If you know us at all, you know most of our weekends are spent at yard sales, thrift shops and flea markets. Wha – Wha- What? It was only fitting that one of our summer getaways include a pilgrimage to the Brooklyn Flea. We first learned about the Brooklyn Flea from our friend Lara Spencer and her HGTV show Flea Market Flip. If you haven’t seen it, contestants find distressed bargains and upcycle them for re-sale with the winning team taking home a $5000 prize. Yes – it’s on our bucket list.
The mecca began with a trip to Red Bank to visit our daughter and catch up with what’s going on in our blog’s namesake. Arriving Friday night, we stopped at SuperFoodTown and picked up fixings for a stress reducing picnic at Sandy Hook State Park, enjoying the cool breeze, soft sand and sounds of breaking waves. Remind me again why we moved away??
As the sunset we headed back to town and caught the late showing of Chef, playing at the BowTie art cinema, but not before we got 30 minutes of an over the top fireworks show that looked like bombs bursting in air. Had to be a big bash on the Navesink – maybe Jon Bon Jovi’s birthday party. Lucky us, it was bigger and better than the 4th of July!
Back to the 3 thumbs up Chef movie … have we told you about how we want to quit our jobs, buy a food truck and name it Casa Roll? We put comfort casseroles in tiny tins and see the country one city at a time. Who’s with us??
We got up early Saturday to have brunch with our kid before the trek to Brooklyn. If you find yourself hungry in Monmouth Beach, NJ in the morning, go find My Kitchen Witch Cafe. They don’t take reservations, so be prepared to wait. Worth it! The homemade biscuits with strawberry butter are scrumptious.
Fueled up with the GPS aimed at the Ft. Greene flea, it would take about an hour from the Jersey Shore with a trip past Staten Island and over the Verrazano Bridge into the rundown and crowed city of Brooklyn. This was not what I expected!
Luckily we found street parking just around the corner and excitedly walked a block to the much anticipated Brooklyn Flea. 150 vendors and a healthy crowd, we navigated booth after booth in search of Flea Market Flip bargains we could upscale.
Wah Wah Wah 🙁 This was a flea market where the same old blue bell jar we bought at a rummage sale for $1 was selling for $22. Checked it all out, every square inch. We found this fabulous table made of reclaimed wood. I guessed $450. Try $1600. Sticker shock!
We’ve decided to stick to yard and estate sales! Abandoning the flea and a bit disappointed, how could we salvage this day if we couldn’t salvage anything else? Turning to our cell phones, we went in search of craft beer. Just a mile away and a walk through the Pratt Institute, we headed to the Brooklyn Tap House where the website touted 40 pours.
There were a lot of interesting things about this place. It was in an ethnic neighborhood and there were only 2 people we saw working on this busy FIFA Saturday. The thing was, no one was drinking tap. Champagne, Remy and shots seemed more popular than beer and the DJ spinning in the garden silenced FIFA on the big screens. We were fishes out of water, but did enjoy a Ommegang Belgian Ale from Cooperstown before bolting for the mile walk through the concrete jungle back to our car.
Not giving up on the idea of Brooklyn, we thought we just hadn’t found the cool part. So we headed to Williamsburg on the other side of town. We fit right in with the 20 something hipsters paying Manhattan prices to live on the wrong side of the east river. Our search for the great brew pubs of Brooklyn took us to the Spuyten Duyvil, known online as the temple of beer. With no sign on the door, it was the temple of pretentiousness, serving $15 drafts and a charcuterie and cheese and menu. We walked in and walked out in search of our next stop – d.b.a.
d.b.a. was actually very cool. Another ommegang and we were happily watching FIFA but felt like a snack. Unfortunately they don’t sell food, not even a bag of pretzels. We considered the old man who walked thru hocking empanadas, but when no patrons partaked, we passed and started on our journey to The Lucky Dog. This dive bar review said it was a great place for a craft beer where little dogs run around your feet. This we had to see! Opening the door to the bar showed no dog in sight, so we made our way to the back patio where the SPCA meets the mad men – we’ve never seen so many people passing second hand smoke to man’s supposed best friend. We wanted to call the rescue squad but afraid of the abusers so we moved on to our next stop … Rosamunde, also known as the Sausage Grille.
More like a sausage factory, our bratwurst was cold, the hoagie soggy and the peppers and onions slimy. They took it away and brought us a hot one. Another strike out in the hipster hub. Last stop on our tour was a walk to the east river to catch a view.
We knew Manhattan was across the river and we wished we were there standing among the boulders, weeds and dead fish, but found peace among the 20 beatniks doing yoga behind us. We realized we are tragically unhip in Williamsburg eyes.
Thankfully we closed the day with a traffic jam ride home, due mostly to construction and congestion. Farewell Brooklyn!