December 1, 2011
One of my favorite Brooklyn neighborhoods, (which I don't get to spend nearly enough time in,) is DUMBO, the area between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges right on the waterfront. The views are spectacular, it's riddled with chic boutiques and cafes and bookstores, the streets are paved with cobblestone and it's just... beautiful. Since the East River Ferry started running from my neighborhood in Williamsburg to the Fulton Ferry Landing, I've been making it a point to get over there more often; (the trip is 4 bucks, 10-minutes, and offers unbeatable views of Manhattan and Brooklyn). In an effort to get to know the neighborhood better, I thought I'd highlight some of my favorite destinations...
I think the photos probably speak for themselves... The Skyline is pretty breathtaking. Both Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges top my list of favorite architectural works in the city, and the waterfront parks have been developed beautifully, too. Added landmarks like the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, The River Cafe, and Bubby's make for a well-rounded (and satiating) waterfront experience.
It's probably not surprising that one of my first destinations every time I'm in DUMBO is at one of Brooklyn's (and perhaps NYC's) best boutiques, Zoë. The Brooklyn branch just celebrated its 5th anniversary and boasts one of the best collections throughout New York. The selection is honestly, really, exceptionally curated (sorry, Jannuzzi) - with some of the best from Stella McCartney and Lanvin and and Carven and Proenza Schouler and Miu Miu and Celine (PHOEBE!) and Givenchy. I fell in love with an amazing wool and alpaca Diane von Furstenberg coat on my last visit, and made the plunge into investing in a proper, quality coat for the first time since I've moved to the east coast... It doesn't hurt that the shape reminds me of a more wearable version of the incredible oversized menswear inspired pieces from the Stella McCartney FW11 collection. Zoë also has an awesome selection of shoes (like my much coveted Miu Miu glitter heels!) and handbags (orange Celine luggage tote.... 'nough said) and casual pieces as well as menswear. If a generous benefactor would like to fund a few shopping trips, for me... feel free to email.
Zoë is located at 68 Washington Street between Front and York, and they also have a shop in Princeton!
Also! The folks from Zoe have been super kind and offered my blog readers 10%
off from now until December 7th with the code "NICOLETTE"! Time to buy those presents... For yourself?!
Brooklyn has a fairly huge community of French ex-pats which means that there are kind of amazing gems sprinkled throughout my fair borough, including Almondine Bakery. Their display case is filled to the brim with majorly indulgent pastries, colorful macarons, fresh baguettes and enormous cloud-like meringues; the chai lattes aren't bad, either. If you're more of a chocolate type of person, Jacques Torres is across the street.
Tip: Almondine is cash only.
If you're into coffee table books (and who isn't, really?) this is your place. I mostly say "coffee table books" in jest, but the enormous warehouse space PowerHouse has hundreds of art and photography books that provide eye candy, thought, contemporary reflection... You know, all that good, artsy-fartsy stuff; (I can say that because I went to art school). I walked out with a copy of Anna Gaskell's interpretation of Alice in Wonderland. They also have a pretty thorough round-up of best-sellers at the front end of the store - loads of Murakami, for example - it's perfect for Brooklynites.
Jane's Carousel is a new(er) addition to DUMBO's landscape, with a glass enclosure designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. The carousel itself was crafted in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and has been completely restored. After a long restoration process that began when the carousel was bought at auction in 1984, the carousel finally arrived at its permanent home this past summer.
Do you know of any secret gems in DUMBO that you'd like to share with me? I'm always looking for new places to visit!