Lower East Side #9 – The Proximity to Brooklyn
October 18, 2010 § Leave a comment
The eternal battle: Manhattan versus Brooklyn. Which is hipper, more current, has a better quality of life and better food? Since I’ve lived in New York, it’s been Manhattan for me, with only a few visits to the other side of the East River.
But now, unbeknownst to me at the time that I moved to the Lower East Side, I am two stops from Brooklyn on the F train. Also, unbeknownst to me, is the benefit this happenstance.
Example #1 – The Brooklyn Book Festival – Even on a dreary, rainy Sunday in September, this festival drew tens of thousands of book lovers, including me, to downtown Brooklyn. The line-up of authors and panels was impressive and informative. My thrills included, Siri Hustvedt, T Cooper, Stewart O’Nan, Kate Christensen, Sam Lipsyte, Rakesh Satyel, and Monique Truong. Three hours of brilliant conversation – all for 15 minutes, each way. Time spent? Minimal. Value gained? Priceless.
Example #2 – The Brooklyn Flea Market – I went on an insanely beautiful Saturday morning, which meant the outdoor location in Fort Greene (as opposed to indoors at One Hanson on Sunday). There are over 150 vendors of vintage clothing, boots, and shoes, jewelry, rugs, furniture, you name it. And, yes, there are some fantastic food vendors should you get a bit peckish during your visit. (Who knew that a piece of Whole Wheat Spelt Nut bread with a smear of butter could taste so good? The folks from Brooklyn based SCRATCHbread, clearly. And you’ll also find fish tacos, and pizza, and burgers…) I had no intention of buying anything. Silly. I left the Flea Market with two trade paperbacks ($5) and a fantastic vintage dress ($30). And, I’ll be back. To shop and eat … I found a few restaurants on Dekalb Avenue that have my name on them.
Example #3 – The Brooklyn Academy of Music. I ventured across the river to BAM even before I moved to the Lower East Side. The Harvey Theatre is a fantastic space. I saw Patrick Stewart inhabit Macbeth, and Ibsen’s The Cherry Orchard, as part of The Bridge Project. It’s closer now, so I’ll be going again soon.
I may be a Lower Manhattan gal, but I definitely appreciate what Brooklyn has to offer, and there’s a lot.