Maybe because the VMA’s aren’t so “little”, and maybe because the scope of them doesn’t quite jive with the focus of my blog, but how is it that I didn’t know that the VMA’s were going to be in Brooklyn until Saturday, the day before they aired!? My husband blames it on me not fitting the demographics of the VH1 and MTV viewers – yeah that’s it!
Last weekend, my husband and I found so many “little big things” in Brooklyn worth knowing about that don’t create such chaos by attending them.
My weekend began at 3pm with one of my last early Fridays from work. I stopped by the new Fairway on 6th Avenue to pick up scallops for dinner. The store is small in comparison to the others but it has pretty much everything you need and branded as a Fairway and so glorious to shop in.
After running with my Marathon training group Saturday morning, Jayson and I headed out to Rockaway Beach at 68th street to catch some sun before our surfing lessons with Locals Surf. This was our first time surfing and after doing my research I chose Locals to learn from as their lessons are 2 hours long for $80, we had 3 people to 1 instructor and lets face it, I’m a sucker for marketing and their website really spoke to me. We had a blast. The instructors were patient and personable, guiding us take advantage of the oncoming waves which we were able to get up on the board for most of our attempts.
On a side note, we usually hang out at 96th or 106th street when we go to the Rockaways but apparently all of the surfers are at 68th. Although there are only a few Port-a Johns (the million dollar bathrooms that the city is installing aren’t functioning yet) and not too much to eat, this part of the beach is far less crowded than the other areas.
After a long run, followed by a few hours riding waves it was time for an afternoon cocktail. I had heard about the Playland Motel on 97th street (closer to the more frequented parts of the beach) and had to check it out. It sounds a bit cheap like it’s a pay-by-the-hour sort of place right? It was exactly what the website had portrayed – fun, trendy, relaxing, sexy.
The inside bar area was large with wooden paneling anchored by a huge bar with enough seating which felt like a bungalow in the woods.
The back “garden” if you will, is an extension of the beach with a huge playground. Beach chairs and umbrellas in the sand (with waiter service), bocce ball, ping pong, a DJ playing cool beaching house tunes and of course an outdoor bar. There are some tables for proper eating without the sand. We didn’t stay too late but I have a feeling as the night goes on, the Playland can get very playful and it might be a good thing that they do actually rent rooms at the Motel!
2 drinks and a snack later, we rushed out of there, back to our apartment to quickly change and meet our Business School friends for dinner at Prospect. Open less than a year, it has been given rave reviews.
Many of the reviews including the one in the NY Times, recommends ordering the tasting menu $80, however we found being that there were 4 of us were able to order many more dishes to share and sample and with 2 drinks each, the cost was almost half per person.
(photo courtesy of NY Daily News) The food lived up to all of its reviews – inventive, using a brilliant combination flavors and textures, and fresh. Although cozy with a splash of elegance, the only drawback was the lighting. It was pretty dim in there and therefore it was hard to see exactly what we were eating – hence having to use someone else’s photo of the decor and the lack of photos of the food.
Onto an after dinner cocktail.. this long day wouldn’t be complete without a perfect ending. Per the recommendation of our server, we stopped by Dick & Jane’s for a nightcap. It was a cute cocktail den with fair prices in a neighborhood that my friends tell me 20 years ago they wouldn’t step foot in. It would be a great place to grab a drink in the middle of the winter as well. Although cool on a hot summer night, the brick made it for a warm and cozy interior.
Brooklyn has been working hard to make a strong argument for Manhattanites to leave their borough but for now I like it the way it is. Brooklyn has its gems that aren’t overrun. Making dinner reservations for a Saturday night and grabbing a drink is pleasurable and feasible – making it easy to focus on what is important – good company!