24 Hours in NYC: Brooklyn, Burgers & Rockabilly

Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2019

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24 Hours in NYC:

Brooklyn, Burgers & Rockabilly

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With David playing “Gretsch Day” at StreetSounds in Brooklyn, we decided it would be a great excuse to go up a day early and enjoy the sights and bites of Brooklyn.

As we crossed the Verrazzano Bridge into Brooklyn, it was a picture perfect day. Not too hot, not too cold and not too sunny. Great for walking around the city.

I’d heard about this place called Diner. It’s in a pullman car from the 20s underneath the Williamsburg Bridge.

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They don’t have regular menus because it changes most days. So, our server sat with us and wrote the menu on our table! Check out the video below…

We’d also heard that they had THE BEST burgers in town. So naturally, we got the Burger. But, also went for the Fried Chicken Sandwich. Both were great!

 

I did a little research and found The Hoxton Hotel in Williamsburg (THE coolest part of Brooklyn). Wow, what a place! You enter at the top of the steps and walk down into the lobby.

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Our room was on the top floor of the hotel with floor to ceiling windows.

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Once we were settled in, we ventured up to the rooftop restaurant, Summerly. Here’s a sweeping look from the rooftop bar of the NYC skyline…

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We just couldn’t get enough of this panoramic view!!!

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David said that he wanted to find a record store (and more) called Rough Trade. I looked over the railing and there it was! He went to check out the record store while I finished my glass of sparkling rose 😉 On the way down, David did his happy dance.

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After our visit to the rooftop bar and Rough Trade, we explored all that The Hoxton had to offer. First up, the lobby. It was so welcoming with cozy areas throughout. There’s a wine and coffee bar and even a little movie theatre with just two seats!

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Klein’s, the all-day restaurant has a beautiful exposed kitchen just off the lobby, a lounge area, and an outdoor amphitheater.

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Just above is the Back Yard, a casual outdoor terrace with loungers and a ping pong table. I’m told that they serve local brews, classic cocktails, and finger-licking-good bites from the grill.

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And it overlooks the lounge/amphitheater below!Brooklyn June 7-8, 2019-9910

With all that exploring, we worked up an appetite. I had done tons of research for dinner in Williamsburg, and came up with Lilia. It’s one of the toughest reservations in town. You have to call the restaurant 30 days in advance. We were lucky to get a table booked at 7:45.

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We arrived a few minutes early and while we waited, we saw that there were pianos in the square across from the restaurant. It’s a program called Sing For Hope. Their mission is to “transform lives by using the power of the arts to create a better world.” We met a lovely young man named Fabio, who travels around the world playing these pianos. He was nice enough to get a few photos of us at the piano.

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The restaurant was bustling as we were seated in the redesigned auto body shop. Great vibe, beautiful people, and the plates that were wizzing by looked amazing!

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I read a few reviews and the Cacio e Pepe Fritelle came up again and again. So, did the Grilled Clams, and the Rigatoni Diavola. We ordered all three and also added the Grilled Chicken Thigh and Leg with fingerling potatoes, grilled lemon and garlic.

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Cacio e Pepe Fritelle…

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Grilled Clams…Brooklyn June 7-8, 2019-0002

Rigatoni Diavola and the Chicken…

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Everything was wonderful. Including our waiter. He was able to move us when a table of 6 was right on top of us. He was well versed in which wine would go best with my meal and was happy to share tastes to make sure I was happy with my selection. David said he was the best server he’s ever had. The guy was great. I wish I had gotten his name.

As we walked back through the streets of Brooklyn on a perfect June night, we took in all of the sights and sounds of the neighborhood. David broke into song as he discovered the Monkey 47 mural. See video below.

We took one last look at that New York skyline before slipping under the covers.

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Rise and shine, Brooklyn!

David wanted me to check out Rough Trade before we had lunch and headed over to the  “Gretsch Day” event.62265080_10156543842752815_4241535476181237760_n

Besides having a vast collection of records, there are books, merch, and they partnered with Blackwing Pencils, which were originally manufactured less than a mile up the road in the 1930s. They even have live music every night in a theatre at the rear of the store.

Here’s David enjoying the music as he meanders through the store.

And they even have a photo booth! Rough Trade is definitely worth a visit.

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When in Brooklyn, one should have Brooklyn pizza and Two Boots was suggested. We were told that they use a unique cornmeal crust. And man oh man, it was delicious!

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As we made our way over to StreetSounds for Gretsch Day, we drove through another area of Williamsburg that is the home of a large Hasidic Jewish community. I was fascinated and wanted to learn more about their Brooklyn history.

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Hasidic Jews first moved to the neighborhood in the years prior to World War II, seeking to escape the difficult living conditions on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Beginning in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the area received a large concentration of Holocaust survivors.

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The Hasidic community of Williamsburg has one of the highest birthrates in the country, with an average of eight children per family. Each year, the community celebrates between 800 and 900 weddings for young couples, who typically marry between the ages of 18 and 21. Because Hasidic men receive little secular education, and women tend to be homemakers, college degrees are rare, and economic opportunities lag far behind the rest of the population.

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With the gentrification of North Williamsburg, Hasidim have fought to retain the character of their neighborhood and have characterized the influx of what they call the artisan as a “plague” and “a bitter decree from Heaven.”

But, on we drove…Until we arrived at StreetSounds  for Gretsch Day

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The place was packed when Quentin Jones, Kenny Aaronson and David Uosikkinen took the stage. Check out the video clip of  “Rumble.”

After a fun-filled day of music, it was time to make our way to Manhattan for dinner at La Mela in Little Italy.

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We had eaten there five years earlier and David still remembered their Spaghetti and Meatballs. Back then, owner Butch “The Hat” stopped by our table to say hello.

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This time, we were seated at the same table!

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The vibe of La Mela is so cool. They even have live entertainment, with a singer that visits each table. Here he is serenading us…

And here is David’s favorite Spaghetti and Meatballs. I tasted it and it was soooo goood!!!

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Something really fun (and funny), is the hanging sausage in the middle of the dining room. The waiters and patrons can pull the string for good luck. I was up for some luck. So, I pulled the string 😉

With our bellies full and some good luck in my pocket, we said goodbye to New York and headed back home to Philadelphia. Our little kitty, Eli was waiting patiently for us 🙂

We’ll be back soon, NYC! Until then…xo

Dallyn & David

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