Sunday in Brooklyn

Last Sunday I had a fantastic day in Brooklyn. I only go to Brooklyn once or twice a month, but every time I do, I have a great time exploring. Our day started with brunchin Vinegar Hill (a borough of Brooklyn) at namesake restaurant, Vinegar Hill House. The wait was long but we had a few cups of coffee at the coffee bar while waiting for our table. It was a nice enough day that we were able to sit outside in their little courtyard. It was quite charming. It feels like spring is finally here.

After brunch, Kevin’s friend led us down the street to a locked gate housing a mansion inside. I have always had a “”thing”” about mansions. Maybe it’s because my dad is a builder, and every time we moved it was into a bigger home, or maybe it’s the little girl in me who‰غھs fascinated withsecret passageways and whose favorite book was The Secret Garden while growing up. Regardless, after seeing the mansion, it sparked my interest to know who owns it. I did a little research and found a piece The New York Times wrote in 2006:

In a New York of secret delights, the Commandant’s House at the Brooklyn Navy Yard is a secret secret. Built early in the 19th century, the big white house, formally known as Quarters A, is the yard’s oldest surviving structure, with exquisite Federal-style detailing. In private ownership since the Navy Yard closed in 1964, the three-story house can be glimpsed only in bits and pieces over walls, through gardens and, distantly, past high gates. Its broad lawn offers a summer fantasy above the East River (New York Times).

From there we walked to another Brooklyn gem, Jane’s Carousel, which lives in Brooklyn Bridge Park on the East River between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Jane’s Carousel is truly a delight. Even though I didn’t ride the carousel, I have a great appreciation for the 1922 carousel that was restored and is now available for the public to enjoy. What I also love about it is the pavilion it lives under, designed by architect Jean Nouvel. I can only imagine how in awe children must be when they first see this beautiful carousel seemingly out of place next to the East River housed under a glass pavilion. Simply put, it’s magical.

Finally, to conclude our day in Brooklyn, Kevin and I hopped in a cab for a quick 10 minute ride to Bedford. I popped in my favorite jewelry boutique, Norbu (Tibetan word for jewel), swung by Artists & Fleas flea market, and paid a visit to Pigeon Be Pigeon, my favorite only graphic tee designer I really buy from whose screen prints are inspired by the city.

I become a bigger fan of Brooklyn with each trip I make. There is so much to do there and I like the artistic feel. Certain parts of Brooklyn, like Williamsburg, are very trendy/hipster areas, and the rent there is just as much as if you were living in Manhattan. In fact, as Kevin and I were observing the others out and about that day, he made a comment that we weren’t cool enough to be there. Don’t be intimidated though, there’s far too much to see/do in Brooklyn to let its inhabitants keep you away.