If you’ve a reader of my blog, you know I’m a fan of Smitten Kitchen. And if you’re not regular reader, welcome! But if you don’t have the faintest idea who or what Smitten Kitchen is, well, I’m not so sure we can be friends anymore. I reference Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman’s recipes, well, a lot. So you could imagine my excitement when I learned she was writing a cookbook. And going on a book tour. That had several stops in Brooklyn and Manhattan. And I was going to MEET HER.
The thing I love best about Park Slope is the fact that you can pretty much walk into any restaurant and it will be fantastic. You can eat out every night for weeks and find a new place and try new cuisines. If you live in Brooklyn, you know 5th Avenue and 7th Avenue are the main commercial stretches littered with grocers, boutiques, banks and of course restaurants. What people don’t often know about is what lays between and beyond those main stretches. Benchmark Restaurant is just around the corner from 5th Avenue on 2nd Street. If you walked up to the intersection you’d first notice Loki, a comfortable trendy neighborhood bar. Now look down, down to the floor, and you might see a tiny chalkboard directing you to Benchmark around the corner. And that’s where your food journey begins.
Sandy might have left New York City, but it left plenty for us to remember. My husband and I were extremely lucky. We never lost power. Bay Ridge sustained minimal damage, at least where we are, away from the shore. Once the winds die down and its been deemed safe, I’m anxious to explore the waterfront. I saw plenty of photos from yesterday morning, when things were still fairly calm, and our pier and promenade were already underwater. I can only imagine it got worse. But the city is hurting. Our transit system is still down, many homes and offices still without power until who knows when. It will take a while for NYC to feel whole again.
Everyone knows Brooklyn is the best borough, but there are still plenty of cool things to see and learn within the other four boroughs. Yes, even Manhattan can be pretty fascinating if you really look. How did I spend my Saturday afternoon? I braved the heat and embarked on a four hour walking tour of Inwood and Inwood Hill Park with Forgotten New York. Now, I know what you’re thinking, a walking tour? How lame is it for a New Yorker to play tourist and participate in a tour of their own city? Well if you’re on one of those double decker buses that floods every corner of Manhattan and Brooklyn now too, yeah, you’re a bit lame. But Forgotten New York is totally different.