I was going to meet them at Brooklyn Bridge Park by the carousel, but I was about an hour and a half early and starving, so when I passed by a brunch place that seemed popular, I didn’t hesitate to go in and check it out.
Since we were so exhausted from the ridiculous heat outside, we spent quite a bit of time at BRC discussing photography and whatnot, and since it was empty, we didn’t get any grief from the baristas. One of the best things about Dumbo is that it’s never as crowded as it is in other neighborhoods, which makes it so much more comfortable to hang out in.
Jack was a bit “meh” about shopping, so I tried to incorporate some stores that didn’t involve me trying on outfits for an hour (to be honest I was kind of on a tight budget too so it worked out quite well). We went into Dabney Lee since it’s a stationery/gift shop, so I figured I’d find one or two small things and carry on.
They had a few cool items for parties (utensils, invitations, napkins) and the usual things you would find at stationery stores (greeting cards, gift wrapping paper), but they also have a few other items like this personalized pillow, which I adore:
And some NYC related items like this Manhattan signpost print (they have a Brooklyn one too):
The overall aesthetic of the place reminded me of CWonder. Lots of primary and secondary colors, chevrons, and cool typography.
The West Elm Market is the “general merchandise” store of the somewhat expensive furniture store “West Elm” (although this really depends on how you define “expensive”). I was a little bit confused about the fact that they sell tents and gardening stuff, furniture and cookware, but also sell coffee and pastries, but I’m all for stores that will feed you while you’re perusing their stuff so it was a-ok.
I was immediately drawn to these t-shirts printed with “Kale Oh Yeah!”, though I had to think about it a bit since it seemed a bit pretentious, depending on which part of my eating habits you’re more familiar with. As I was thinking about it I found this tote version of it instead, which seemed more useful, so I ended up getting it.
Katie had some fun posing with this old-fashioned phone:
|(Photo by Jack Marczewski and Katie Ett)|
and took a photo of this “Totes!” tote for our friend Nik, who hates it when people say “Totes!”.
Happy with my purchase, we decided we were ready for snacks but not quite ready for dinner, so we headed towards Almondine, a French patisserie (redundant) and had some snacks. I ordered something that looked to me like a dacquoise, though I can’t be too sure since it wasn’t labeled. It had layers of pistachio cake, lemon mousse, rasperry jelly, and meringue. They had a big and small version of it.
Katie ordered an apricot flan and a macaron:
|Photo by Katie Ett|
Jack ordered a turkey and swiss foccacia sandwich, which he later regretted as he tried to nudge the little poppy seeds out of his teeth.
After Almondine we crossed the street so I could buy these big daddy bars (2 pounds) of chocolate at Jacques Torres Chocolate to eat while I watch TV (j/k they’re really for chocolate dipped madeleines, one of my go-to recipes):
and a set of European tourists exclaimed over all the chocolates in the store (I’m not sure why, since they’re from EUROPE).
Happy with our not-so-light snack, we decided to take a walk on the pier as the sun slowly set, basking in the gorgeous and calming beauty of the golden hour (except for when we saw a pasty older gentleman bend over in nothing but a bright yellow thong, that was quite shocking).
We stopped at the corner of the pier for a bit while we discussed what the point was of these big logs bobbing in the water, made assumptions over what they were trying to build on the water near the pier, and discussed how gorgeous the buildings were on the Brooklyn Heights promenade, which we had a full view of. Jack tried to take some emo photos of us, a few of which were really good (it’s fantastic to have other photographers go on walks with me BTW).
|Katie and blurry me (photo by Jack Marczewski)|
As it got dark we got a bit quieter, and so did the rest of the pier, and it seemed like the perfect time to go and have dinner. I had planned on going to Superfine, but they were closed for vacation, so since we were exhausted and sweaty, I decided it was fine to just go back to Almar, the restaurant we had brunch at the last time I did a walk in Dumbo. We easily got a seat for three, and they even graciously accommodated us and moved us to a table for four when Nik arrived to join us.
We started with a special drink the bartender had mixed just for the weather (which was extremely hot and humid). It was made with melon and prosecco, and was perfectly refreshing. We were discussing what to order when this gentleman at the table beside us started exclaiming that their short rib and pork ribs are fantastic, so Katie and I, both rib lovers, had no choice but to order the two dishes. Jack, ever the healthy eater, ordered some kind of whole roasted fish (the one on their online menu is different, which I know because we googled what the fish looks like).
The braised boneless beef short rib came with white polenta and some kind of salsa. They were pretty good, though I’ve had more tender and more flavorful short ribs before.
I appreciated the Italian style roasted pork baby ribs more than the short rib (I was able to try some of Katie’s). They were subtly flavored and had a good ratio of fat to meat. They surprisingly came with a pesto sauce, which isn’t common, but was actually a good combination.
Jack’s fish came out whole, head, tail, collar, eyes, and everything. This is common enough in the Philippines (in fact I would say we had whole fried tilapia almost every other day at our house), so it was of no significance to me, but everyone else at the table exclaimed about how they LITERALLY meant the whole fish.
It was a pleasant meal, despite the mugginess following us inside the restaurant. That, together with the ambiance of Almar becoming more and more “Brooklyn” as the sun went away, made for a very good experience (though not necessarily good photos, as you can plainly see).
While having dinner, I remarked how much I was dying to have ice cream, and Katie replied “Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory!” with gleaming eyes. Again, I’d already tried it the last time I was at Dumbo, but I certainly did not protest. We urged Jack to move along with eating his fish so we could make it, he tried to eat it as fast as he could without choking on fish bones, and we headed towards the pier again for the ice cream.
There was still a long line by the time we got there, despite there being only minutes left before closing time. Luckily we got in before the line was cut off, and Katie and I were able to each purchase a scoop of peaches n’ cream and a scoop of coffee ice cream. They tasted great separately. Together, not-so-much.
We had our ice creams as we stared at the city lights, and Katie lingered a bit to take some night photos of the downtown skyline (I was too exhausted at this point). Then we walked towards the 4 and 5 train station at Borough Hall, discussing which brownstone buildings in Brooklyn Heights we would buy for ourselves if we somehow each had an unlimited amount of money. I forget the choices everyone else made, but I remember thinking I wanted the one that looked like Wendy Darling lived there, and Peter Pan would open the massive window at any moment and fly in.
This was the hottest, most brutal walk I’ve ever been on, and I still found myself having a good time.