Still recovering from blistered feet, buggered knees and the general side-effects of three days worth of 7 hours walking, we grit our collective choppers and soldier on as we must. Number big son made the return voyage to 5 Pointz and discovered hitherto undiscovered (by us yesterday) sides to the graffiti monolith. Pip and I made good on our plans to venture back to Williamsburg’s foodish market – Smorgasburg, down by the river, close to Greenpoint. In order to reach the market, we could have walked, though in truth it would have meant me limping, about 20 minutes up Bedford Avenue and down to the venue, or we could follow a rather circuitous subway trip that would have had us on M train to Union Square, then onto the L train back to Bedford Avenue. Trains only meant I had to limp 100m or so to the station. Trains also meant that after we had waited about a half hour for the M train and heard an announcement reminding us that the M train wouldn’t be coming till Monday morning, we leapt onto a J train, and then hiked through Essex St station to the Q train, and then through Union Square station to the L train, before reaching Williamsburg about an hour after we left home.
I’m sure this excursion made my feet last an extra few steps later in the day. Williamsburg on a Saturday is all middle-aged men, wearing black, with black-rimmed glasses, sneakers, and yoga mats under their arms, and hipsters of course, and tourists. Hundreds of ’em. It’s a scene, baby. We shouldered our way through the bearded masses and headed down to East River Park, stopping only to take coffee and brioche at a lovely tiny café called, Bakeri. Latte cups down, it was off to the Smorgasburg.
This was an artisanal food event to behold, not hugely large, but well-stocked with all manner of foody funk. From the ever-so-everywhere handmade ice-cream sandwich, through Kentucky Beer Cheese, fruit sodas, deep-fried anchovies (who could resist a stall called ‘Bon Chovie’ – not me!), baked Flintstone-style turkey legs, and so much more…
We sampled much, purchased some and took coffee from a stall with a line up of 8 drip filters and headed up the road to Artists & Fleas, the Williamsburg and Chelsea Market where a range of vintage clothes and stuff and hand-made t shirts and records and jewellery and everything were crammed into a not very big shed with not very much space between the rows of stalls – a jolly good browsing-old time was had by all.
Our team had returned to three by this stage – number big son had returned from the Isle of Long – and we headed back up to the main drag to seek out new record stores, lunches and to boldly go to places we had not been before. We struck out on the record stores – too indie. We also struck out on the lunch – too crowdy. So we boldly hailed a cab and made for another market across the bridge on the Lower East Side at Hester St. We struck out here too – too pissweak. The cab was a win though – the driver was way cool and way New York-ish from Staten Island with a plan to install coffee distribution points along the Williamsburg Bridge. In search of further record stores, we headed back down Orchard but failed to get much beyond a small bar called, Dudley’s. A cool little place that, once we were in and seated at the bar, turned out to be Australian complete with flat whites and James Boag’s on the menu. Honest, it was totally an accident!
My feet rested and our determination to find Other Music completely shot (mostly by beers at 4pm) we made for the Essex Street Market and a butcher for steaks to cook at home and cheese to eat before steaks and wine to drink with cheese – a natural progression. Facetimed some of those we had left behind and planned out tomorrow’s investigations.
We will breakfast on the really lower east side; visit the New Amsterdam Markets, then head off to the 9-11 Memorial. To enable this hike-fest, I have this very evening visited the drugstore and purchased various salves and wadding for my feet.