December 20, 2011

A Brooklyn Love Affair

Whether they've been around a while, or are sparkly and new, these picks for my favorite haunts of Boerum & Cobble Hill never failed to make me smile.  All within a 5 minute walk from my door, I can get clothed, fed and pampered without a hop, skip and a jump over the river.  Who needs Manhattan, when you've got Brooklyn!

Building On Bond
There are a lot of places to go and sit and write, type, and text in our neighborhood, but one of the more comfortable spots is BOB.  Delightfully designed and constructed by the firm Hecho Inc., the woodworking and integrated artwork make this special spot cozy and helps let the creative juices flow.  With artfully rusted file cabinets, salvaged fixtures, and tall wood "bar" tables, this place works as a cool space to sit in the morning and work on your laptop while drinking delicious expressos and eating sticky buns.   You can sit and stay through lunch as well, but mind the crowd, and move over.   It's a great place to run into friends and catch up with my old pal Lynn (the waiter, who once worked at the legendary former Boerum Food Company).  I love going there, although these days I've been sitting in my own kitchen, blogging from home.  But just writing about BOB makes me want to get up and go tomorrow morning.

112 Bond Street Brooklyn, NY 11217
(347) 853 8687

Come on, how can you NOT support our local book stores! Shame on you for spending money at Barnes & Nobles when you could shop at BookCourt.  Besides the owner and his son are very cute, so why not have a little eye candy while you pretend to peruse a a big fat book by Tolstoy, while trying to look all cool and smart.  To be honest, I do hit B&N, but for those Warrior book series for the kids, and the fashion magazines. But if I need to find something good to read, I head over to BookCourt, and I always order from them if they don't have it.  The staff is always nice, and after the recent renovation, there is room for those icky pretentious book readings, that I just love to attend.  No really. I do.

163 Court St  Brooklyn, New York 11201
(718) 875-3677

Paisanos Meat Market
Yes, yes, I know... some of you head over to that other butcher on Court.  But are you kidding me???  Paisanos has been around for over 45 years.  Have you been?   So confession: I'm a vegetarian (with a bacon streak) but none the less, I go to Paisanos to order our Turkey, get grade A beef and Pork Chops for the kids and the Mister.  Even Granny A heads there every time she stays with us.  She loves them.  Just as I do.  

162 Smith Street Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 855-2641

Bien Cuit
Now this is very new.  I love when I come back from my summer hiatus and enter the steamy city to find that new and delightful stores and cafes have popped up over night.  And Bien Cuit is a sweet new find!  Really yummy breads, and amazing breakfast pastries, and to die for Quiche.  They also have internet access (which is good and bad). But as they don't really serve a big lunch, and people tend to take to go, your not taking tables away from anyone if you decide to tuck in and get comfortable to write a while.  Another place where I bump into my neighbors with like minds.

120 Smith Street Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 852-0200

One Girl Cookies
One Girl popped up originally just producing amazing cookies and cakes, catering, wholesale and selling from their shop. But when the local favorite hangout (Boerum Food Company) closed it's doors (rudely I might add), One Girl came to the rescue. They opened up early, and started selling boiled eggs, biscuits, scones, granola, yogurt and fruit!  Oh, and amazing coffee!  And even more amazing service. They have hands down the best staff ever.  Really gone miss my gang there.  They are nice, funny and know what I like to order!  Plus, there is a 90% chance I'll get to say Hi to my brooklyn mobile buddies. Which are quite a few.

68 Dean Street Brooklyn, NY 11201
(212) 675.4996

When Rucola popped up, we weren't sure we would ever get a table; It seemed overly packed every night. But one night after a few drinks at Clover (a fantastic bar off Smith Street), Victoria and I stumbled over and managed to squeeze into a table.  I have little recollection of the food at the time, as drinking will sometimes cloud that sector of my brain, but remembered the atmosphere to be welcoming and fun.  We soon returned, and since then have brought the Mister, and most recently shared the long table for a big birthday party.   The food, is divine;  In small portions or some larger entries, your tastebuds are satisfied with the most delicious options.  My favorite being the Crudo– Bronzino, pickled green tomatoes, toasted sunflower seeds, basil, with Ligurian olive oil.   Out of all my brooklyn spots for breakfast, Rucola gives the best granola, yogurt and fruit.  Yummy.  I'm thinking of skipping Pilates just to go!

190 Dean Street  Brooklyn, NY, 11217
(718) 576 3209

Bar Tabac
I've had a love affair with BarTabac since I moved to the neighborhood 10 years ago. It's where I met my best friend Victoria.  It's where I went with the boys to go to dinner, when the Mister was out of town.  We would sit by candlelight, play UNO, drink Shirley Temples (they) and Wine (me), listen to the live band, and enjoy the company of the french wait staff.  The staff turns over every other year or so, and I miss them when they go...  Poncho comes to mind.  He's been there for a long, long time.  And I just recently bumped into him to find out, that he was on his way to pick up his last paycheck, and heading to some warm southern destination... for good.  That's it for Poncho.  The timing seems poetic, as we are also about to end our time with Tabac.  But I'll miss the Bloody Mary's and Eggs Norwegian on Sunday mornings.

128 Smith Street Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 923-0918

Fish Tales
Hands down the best fresh fish around.  And if you have polite small kids, they might get a gummy fish.  For our Christmas Eve & Brunch menu items (traditional white fish, smoked salmon and bagels), we used to go to Russ and Daughters in the East Village, when we lived there, and continued to do so when we moved here. But then we took a gamble and decided to try out Fish Tales, we have not set foot in Russ and Daughters again.  

191A Court Street Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 246-1346

It's not just that the lady who owns and runs GRDN is named Suzanne, like mine own, that I love this place.  And it's not because I know her, and her kids go to the same school as mine.  It's because she has an amazing eye, and lovely green thumb.  I pray that this spot does well, and she weathers the economic ups and downs of owning a small business.   This is just lovely, and you have to see it for yourself.

103 Hoyt Street, Brooklyn NY 11217
(718) 797-3628

Très Belle Petite Medi-Spa
If you read my blog, then you know about Trés Belle already.  Here is where you go to get pampered, to get renewed, and to erase time.  Just try doing this at home. Impossible.   We should all have health insurance that pays for this monthly.  That's what I want to hear from our upcoming presidential candidates:  Healthcare should include; waxes, facials, botox, massages and... spa castle.

Très Belle Petite Medi-Spa
105 Bond Street Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 797-0033

Diane T.
Okay, Diane... love Diane!! She's smart, funny and knows how to dress me.  She's tall like me, and always knows what will work.  I think my clothing obsession started because of Diane T.  I'm not sure if it's the clothes that draw me in (j. brand jeans, Splendid T-s, Habit sweaters, Diane Von Furstenburg, Milly... Okay, I'm blanking on all the designer wear because there is so many) or the ladies who work there; Diane and Daniella.   I totally wanted to work with them, but it's against her policy to hire people she likes or friends.   Diane grew up in the hood, and knows the lay of the land and the swish of the skirt.  I really, really will miss Diane and the girls.  And the clothes. And the mints.  Tiki will miss the treats.

174 Court St Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 923-5777

When I first met Christina she had a bullet hole in her head.  I'm not kidding. It was Halloween, and her and her ex came dressed as (guessing here) a mafia couple put to rest.  Very realistic I might add.  I didn't even realize at the time she was the same girl behind the desk at Mafalda; her very lovely store with a spectacular stock of vintage pieces.  It's not mad packed, so it's a joy to look through and relish each piece. There are no mothballs here, this is fresh, and the stock looks like it could be knew, but the delight is that it's vintage.  I bought this silky black blouse with the tie in the front there last year (before it was in style again, I might add).  I think Christina set's trends with her vintage finds.  She won't reveal where she gets her stock, for good reason, but wherever it is she's on the right path.  Just recently, when I was there with Victoria, we (or she) spotted this amazing cape/coat with a fox fur collar, in black.   I only do fur in vintage, and can only do it in small bursts.  I said there is no way this coat will fit me, but alas, it did! Before the good Mr. Warfield knew it, he was buying my my Christmas present!  

360 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217
(347) 987-3470

13) BODY
Henry Street Pilates
Pilates changed my body! It taught me how to use my core, how to feel each muscle group in my stomach, and how to stand taller.  There is much argument that it's not cardio enough to break a sweat, or loose weight. And maybe that is sometimes true, but there are days where the sweat is pouring because we work hard in Jan's class.  And Jan, let me tell you.  I love Jan. She has a strong and sweet personality.  Yesterday in class, I laughed so hard, and yet today, my abs and inner thighs are reminding me of just how hard we worked. Pilates gave me a flatter stomach, so even when I'm over eating, and feel the fat creeping back, my stomach doesn't pooch out as much, because the muscles are firm!  Yeah.  So to get the cardio, I play tennis and ride my bike. But Pilates is now a part of my life for good!  

385 Henry Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 873-5302


Fuck* I'm going to miss Brooklyn when I'm in Hamburg for the next few years!  And I just wanted to say, there are so many more wonderful places that I frequent in Brooklyn that I didn't mention above, but are very noteworthy and special to me for many ways, but I couldn't list them all.   I also tried to stay within a 5 minute walk from my door.  But don't let these slip by you either:  Mile End Delicatessen on Hoyt, Cloak and Dagger on Hoyt,  Pacifica on Pacific, Tazza on Henry, Dear Fieldbinder on Smith, 1 of a Find Vintage on Vanderbilt, Sesame Thai on Smith and the friendly staff of Starbucks on Smith and Wyckoff...   

Okay, now you tell me your your favorite Brooklyn spots!   Love to hear from you, always!

* Sorry for saying Fuck.

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