At the start of this month we hopped on a plane to New York to meet up with M’s brother and sister-in-law. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but New York is a convenient mid-way point between San Francisco and London, taking between 5-7 hours for each party to get to. I’m not sure I’ll ever get tired of exploring New York, and I have a soft spot in particular for Brooklyn. The four of us stayed in a great Air B’n’B in Williamsburg, just a few blocks from the Bedford Avenue subway stop, making it very central and easy to get to Manhattan.
I wrote a guide to some of my favourite things to do in Williamsburg last year but on this trip we discovered plenty more restaurants, bars and activities, so here are five more things to eat, shop and do in Brooklyn…
We went to the unassuming bar and restaurant, St Mazie, on the recommendation of M’s brother’s friend, and I’m so happy we did as we got to watch the talented Stephane Wrembel who composed the music for Woody Allen’s ‘Cafe Society’ and ‘Midnight in Paris’, perform. The venue has a real European feel and the wealth of small candlelit tables gave it a very intimate vibe.
On Saturday night we ordered two huge pizzas from Vinnie’s Pizza (what constitutes as a ‘large’ over here is very different from the UK) and on my half I merged two of my favourite foods, with a Mac Attack pizza – essentially macaroni cheese on a pizza base. It was a total carb-fest and in hindsight, one slice (rather than four) would have been more sensible, but I’d do it all again.
Score a strike at The Gutter
The go-to blowing alley in Brooklyn is surely Brooklyn Bowl, but when the wait for a lane there was over two hours, we decided to head a couple of blocks north to The Gutter. A lot more rough and ready, we first stumbled across this bar-cum-bowling alley a couple of years ago. It’s very laid back and as they don’t serve food, you’re allowed to bring in your own, which is exactly what we did, ordering a delivery of the aforementioned Vinnie’s pizza and playing a couple of games of pool before hitting the lanes. If you like dive bars and bowling, this no-frills venue is a great way to kill a couple of hours.
Technically I’m cheating here as my serving of cereal milk-flavoured ice cream came from the East Village Milk Bar in Manhattan, but there’s an outpost in Williamsburg too, that I recommended to my sister-in-law after seeing it on Lyzi’s blog. Frankly I could have gone to every location as it was that good – especially when you opt for the rainbow sprinkles and crunchy cereal flake topping.
I’m not a big fan of watching sport on TV, but a highlight of this trip was watching the Brooklyn Nets play the Indiana Pacers at the Barclay Center, near the Prospect Heights area of Brooklyn. Tickets vary wildly in price, from $15 to over $100 depending on which seats you pick, so it can be a cheap night out however, as with most sports venues, the food and drink onsite isn’t exactly inexpensive. The Brooklyn Nets didn’t win on this occasion, but it was fun to support them and watch a game on their home turf.
Well I don’t know about you, but writing this has got me craving another slice of macaroni cheese pizza… As always, if you have any recommendations for Brooklyn not mentioned here, tweet me or leave a comment below.