It started on Friday evening with dinner. It ended on Sunday evening with rosé. My friends were only supposed to come over for the evening.
But our "night out" included David Lebovitz's chocolate mousse and rhubarb cocktails on the roof terrace, complete with hats and sunglasses. After falling asleep while watching The Incredibles, we woke up and I decided to make brownies and we went off with them "cooling" in hand in the 100 degree weather for a picnic in the park. After that there were more cocktails, The Incredibles (again) and us falling asleep, again.
Sunday morning found us walking in the sustained 100 degree heat over to Red Hook, a fantastic brunch at on the roof at Alma, with white sangria and the best margarita I've ever had (pineapple and vanilla bean – I know it sounds sweet and sickly but it wasn't) and then we ambled down Van Brunt, hopping into Saipua, the splendid Erie Basin and the renowned Lenell's.
We then found ourselves in a cab over to Atlantic Avenue, won over by the beauties at Darr, their sister – or should I say brother – men's store across the street, Hollander and Lexer. We then found ourselves at Butter, dizzily trying on shoes we couldn't afford and sunglasses we lusted after. Shored up by Vietnamese sandwiches and Vietnamese coffees from Nicky's, we walked back through Downtown to DUMBO. I realized that not only had my friends not left my house since Friday, but we hadn't left the borough. Brooklyn bloody rocks! While I'm at it, I'll list some of the places to go in Red Hook and Atlantic Avenue after the jump.
Red Hook (I'm regretting not living there now)
Good Mexican food if you can stand the décor – or go in the summer and bask on their lovely rooftop with views of Brooklyn and Manhattan. Fantastic drinks, good guacamole and a killer brunch.
187 Columbia Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn
All whimsy here – flowers, soap and a vintage dreamy feel. Smells nice!
392 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn
Is how I want my house to be. Lots of seemingly unrelated objects displayed thoughtfully and lovingly.
388 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn
Sweets, cakes and sugary goodness. Slightly uncomfortable interior, but get your cake and go sit by the pier overlooking the Statue of Liberty.
359 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn
Expensive for regular wines, but they boast an impressive selection of Bourbons, including the infamous Red Hook Rye. Terrible interior, but try enough Bourbon and it won't matter.
416 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn
Wine bar that you would go to if you lived in the area or found yourself there, but not somewhere to search out. Can be very sweet and cosy or dull and overpriced, depending on what mood you're in. A little Restoration Hardware for my taste.
414 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn
Again not a place you would make a special trip to go to Red Hook for. I thought the food was overpriced and that storing the wine above the heater was unnecessary, but Jenn swears by their burger.
391 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn
Hope & Anchor
You can't go wrong with their brunch before shopping at Fairway, and soon, Ikea. Apparently they have karaoke at the weekend too, which I am definitely going to go to.
347 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn
An incredibly curated antique's store in a sea of hodge podgery. A little too cool for school, almost as if Freeman's did homeware, but lovely stuff nonetheless. That's probably down to the taxidermy.
389 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
Hollander & Lexer
Also by the Darr owners, H&L is a men's store that is curated within an inch of its life, but still manages to be extremely appealing. I always want to buy everything in there. These guys certainly know what they're doing.
358 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
A great antique's store if you aren't claustrophobic and don't mind people telling you that the pieces you enquire about are too expensive for you. It's nothing like its website.
365 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwiches
A little hole of a place with authentic Vietnamese fare. And that means delicious!
311 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
I love this place. Really well considered, beautiful women's clothing and a real sanctuary on a hot day! I could live here.
389 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
The best source for imported foods, particularly dried fruit, nuts and coffee. If you can make it past the crowds, which I can't.
187 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
Darr image by Darr, rooftop view by Alma