Who knew that my first time taking the New York subway would be to travel to the birthplace of Sean Carter (aka Jigga-whaaattt)? Yep, I was headed to Brooklyn. Well, Williamsburg, to be exact.
This suburb is credited as the place where man first donned his tightest pair of skinny jeans, put on thick-framed black glasses to cover up his 20/20 vision, and decided to henceforth call himself a hipster.
But I wasn’t here to find irony. I was here to eat.
I’d learned about the Smorgasburg Flea Food Market while doing research for August events in NYC. There are two markets that happen every Saturday – one by the East River and the other by the DUMBO waterfront. We checked out the East River market since it was the easiest for us to get to.
Emerging from the subway and into this part of New York was interesting. Manhattan had this way of making me feel like everything I did needed to be done FAST. I had to walk faster, gobble down my delicious food, and pretty much enjoy myself much more quickly. It was like a 24/7 adrenaline rush and, oddly enough, I was happy to be swept up in it.
Brooklyn, on the other hand, was just like any other suburb in Vancouver. People still seemed like they had places to go and things to do, but they didn’t mind if they stopped for a coffee along the way. It was calmer here. Like you could have a normal life if you didn’t want to get caught up in the glamour and drama of the city.
The market was set up in an empty lot across from the East River Ferry Terminal by Schaeffer Landing and it was packed with vendors offering up tons of tasty morsels and mouth-watering drinks. Being so close to the water, you were also surrounded by views of the New York skyline and Williamsburg Bridge, giving your eyes even more of a feast.
After making a lap around the lot, we decided to cool ourselves off with a drink from Brooklyn Soda Works. DC and I were such huge fans of their tangy and refreshing Apple Ginger that we went back for it two more times! I also really wanted to try the Lumpia Shack, since this was the first time I’d ever heard of anyone taking the classic Filipino spring roll mainstream.
Lumpia is traditionally made with a mixture of seasoned ground pork, green onions, carrots, and beaten egg all rolled up into a dumpling wrapper and then, pan-fried. Every Filipino mom has a different way of making these (and everyone will tell you their mom makes it the best).
Lumpia Shack offered not only the original lumpia and a fresh vegetable version (“Lolo’s Fresh Lumpia”), but modern fusion renditions as well. I opted for the tasty, albeit greasy, Peking Duck with green onions and hoisin.
I also snagged a homemade strawberry pop tart from Anarchy in a Jar. It’s made with sweet strawberry filling and buttery, flaky pastry dough.
Here are some other tasty treats that DC and I encountered:
Once we were completely stuffed, we decided to take the East River Ferry from the terminal back into Manhattan. It was just $4 each for a one-way trip that would get us to a stop close enough to DC’s place. If you’re visiting NYC when there’s good weather, I definitely recommend taking the ferry! It’s a fantastic way to get amazing views of all the skyscrapers and architecture while working on your tan.
KB Travel Tip: Before your trip, do some research on what kind of concerts and festivals may be happening while you’re there or plan your trip to happen during an event that caught your eye. Most of the time, travelling just involves doing a tourist activity or seeing tourist sites.
At an event like a festival, you’ll not only be able to do as the locals do, but actually meet some of them too! It’s a great way to make new friends and experience something that doesn’t normally happen in your hometown.