It goes without saying that Brooklyn and Manhattan are intrinsically different, but you don’t quite grasp the charm of Brooklyn until you go in search of its hidden treasures.
The feel of Brooklyn differs greatly from Manhattan. Not as crowded. Not as fast paced. Overall, it is a much more laid-back borough.
A group of us were looking for some eats on our way to the Brooklyn Flea Market and stumbled upon the River Cafe. It wasn’t our first choice, but after long waits kept us out of our initial destination, we chanced it.
Stepping into this hole-in-the-wall restaurant felt like stepping into Italy, making this group of Americans feel like foreigners in their own country. Liquid chocolate, fresh cappuccinos, and homemade pastas that would have made my Grandma proud, were some of the many delectable options that afternoon. I went for a simple dish: the crisp flavors of prosciutto, mozzarella and arugula pictured below.
To the Italians in there, this was their every day life. It felt like they brought Italy with them, and were sharing their secret with us. Italy for an afternoon. And to think a boring name like ‘River Cafe’ almost caused us to miss out on our little Italian escape.
As we continued to the flea, we happened upon a building with an intricately designed facade. In Manhattan, a building like this may go unnoticed, lost in the shuffle of busy passersby. But in Brooklyn, on our leisurely walk, we took notice and stopped to admire the handiwork. Truly a hidden treasure on the streets of Brooklyn.
We finally made it to the Brooklyn Flea, and I must say I didn’t know what to expect…but I was pleasantly surprised.
Every weekend, vendors from all over the tri-state area come to set up shop in Brooklyn. From April through Thanksgiving, the flea market is held outside. But in the winter months, they host treasure-seekers in this old, gorgeous bank.
They have everything…from vintage knick-knacks, to handmade goods. Clothes, jewelry, home goods, and even delicious food. You name it – it was there.
c/o a friend
Even though it was late in the afternoon, and things we a bit picked over, we all managed to find something to take home, knowing full well this wouldn’t be our last trip to the flea.
I really enjoyed my Saturday in Brooklyn, and it reminded me that there is beauty found in everything. All you have to do is look around you. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of your busy life (especially in Manhattan), but if you don’t slow down sometimes, you may very well miss some of life’s hidden treasures.