{walk} New York : Gowanus and Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

Welcome to Brooklyn! Bar in Cobble Hill

Every neighborhood in New York City, across its boroughs, is its own little microcosm. Each borough has a distinctive macro culture but within each resides several amazing pockets of cultural specialization. I have lived and loved this city for nearly 10 years and there is always so much more to see. Some of these micro-hoods, especially in Manhattan change nearly every year with new dreams replacing the crashed and smoked ones. Yet others retain a certain old worldness that seem rather quaint in this day.

While I have definitely seen and experienced some of what this city offers, I realized I have not quite captured and showcased the amazing wonders that one can chance upon while simply walking around aimlessly. For visitors to this city, I always recommend a casual walk around different neighborhoods, weaving in and out of shops, eating places, standing to ponder on an unique door front or some intricate architecture. By the way, I do NOT recommend doing this in the heart of commercial New York, such as Times Square, Wall Street, especially, during busy times (9am - 6pm). Besides, such spots are better viewed at night when the office goers are no longer around to be annoyed by your leisure and you have the streets to yourselves. For the rest of the city, brace for the vibe and pace of the city but set you your agenda.

New York is famous for its energy but it is a true luxury when you slow down. So, anyway, today I want to share a few photos of a little area called Gowanus and Cobble Hill in Brooklyn and where to eat recommendations, at the end of the post.

Gowanus Wall Art - warehouse
Gowanus canal
Gowanus Wall Art - warehouse
Shop Front Smith Street
Smith Street Door Front
Bike Stand outside subway, Cobble Hill
Japanese - Bento Lunch
Van Leeuwen - Front
Van Leeuwen - Table
Van Leeuwen - Coffee

Gowanus is an infamous canal that runs through part of Brooklyn, separating the neighborhoods of Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, both being the strongholds of well-heeled European immigrants since New York City was born.

Along the canal, run a line of warehouse, factories and industrialized set ups from car washes, to lubricant wholesalers, to coffee roasters. Recently, the canal has become a topic of hot debate as years of industrial waste dumping has made it a feral water body and there has been a super fund now instated for its clean up as part of the revitalization of this side of Brooklyn. Whole Foods moved in here recently and the more money has been pumped into it.

Nevertheless, at this present moment, Gowanus stands caught between the old and the new and it makes for an amazing visual journey. Leading across it to the North of Carroll Gardens (formerly an Italian mafia stronghold that still has some of the best Italian restaurants, this side of city), is Cobble Hill, an up and coming trendy neighborhood mostly resided by young professionals. That is important, because, the older neighborhoods of Park Slope and Carroll Gardens are distinctly family centric and hence have a different vibe.

Cobble Hill runs along and offshoots from Smith Street that houses some amazing spots, a mix of the nomadic, charmed past of Brooklyn to the nuevo craft inspired and yoga centric present. It makes for an interesting walk as you will see...

Where I eat:

Breakfast + Coffee


Smith Canteen

Blue Bottle Coffee {but it is there everywhere}

Eat + Drink

Clover Club

Char No. 4


Watty & Meg

Ice Cream

Ample Hills Creamery

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

(photo above)

On the wall