Saturday, March 14, 2009

NYC: Day 5

Saturday—the day we had planned all along to head to Brooklyn. While Mandi pretended to work, I would check out her job and DUMBO, the area around the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.

Mandi had it all planned out. We hopped on the subway to York Street, walked past Mandi's work, and to a sweet coffee/pastry shop called Almondine. I'm a breakfast person—even though, in reality, it was pushing noon—which automatically predisposes me to coffee shops. But this was the real deal—tons of baked pastries and excellent coffee. Mandi suggested we try the spinach soup as something a bit more filling and, because she mentioned she had never had a macaroon, I insisted we get the biggest, chocolate-iest one.

After breakfast, we wondered around a bit, taking a few photos at the river-side park with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background, before heading to Mandi's work at Melville House Publishing. I met one of her co-workers, whom we relieved from watching the small bookstore in front so she could grab food. Melville House, a smaller publishing house, consisted of a front, bookstore area, and a back workroom, revealed by turning one of two revolving bookshelves. While Mandi watched the store, I thumbed through a few books and generally took in the space.

Once again out in Brooklyn, we headed for the weekly Brooklyn Flee Market a few blocks away. The market split between two indoor areas. Mandi and I wandered around, trying eclectic clothing, snacking on free samples, and talking to people. As we passed by a jeweler, Mandi mentioned she really wanted to find a rough/tumbled, turquoise necklace, which, to her utter and almost childish delight, we found not 20 minutes later.

On the way back to Melville House, we stopped by Mandi's favorite place for soup—she's kind of food-crazed actually—Foragers Market. She picked up a bottle of kombucha tea, a slightly fermented tea drink originally from China. We hung around work for another hour or so, then walked back into Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge. The walk was a bit crowded—lots of tourists who, without fail, blocked progressively more irate bicyclists trying to cross. The bridge led straight into downtown, and we stopped by the site of the World Trade Center—not much to see, just construction—before grabing a subway train back uptown.

Instead of getting off near Washington Square, however, we stopped by Union Square for the Saturday farmers' market. (There are TONS of markets on Saturday.) Mandi picked up some apple cider for later, and we also stopped by Lush so I could be inundated by perfume-y fragrances while she picked up some soaps and shampoo.

Mandi had mock trial again that night, but instead of going, I ran downtown to Chinatown. My mom had highly recommended picking up lychee nuts, a sweet and ubiquitous snack found in nearly every market there. I ended up walking all over downtown that night, heading from Chinatown to Wall Street to the Stock Exchange—which was, of course, closed—and back to Chinatown in a huge loop. It wasn't terribly cold, but I had been walking all night and was pretty tired by the time I found my way back to the subway.

By this time Mandi was out of mock trial, and, both of us starving, we went straight for food. We ate at Quantum Leap, a vegetarian restaurant (by the way, New York is amazingly vegetarian friendly—no surprise there). The nerdy name didn't distract me from the amazing food. I had a veggie burger, which held no pretensions for being healthy, only tasty.

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