DAY 115: Brooklyn, New York
Miles traveled: 15,352
States visited: 40
Weather: 84, sunny
Ok, the photo above is from Manhattan and not Brooklyn, but it’s still NYC so I’m using it. As mentioned in the last post, Robin and I went to New York City this weekend and stayed on the Lower East Side with my cousin. We didn’t have time for much nightlife, but after the festival on Saturday, we went to the official afterparty and rubbed shoulders with some bands – literally. The singer from Tokyo Police Club kept bumping into me while I was waiting at the bar.
Here’s a shot of me, Robin, and my cousin Chris at the party that came out a little dark.
When I found out there was a bridge from Brooklyn to Staten Island, I immediately decided to take it, since I’d never been to Staten Island. I’d also never been to the Bronx, so I thought it would be fun to through both areas, so I could finally say I’ve visited all five NYC boroughs. As we approached the bridge to Staten, I saw a sign that said, “Last exit before toll.” No big deal, I thought. I had already prepared for the possibility that there might be a toll of a couple bucks to drive on this bridge.
Then I saw the sign: “Toll $11.00.” I immediately pulled off and turned around. My Staten Island dreams were dead. No way was I paying $22 roundtrip just to pass through Staten Island for a few minutes! Now I know why nobody lives there.
We ended up driving through a good chunk of Brooklyn and saw lots of neighborhoods I hadn’t seen before. We stopped for lunch at Nathan’s Hot Dogs, a Brooklyn institution since 1916. I got a chili dog. Plus, they have a condiments bar with free sauerkraut for people to put on their dogs. Or, in my case, to load a huge pile onto my plate and eat it plain. I’m always willing to take advantage of free food!
I drove by Columbia University, where I lived for a couple months during a 2002 internship, and was pleased to see that my favorite ice cream stand is still there! Pinnacle, on W 115th & Broadway, still has the best strawberry frozen yogurt I’ve ever had. We also got some nuts from a guy on the street. Those things are so tasty – you can’t visit NYC without indulging in the nuts.
We spent some time in Williamsburg, the hipster capital of the universe. Actually, we parked the van there all weekend on the street for free, which was quite an accomplishment in this city. We stopped at Beacon’s Closet, a thrift store that I used to love, but now that I’ve been all over the country and seen other thrift stores, this one actually isn’t very good. Most of their t-shirts are large and x-large, because the skinny scenesters buy up all the smalls and mediums.
There are a just a few bicyclists in this neighborhood.
We had a great time staying with Chris and Melody. Now it’s off towards Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the far northeast.