Today’s outing was inspired by one of my dearest, most adventuresomely vivacious friends, Erin. Erin is one of those rare, inspirational and enviable people who don’t seem to let anything daunt them. For college, she forwent the traditional undergrad degrees by opting for Construction Engineering at Texas A&M, from there she has worked for NASA, work studied in California, lived in China, moved her life up north after falling in love with the most wonderful Canadian boy and is currently being the most exceptional mother to the sweetest baby girl. Needless to say, when I was homesick upon moving to the city I turned to her because I can’t think of someone who has embraced challenging herself and not only survived but thrived by stepping outside of any realm of comfort. Erin’s suggestion to quell my homesickness was to explore my surroundings as I begin placing down roots in our new environment. So today, Jay andI went and sauntered through the Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope.
We had tried to make this trip yesterday but “feels like -37” is ridiculously, inhumanely cold for this Pacific Northwester, and thus we only made it to a coffee shop around the block from our apartment. It is still well below freezing, but it has warmed a tinge which allowed us to be much more successful today.
Our borough choice was promoted after I sat next to a fellow Victorian who happens to be living in NYC on my plane ride home. In idle chit chat he mentioned he lived in Brooklyn and wondered if I had explored much of the borough. I had to sheepishly reply that in all actuality I have been pretty school minded these past 5 months and other than a couple of forays to church at Brooklyn Tab and visits to friends in Dumbo I really hadn’t. Today I decided to change all that. So to the guy whose name I forgot to ask, this one is for you.
What we found was the sweetest, little neighborhood that was bustling with young families swaddling infants and wrangling strollers as they pour from their perfectly manicured and well kept brownstones. Our first stop was a fantastic little coffee shop, Café Regular du Nord, where we finally found some drip that can hold it’s own next to 2% Jazz in our hometown. With a drink to warm our mitten clad hands we walked the main drag, which was lined with curated consignment shops, quaint eateries and an ample number of small boutiques. With it’s coveted green space, excellent schools and beautiful cityscape Park Slope is one of those neighborhoods thats makes you understand how an urban families can forage the perfect niche to meet their needs in this thriving, metropolitan environment.
One more thing. I know in the past you have respectfully bared my begrudging loathing of most Manhattan grocery stores with their cramped aisles and inconsistent stock. So I am happy to report that today’s most riveting discovery was that that Park Slope has a real, tide and true grocery store. It’s traditional layout which accommodates carts and doesn’t shelve items way out of reach of this 5 foot tall girl’s grasp, was enough to make my little heart rejoice at the splendor. It’s the small things that matter, right?