Part 2 of our New York trip
I was going through my photographs of NYC and realised that I'd left a few cool places out of my first NYC trip blog. So, here are six other spots you should definitely check out. Each photograph is actually an image gallery, so be sure to click on it to see more!
We visited Brooklyn Flea on an icy cold Sunday, but quickly forgot about the cold once we got inside. It’s not like other flea markets, usually outside and sprawling; instead it’s more of a smaller selection that has something for everyone. There are some stunning vintage furniture sections – we wanted to take so many bits home, including retro telephones and Murano lampstands – as well as plenty of homewares, clothing, jewellery and the usual bric-a-brac. One of my favourite stalls was Dan’s Parents’ House, a crazy, eclectic selection of retro toys, including one of the biggest selections of Star Wars memorabilia I’ve ever seen.
I picked up a dinosaur for my nephew, took photographs of the excess of dolls and dolls’ body parts, and checked out some cool Garbage Pail Kids stuff (a gory version of the Cabbage Patch Dolls, circa 1985). Such a great spot to reminisce, and of course, the perfect place to get inspo for your Halloween outfit.
Saturday and Sunday, 10am-5pm, Industry City, 241 37th St, Brooklyn
I can’t lie: I basically went to Black Tap to take some Instagram-worthy pictures. Ever since I visited Cereal Killer Café in London, I was mega dubious about how Black Tap’s Crazy shakes actually tasted. Cereal Killer Café, for me, is the most over-hyped place in London. Yes, it’s cute that they sell cereal, and yes, while some of the freak shakes look cool on Insta, the quality is the equivalent of eating dry cereal with water. But, I digress.
We went to the Black Tap on Broome St (there are currently four sites in New York) and were super pleased to see that there was no queue. (If you’ve seen any YouTube videos on Black Tap you’ve no doubt seen people queuing in their hundreds, and we were not up for that.) The staff were cool, friendly and quick and our food arrived in no time. Because I knew I was going to order at least two freak shakes, I thought I should make an effort to get some greens in first. I ordered the Falafel Burger Salad, really not expecting much, but I was so pleased when it arrived. There was a huge, crispy falafel patty surrounded by tons of leafy greens, olives, hummus, feta, pickles and tahini. Daniel got the Vegan Burger, which included a black bean patty and he said it’s one of the best he’s ever had.
So, on to the shakes; I went for the Cake Shake (because it’s a limited edition that only lasts as long as they have enough cake) and the Cookie ‘N Cream Supreme Oreo Shake. I was expecting the cake to be dry, and the shakes to taste solely of sugar, but I was so wrong. The Cake Shake features a big-enough-for-two piece of Funfetti cake; soft and moist, packed with frosting, the cake itself is good. Add to that a vanilla frosting rim, whipped cream, sprinkles and a vanilla flavour shake and we were happy – even Daniel, who initially insisted he wouldn’t take even a sip of either one of the shakes, and then proceeded to demolish the cake. (SMH).
The Oreo version was my favourite; with a full-size Oreo ice-cream sandwich (fave) and tons of crumbled Oreos, this shake was seriously tasty, and moreish.
On this occasion, believe the hype, and check out Black Tap. When we go back in September I’ll be trying the Vanilla Cookie Shake for sure.
529 Broome St
I first knew that I had to visit this store after following founder Aurora James on Instagram. Naturally she’s gorgeous, but I also love the Toronto-native’s slightly hippy, bohemian vibe. I also loved the fact that she’s about living life on your own terms, standing up for what you believe in, and seeing the world, despite the fact that she lives in fashion mecca New York. (Check out her interview on the Girlboss podcast here and you’ll get what I mean.) Once I checked out her store’s Instagram I knew I had to come and see their beautiful handcrafted shoes for myself. I know, the word handcrafted itself probably conjures up images of cute but not necessarily sexy shoes, but Brother Vellies covers all bases. There are take-me-to-bed feathered mules, 60s-style glitter boots and super cute Burkina slides, made with fabric handwoven in Burkina Faso by a marginalised community of women. Aurora won the 2015 CFDA /Vogue Fashion Fund and I can see her doing so much more, not only for the fashion world, but women the world over.
4 Fulton St, South Street Seaport
Cha Cha Matcha
Again, Cha Cha Matcha was another spot I wanted to check out ‘for the ‘gram’. It’s uber pink, with green highlights throughout, and of course, I wanted to try their Matcha Latte. One thing I’ll say; they don’t do matcha in New York the same way they do here in the UK. It’s mega bitter, and we found this at other coffee shops too. Even Daniel wasn’t sold, and he doesn’t have a remotely sweet tooth (apart from when it comes to Funfetti cake, obvs). After two mouthfuls I ditched the latte to take pictures, and sample a couple of doughssants (Cha Cha’s take on the Cronut). We tried one strawberry and one green tea. They were okay, but didn’t compare in taste nor texture to Dominique Ansel’s (AKA the creator of the Cronut). That said, it’s a cool vibe, they do a nice pumpkin loaf and the interior is definitely worth checking out.
373 Broome St
Ah this lil’ coffee shop – I wish I could have brought it home with me. Think flowers, coffee, cool beauty products and gorgeous homewares and that pretty much sums up Homecoming. The staff were super friendly and informative. I liked the fact that they only had a handful of seats at the front of the store, while the rear was packed with beautiful flowers and plants and other things you definitely wanted to spend money on. We tried a Golden latte here (turmeric) as well as a regular one. But when I caught sight of something called a Marzipan latte, I headed up to the counter to find out more. The barista told me that they make this latte with little cubes of peanut marzipan and a drizzle of rose water. The result is just heavenly, and kind of hard to describe. There’s a really delicate sweetness to it and you definitely don’t want it to end. We are 100 percent heading back here.
107 Franklin St, Brooklyn
Once again, this is a place where serious food memories are made. It’s kind of just big enough, with a large communal table on one side, and a couple of stools and small tables on the other. There’s also a small range of t-shirts and sweatshirts, but the main focus at Sweatshop is good, interesting coffee-based creations, and a small but tasty selection of food. I think they try to keep things interesting, so some of the drinks we saw on offer that day don’t seem to appear on their website. We went for a golden latte and regular latte and they were solid and enjoyable. Good, fuss-free coffee. Where the wow-factor comes into it is their Egg Biscuit. Imagine a crunchy, buttery, savoury scone, flavoured with cheddar and mustard, topped with the most delicious, stretchy cheese and the most perfect fried egg with a lovely gooey yolk. Oh and some chipotle mayo on the side. Pure amazing-ness. So much so, that I had to find out if they make the biscuits on site; apparently they get them in from Ovenly, which is now top of my list for our September New York trip, obvs.
232 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn
Let me know where you think we should go on our next trip to New York! Hope you love these suggestions as much as we did.x