It was extremely muggy weather this morning and I felt like lie down and do nothing. But the loft probably is the stickiest place then, so I opted for the waterfront again. I tried to find out how to get to Vinegar Hill to walk to Dumbo from there, where the rain had driven me out last Sunday. My local B62 Bus seemed to go to Vinegar Hill. I knew this would take me some time but there was no subway connection and I expected to see a lot.
It did not take me as long as I had expected, but when I left the bus I felt like beeing in the middle of nowhere. I found myself in a housing estate right next to the former Brooklyn Navy Yard. A basketball game just took place, one team in red, another in blue. It was loudly commented.
Vinegar Hill Historic District was just around two Corners however. It is not big and nothing spectacular. The neighborhood was established in the 19th century and mainly Irish immigrants settled there. In the early 20th century many houses were torn down to make room for industrial plants and warehouses. In the late 20th century it was rediscovered by artists in search of affordable space. Today it is an interesting mix of buildings.
Dumbo was as busy as last Sunday. Lots of people were walking around, sitting in cafés or on benches or stones at the waterfront.
Dumbo (Down under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) is a stunning mix of industrial buildings still in use and others transformed into stores and lofts. Streets run downhill and offer great views of Manhattan Bridge.
From the waterfront Brooklyn Bridge can be seen as well and is fairly close.
Smorgasburg, where I had been to in Williamsburg yesterday moves to Dumbo on Sundays. A smaller version of it, not all stalls are there. I had Vietnamese summer rolls with shrimps and Vermont Maple Lemonade today (not sweet at all), eating it on a bench having views of both bridges and Manhattan. When – again – it started to rain I decided to go book-browsing in Manhattan. The F train took me to Broadway / Lafayette, where Housing Works Bookstore was waiting for me. I found three books I could have bought – Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn and two about Travel Writing – but I convinced myself not to buy more novels before I finished the current one and wrote down the other two to check if I can get them from the library. I am on my way to get reasonable.
Having left the bookstore empty handed I walked up Broadway to make another stop at the Strand. There I was tempted to buy a collection of short stories by Shirley Jackson and Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy, which I definitely want to read as long as I am here. But it will wait for me and I do have plenty of short stories to read first. Good girl – or maybe stupid girl.
I did not want to take the L train home from Union Station, so I turned right and walked along 14th street over to 1st Avenue, the last L stop in Manhattan. I think I never walked there before. 14th street is the northern border of the East Village and mainly commercial. Bars, bakeries, banks, delis, big computer and furniture stores, supermarkets and a branch of NY University.
In the L train three young boys gave an acrobatic dance performance. One provided music (hip hop or something), the other two flung themselves around the hand rails and poles in the wagon. An elderly Hispanic lady with a walking stick supported them eagerly by shouting and moving rhytmically in her seat.
I came home just in time to get ready for my free Memoir Writing Class at Word books at 7 pm. Arriving there I noticed that their blackboard did not announce the class but the next event on Tuesday already. I frowned, entered and asked. The girl at the desk said, she thought it was earlier today. There were people down in the event room in the afternoon. She checked on her computer. The class had been at 2 pm. Their paper and the list in the window said 7 pm. So this time at least it was not my fault. Nevertheless I was annoyed. Without a target I walked down Franklin, not knowing what to do and where to go for dinner. I ended up on Nassau Avenue, where I found something like a beer hall called “Spritzenhaus”. This is apparently the place where Greenpoint’s young people go. Lots of youngsters were sitting inside and loud music was playing. Two blocks further at Lorimer Street I checked the Oyster Bar. No chance to get an outside table. But I found a place I had not noticed before. A Mexican restaurant called “Sindicate de cocineros” having just a small menu and a cozy interior. Chandeliers are hanging from the high ceilings, dark wooden tables and chairs are grouped on an old wooden floor. A big bar covers the center of the place. A half wall topped with old (ore old looking) tiles divides the space in two rooms. The other walls are wiped in brownish yellow and decorated with framed old photographs. I treated myself to a Jalapeno Basil Margarita and ordered Enchiladas with braised lamb, marked as a small dish. It was delicious and arranged on the plate very creatively. But in fact it was a small dish. So I had to have caramel Flan afterwords. I guess it was my most expensive dinner so far, but that was the Margarita’s fault, which was the bookstores fault. Not my one.
What I learned today: Double-check on important events – don’t rely on paper.