Ben’s birthday was Saturday. As he’d been under the weather much of the week, we’d made no plans, but Saturday began warm and balmy, and he was feeling much better, so we decided to embark on a wander. We started with a walk to brunch, landing at Vinegar Hill House, about which we’d heard and read awhile back. Very lovely decrepit interior and good food. Cozy.
After leaving, we found ourselves walking in a fine mist of rain which steadily grew more aggressive, and we ill-prepared with only one umbrella. Headed to York street station, where we huddled for too long amid many other soaked peoples, realizing too late that there were no Brooklyn-bound trains running at all! After waiting awhile for a Manhattan-bound, we gave up and left the soul-crushing atmosphere of the tunnel. Happily the rain had stopped by then so we headed into the Heights. This turned out to be a regretted move and helped our spirits little, so after a beer in a rather dour pub we headed to Smith Street, where we tasted a flight of bourbons at Char No. 4. The first time we’d gone there with the notion of giving it a try it had been full to the gills, and looked rather more modern than we’d hoped, so we skipped it. But the interior is actually very warm and comfortable, and the wait staff was friendly and knowledgeable about the myriad bourbons.
From their (spirits raised admirably!) we continued to the Jake Walk, a favorite spot, and especially pleasant on a rainy afternoon with seats at the bar and a mellow crowd. There we split the chicken pot pie which was fantastic. Continued meandering the remainder of what was now evening, and made a great time of all the wandering and walking and tasting.
Pumpkins huddle on a balcony along Gramercy Park.
Birthday weekend of wandering day two took us into the city, where we began with a delicious and amazing brunch of tapas at Boqueria. Sunday was sunny and not a sign of rain, so we wandered near and far, eventually wandering through the Gramercy Park area, to which I’d not been in many many years. It’s such a beautiful area; feels like another place altogether in some ways, and the fall colors looking picturesque against all the brick of the old buildings.
Sun setting beyond the city, from East River Park in Wmsburg
After wending our way far easterly, we jumped on the L to Williamsburg, then walked to the East River Park just in time to see the sunset. (Who ever heard of heading East for the sunset? Well, it can be done.) Following the brilliant sunset, we headed in the general direction of trains to return to our neck of the woods, but stopped along the way to sit for awhile in the lovely interior of Dressler. We didn’t have anything to eat, but the menu looked fantastic, so that will be a dinner for another day. Upon a return to the Fort Greene area, we had a glass of wine at Stonehome (a longtime favorite) followed by dinner at James, leaving us with a pleasantly short walk home at the last.