I didn't exactly mean for this blog to be exclusively about travels to the US of the A, but as it happens I'm currently in NYC to a) visit Julia, b) attend Social Media Week, and c) eat my weight in lobster rolls. I've never been to New York before, but somehow it feels completely normal to be here. I had a similar experience when I was in California, and I'm pretty sure it's because of how much we're fed with American influences in popular culture.
We're AirBnb'ing in Bushwick, a former/current working class neighbourhood in Brooklyn that is currently being gentrified beyond recognition by tech workers and hipsters alike. Not that all different from my former London hoods, Clapton. Readers of this blog is likely to know Bushwick from the Girls episode where the four girls go to a warehouse rave. Soshanna accidentally does crack and starts running around like, well, a crackhead. Remember?
So anyway - that's where we're staying. The first night we stayed with Julia's aunt and uncle in their five story house in Chelsea, Manhattan. It was an altogether different experience from Bushwick, but both come with their charms.
The biggest joy when travelling, I think, is trying out the local cuisine. And New York is great for that. So far we've had delicious Vietnamese at Omai in Chelsea (highly recommend), a greasy brunch at Le Grainne Cafe, wondrous burgers at Dumont Burger (#burgergirl), a typical NYC breakfast of bagels and coffees at Little Skips and a celebratory boozy brunch at Cafe Select. Nothing's been bad, but the kale salad at Cafe Select was particularly good, and at a bargain price, too.
My favourite bars so far - Juliette and Brooklyn Surf Bar, both in Williamsburg but wildly different. Juliette offers swanky cocktails (try the Hemingway - yum) and well-dressed hipsters, whereas the Brooklyn Surf Bar is, well, a surf bar. For $10 you get a pint of Pina Colada, and as if that wasn't enough to give a quirky feel, the entire floor is covered in sand. True story. I feel like it's Brooklyn's equivalent of London's Ridley Road Market Bar, though Ridley Road hasn't got any sand - they probably need to step up their game.
Another bar gem worth mentioning is a little grimy place called Leeves. For $16 we got two whiskey sours, one IPA and a bowl of cheese balls(!). Not sure what else one could ever ask for. Watch out for the pool players though.
Enough about food - yesterday when Julia had to work I ventured over to Brooklyn Flea to try and find myself an analogue camera. And I did! Very exciting indeed, I can't wait to develop my first roll. Other than that I didn't find Brooklyn Flea too great. It reminds me a lot of the often overpriced flea markets we have in London, which aren't flea markets as much as it's markets for handpicked vintage pieces and therefore a lot more expensive. You're better off trying carboot sales, I think.
On today's to do list: try out the camera, hit up the MoMA and get my paws on some of those lobster rolls...