Thursday, June 4, 2009

NYC Unexplored #2: The Not So Sneak Preview

(Lol that's me.)*

Forte Greene, Brooklyn

To dip into the bohemian gentrified side of life, our typical New Yorker heads to Soho with its unique shopping stores, restaurants, and artsy events. However, Forte Greene, Brooklyn is our own little Soho before you cross the bridge. The residences are newly renovated brownstones alongside those that are still in the process. The good and “bad” of Forte Greene are separated by Forte Greene Park. But, let’s get into the positive aspects of the area. Surrounded by community gardens, authentic restaurant themes, and a mixture of nationalities; I decided to delve further into this magical place.

My original plan was to take some photographs on the promenade of the Brooklyn Bridge or the waterfront. However, a faithful friend, Blue, prompted me to venture further into Forte Greene. For those of you that know Forte Greene well, you’ve already been enchanted by beauty during the day and especially at night. As for my “stay-cation” friends who travel to Soho, Fifth Ave, and other “exclusive” parts of NYC when they need a break, STOP, take a look around in your closer boroughs and you might find something worth halting for. I must admit, I stop at Atlantic Terminal frequently to hop the LIRR or grab some wings from Buffalo Wild Wings. Yet, I rarely take the time to see what’s behind the terminal other than the Brooklyn Academy of Music. (Another treasure not valued as much as it should be.) Now that I am fully aware of this miniature soho-ish wonder, I’ll be sure to stop by more frequently.

Descriptions are below pics.

Here we have a few shots of the Brownstones in Fort Greene. Blue, my friend who is fascinated by this area is the not-so inadvertent subject in these photos.

The Community Garden:
Two friendly gardeners asked that we come back anytime. One of many of the community gardens, “The Greene Garden” has plots where community members can grow flowers, shrubs, and sometimes even vegetables. The garden is very appealing and homely, and I could definitely see myself catching a few Z’s and metaphors in there. Blue is still raving about the “rusted angel” picture, she wants to write a poem on it. (*sigh* Poets.)

The Park:
Here are a few shots of the entrances to Ft. Greene park. They have a garden walk coming up on June 14th; the flyer is above.

Since I haven’t eaten at all of these restaurants, I can’t give you their great reviews. However, I’ve pulled some great reviews from Google for the restaurants featured here. The theme of each one was incredibly unique inside. My personal favorite was the Habana Outpost which features most of the community events in the area.

180 Dekalb Ave. (718 852 2556)

From Time Out New York and NY Restaurant Guide:

“This Fort Greene cafe churns its own ice cream and sells baked goods from Balthazar.”
“A burgeoning coffee scene may be essential to becoming a hipper hood, but few spots have become the go-to nook like this aptly named mud spot and ice-cream parlor. It's been open since July 2007, and carefully chosen mismatched tables and chairs furnish the skinny space’s pale yellow walls, just across the street from Fort Greene Park. Advice for the caffeine-cautious: Every robust java drink here gets two shots of espresso unless otherwise specified. Velvety ice cream is churned (almost) daily in miniscule batches and always includes a vegan option and playful flavors, like Jamaican Grapenut, which packs swirls of Grapenut cereal into vanilla cream, popular in Jamaica and delectable worldwide. Balthazar supplies the flaky pastries, with other sweets and vegetarian sandwiches from Brooklyn Heights baker Margaret Palca. There’s plenty to sustain the cyber-squatters seeking free wireless and a hi-amp cup of joe and to nurture the yoga students next door.”


195 Dekalb Ave. (718 855 9190)


“Kick off your Brooklyn wilderness safari at one of Madiba's wood picnic tables, but don't carve your name in, okay? Colorful paintings of Africa complement the cuisine. Locals love the oxtail, we love the salmon cakes with caviar for a twist on the traditional. The chatty waitstaff is quick with the strong drinks. In life, you regret the things you didn't do—make sure to hit the malva pudding for dessert.”


271 Adelphi Street (718 643 4806)


“This is my favorite neighborhood restaurant. It's a little pricey, but I try to stop by once a week. Their brunch's deliciousness factor is absolutely off the chain. The staff is just a fun and funky as the atmosphere. This is a great place to go alone or with friends. Make sure to get their sausage at brunch and their cinnamon-dusted Irish Coffee is to die for, for reals.”


757 Fulton Street (718 858 9500)


“Best parking lot drunk this side of the Velvet Revolver tailgate at Jones Beach. Enviro chic spin-off of Soho/Smith Street cafĂ© faves. Sit on a recycled-wood picnic table and dig that the whole scene is powered by the sun. Order inside, take your ticket to the truck, then dig into signature cheesetastic corn, Cuban sandwiches, tasty fries, all dirt cheap. Converts to a flea market for day hours. DJs, screenings, burlesque. Save a buck on your frozen margarita by bicycling the blender yourself.”

I encourage all Ny’ers to give Forte Greene a try if you haven’t. I’ve only covered what can fit into this entry, however, there’s so much more to explore here. I enjoyed myself, can’t you tell?

there is nothing more poetic
than sitting on a bench in Brooklyn
under an awning
hiding from the rain and writing in a journal
preferably a poem
i could
use the rain as a metaphor for tears
the backdrop:
call it the Soho of Brooklyn
and use the cafe's as inspiration
but i won't
Brooklyn is beautiful
no latte'
no simile
no fluff
to see more of the photos taken during this NYC Unexplored, click: FLICKS


AZscorsese said...

Great coverage.
Amazing photography.
If I lived in NY I'd definitely make a stop or two through Fort Greene.

Little Miss Knobody said...

Great post. These are some really amazing pics. I'm going to have to check out some of these spots the next time I'm in Brooklyn.