, if it’s not just a little bit naughty.
A note… to those of you with eyes beady enough to notice. I’m torn between traditional English and new American spelling. For now. I remain just here…. on the fence.