It had been way too long since I visited my sister Angela in New York, so I made it a priority to finally make the trip this summer. Sean and I took advantage of the long weekend over Independence Day and booked our bus tickets to the city, undeterred by the heat wave of 90+ degrees every day!
(July 4 2013) Day 1. Leaving Boston, Arriving in New York City.
We took a 9 a.m. Greyhound bus to NYC, and luckily we hit no traffic on the way there so we arrived at Port Authority around 1 p.m. After making our way through the Times Square crowd we walked a couple of blocks away from the madness and grabbed lunch near Madison Square Garden at Stage Door, where we got delicious – but gigantic – sandwiches and super fresh french fries. After feeling full and happy we took the subway to Brooklyn and made our way to Angela and Eric’s apartment.
We were a little hot and sweaty from the walk, so the four of us spent a couple of hours catching up and cooling off, then headed to Pine Box Rock Shop in her neighborhood to enjoy a couple of beers (one of which became a new favorite – SingleCut ol’ Blackie IPA) and some air conditioning. Once we were cool and hungry we walked around the corner and ate some Venezuelan cuisine at Arepera Guacuco. So delicious! Despite the lack of air conditioning, we thoroughly enjoyed our rice and beans, sweet plantains, and arepas. Yum!
Afterwards, we picked up some beers to replenish the apartment’s fridge and attempted to watch the surrounding fireworks from the apartment building’s roof. Unfortunately, the landlord doubled the alarm system that night, so we were intimidated into ditching the amazing view to instead just hung out and watch what we could from the windows of apartment instead. We were able to see some of the fireworks, so it was not a total loss.
(July 5 2013) Day 2. New York City.
The next morning we ate some delicious NYC bagels at the apartment, picked up some iced coffee, and then got on the subway towards the Brooklyn Bridge. Neither Sean nor I had ever visited the Bridge before, so we were excited. And we weren’t let down! Despite the blazing heat, we walked halfway across the bridge and loved all of the views, the architecture, and the history.
After walking back to the Brooklyn side we visited Bridge Park and found an awesome little area with a gorgeous view of the city and bridge. We sat for a little while in the shade to rest and cool off, and then got some super delicious frozen treats at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. It was just enough to hold us over on our next subway ride to Williamsburg.
Once we got to Williamsburg we started to wander around looking for somewhere to eat lunch. We stumbled upon Spritzenhaus, a German Beer Hall, where we got some sausages with caramelized onions, peppers, and beer mustard, and Belgian french fries – Sean even had a German beer he doesn’t see very much around here. And as a bonus, not only was everything delicious, but it was a little sneak peak into what Sean and I will be eating very frequently while in Germany this summer! Full and satisfied, we decided to take a quick walk through McCarren park across the street and then made our way to a local bar to cool off. We ended up getting a couple flights of beer, and found another SingleCut variety that we all thought was delicious. (Side note: we looked up the brewery, and found out it’s located in Astoria – definitely on our radar for the next NYC visit!)
Even after the flights of beer we had a little time to kill before the brewery opened, so we popped into Beacon’s Closet, the large thrift store located across the street. While Sean didn’t purchase anything, both Angela and I acquired new black leather over-the-shoulder purses, and Angela also bought a couple of shirts. We then stumbled across the studio of a local artist, whose work was gorgeous – figures made of chiseled and stacked slate, some monotone and some with multiple beautiful natural hues of blue, purple, and pink. So awesome! We even talked to the artist for a little bit, and Angela set up a future interview with him for an online magazine she works for.
And then it was finally time to get in line for Brooklyn Brewery’s happy hour. It was so much fun! The main room was brick and full of picnic tables and walls lined with Brooklyn Brewery paraphernalia. We got the cutest wooden beer tokens and with those were able to purchase delicious, fresh beer. Some were old favorites like Brooklyn Brown Ale and Brooklyn Summer Ale, but we also were introduced to some new ones like the Scorcher and Halfling. We were there early enough to snag our own table, and when Eric met up with us a little later on we spent the night playing cards, ate some pizza from the truck parked right outside, and stayed until last call around 11 p.m. We had a super full, awesome day, so we were all exhausted when we returned to Angela’s apartment and pretty quickly fell asleep.
(July 6 2013) Day 3. Leaving New York City, Heading Home.
Believe it or not, the next day was even hotter than the previous! After waking up, we decided that despite our original intentions it was just too hot to make the trek to Coney Island, where there would be large crowds and little available shade. So instead we spent some time hanging around the apartment watching some of the Wimbledon game. Feeling inspired, we also played some ping pong on their dining table (I wasn’t very good), but even that amount of activity caused us to sweat.
After eating lunch at the apartment (leftovers from Stage Door) we took a couple of brief excursions outside, mainly to take pictures of the neighborhood’s amazing street art. We even briefly saw one artist in action! We also visited a few of the surrounding vintage stores, where Sean bought a couple of shirts.
Before Sean and I needed to catch our bus home, Angela and Eric went into Manhattan with us to grab some dinner at Dalton’s near Port Authority. Finally, after saying our goodbyes and remarking on how awesome the weekend was, it was time to catch our 7 p.m. bus back to Boston. Luckily we didn’t hit any traffic on the way home, either. And I can’t wait until my next trip to NYC! We already have a list of things we want to do that time around – like Coney Island, SingleCut Brewery, and the Hammock Grove at Governors Island…