Sunday, August 24, 2008

Last Moments of Summer in the City

I haven't been around NYC a whole lot this summer, so as the season draws to a close, I'm trying to get as much local tourism done as possible before it's too late.

One of the things on my list was to check out the Brownstoner Brooklyn Flea Market, which held promise of bourbon cupcakes, antiques and local artisan jewelry. It's only open Sundays, so I dragged myself to Fort Greene today in the hot sun, wrapping my hair into a bun to prevent sweat from making me have to wash it later. I stumbled across a fossil shop that really messed with my space time continuum, wiping the sweat from my brow and thinking I was back in the Atlas Mountains. After admiring some beautiful earrings and tables made out of bowling alley wood, I didn't buy anything to take home with me, but I did nibble on free samples of brownies and cookies and shortbread and other tasty bits, and paid $1 for a tiny lemon creme cupcake from Kumquat, who didn't have any bourbon cupcakes for sale today. Despite starting with dessert, I also got an amazing pork taco from one of the Red Hook park vendors that sets up shop at the flea market.



Since I was already in Brooklyn, a borough I get to visit rarely, with my appetite already whet for Red Hook, I decided to hop on the G train to Smith-9th Sts and walk over to Red Hook in search of the old trolley cars I'd spotted from the water taxi on my Gowanus cruise. When I got there, I realized they weren't as hidden as I thought they were, so my zest for urban exploration was a little disappointed at how easy they were to get to. Nestled neatly behind the Fairway, on top of some old tracks by a waterside walkway, barriered only slightly by the police, these old cars are barely graffitied, falling apart slowly while families gnaw on popsicles from the neighboring supermarket.

But they're beautiful, and a reminder of how remote Red Hook really is, despite all the new shuttle busses and free water taxi's to the recently-opened IKEA. I'd like to go back and check out the Waterfront Museum, or even see the circus that sometimes performs there.

My feet hurt from all the walking today, especially from the bewilderment experienced in Red Hook without numbered streets, trying to find the waterfront and needing to find a dark bar in which to hide from the sun, use the restroom and have a beer. But I'm glad I actually got out of my apartment and crossed something off the list, as summer slips away and I anticipate two more trips out of town before the autumnal equinox.

Next stop: Coney Island.