Getting lost in Brooklyn

Street art in Brooklyn

On my last day in New York City, I went to visit a friend in Chelsea – I almost didn’t reach destination, cause my attention got caught off-guard by the sign of the Strand Book Store and a lively street market to its front. Strand is an old bookstore that displays 18 Miles of new, used and rare books. If you are a book fanatic, it’ll be your paradise for the next few hours!

Fleamarket in Chelsea
Fleamarket in Chelsea

About Brooklyn, shopping and good food!

Anyway, I meant to make the most of my day and ask a true NYC resident what better to do on a Saturday afternoon in summer. “Smorgasburg”, was the word she muttered and which I didn’t understand at all, until I recently looked it up for this post. In fact, this uncommon name, which makes you juggle with vowels, stands for the flea and food market in Brooklyn.

I love flea markets, I love food and I didn’t need any further convincing! So, off we were to the next subway station, eager to discover Brooklyn, its neighborhoods and the exotic fusions of snacks and cookery that awaited us at destination!
(Do not worry, even if you’ve never been to Brooklyn it is quite easy to find your bearings. You just have to follow the caravan of merry and blithesome youngsters… they will lead you safe and sound to the most delicious smelling place you’ve ever been to.)

Smorgasburg – Brooklyn’s Flea & Food Market

This market can be found from April to November on Saturdays in Williamsburg (on the map) and on Sundays at Brooklyn Bridge Park (on the map). Here you’ll find food vendors with motley names such as “Asian dogs” or “Bite me cheesecakes” and “Brooklyn Piggies”, vintage clothing and furniture, collectables, antiques and other sorts of knickknacks. The most impressive part remains the food market itself and its eccentric and astonishing gustatory associations. New York Times calls the food section, the “Woodstock of eating” and I guess that this place is the perfect excuse for a carefree bid of jovial binge eating!

Unfortunately, at that time I was not exactly in high spirits, 3 days of non-stop walking and hardcore sight seeing left some marks, both on my mood and on my feet! We had to find a place to settle down for a bit, … my man couldn’t even negotiate a 5-minute queuing up for a lobster roll. We never ate at the food market, but one thing is sure, next time we’ll start our NYC visit with a pit stop at Smorgasburg.

Despite this slight mishap, we found the Rosarito Fish Shack, where I made up for my previous cantankerous attitude by buying a platter of Brooklyn Oysters. Food is always the best remedy against mood swings and looming tantrums, me says ! Rosarito Fish Shack is also situated in Williamsburg and is a Mexican fish restaurant, tended by Argentine staff with a French Facebook page. I recommend the variety of oysters, one of the ceviches and the Pepito, if still hungry!

Williamsbourg, Brooklyn
Fleamarket in Williamsbourg, Brooklyn

Brooklyn Bridge

After this gourmet break, we decided to return to Manhattan by crossing THE Brooklyn Bridge! Yep, that was the initial plan. Reality turned out to be slightly different: We quickly situated the bridge and started walking in the given direction, we walked and walked and walked… all across Brooklyn it seemed and then suddenly Brooklyn Bridge was out of sight! During this hour-long-walking-without-orientation-hell, we tried asking people for directions and got invited to bloc parties & bbq’s by total strangers and discovered the street art painted buildings surrounding us… but we never found the damn bridge! I think it’s needless to say that after hours of non-stop urban trekking and in spite of all those nice residents that we met; my mood plummeted past the point of no return.

Close to despair, we found Brooklyn Bridge at last, but since it was starting to rain, the sky was turning a threatening shade of deep purple and even a policeman asked us if we really “thought this through” as we marched towards the bridge; we finally admitted defeat and opted for the next subway station (where we found out that not all trains operate on weekends… but that was another story!)

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    • The flea markets, great food and all the nice locals where definitely worth getting lost. Il have a walk on Brooklyn Bridge next time I’m going to the big apple 😉

  1. I Love New York . I was there many time but unfontunetly I never made it to Williamsburg yet! Too bad you didn’t go to Brooklyn bridge park which is right next to the entrance to the bridge. The view is amazing!

    • Yeah, I would have loved to see Brooklyn Bridge Park and the bridge itself… but quite honestly I was so desperate to get to the hotel after walking around 26 km that day 🙂

  2. The most famous quote about Brooklyn is from Mooj in The 40 Year Old Virgin. “I was born in Brooklyn. Brooklyn, okay?”

    Kidding aside, during our trips we love visiting markets—flea markets, wet markets, farmer’s markets, whatever. It makes you delve deep into the culture of a destination. These are probably the first places we’re going to visit if we ever set foot on Brooklyn.

  3. Such a beautiful post. The East Coast has only just come on my radar of places I’d like to visit! I love a good flea market! Great tips – will be sure to come back to this if we ever visit!

  4. I love NYC there is so much to see and do. I did a free walking tour through Brooklyn which included walking over the brooklyn bridge. It is such a great area with some beautiful buildings and good food. I had pizza there. I would love to have visited the market there, something for me to do on my next visit.

  5. Ahh, Brooklyn! The inner parts of the city may be hidden by tourists, but they definitely radiate life and culture. We would definitely put Brooklyn in our itinerary if we ever have the chance to visit the US.

    And yes, the best and freshest local food can be found in the local market. That’s why on our travels, we always include a trip in the local market.

  6. Excited to go back to NYC soon for a visit and explore different areas of the city. I love the pictures you ahead and the names of the vendors are hilarious! Saving this post for the future.

  7. That’s a day well spent, if you ask me! 😀 If I’ve only passed through Williamsburg before, but it sure does have the reputation of a foodie place. Oh and oysters sound like a great idea, I would try them there as well!


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