This past weekend was a festival of summer – a celebration of all things sunshine, outdoors, beer, food and friends.
Owing to a rather monstrous hangover on Friday and the obligation to go to work in spite of it, I tucked myself in for an early night on Friday and emerged on Saturday morning looking and feeling substantially more human. Hooray for rebounding!
We had Little Miss Korea staying with us over the weekend, and while she went to the airport to farewell her Aussie boyfriend, I hoofed it down to South Street Seaport (Pier 17) as part of my ongoing Global Corporate Challenge efforts.
It is really quite sad that my sense of direction is so totally woeful. Even on 2nd Avenue, which is pretty much a straight road until you get to Houston, I managed to take a bit of a dodgy turn and end up going the wrong way. I was still heading towards the river (phew), just way further out of my way than initially intended. Thanks to the ravings of a lunatic ahead of me, I got myself back onto Broadway, and followed the signs to Market Street and down to the water.
Saturday was a pretty warm day, and having jostled through the crowded Chinatown streets (sensory overload to boot), I was quite hot and bothered. The cool breeze off the river was absolutely beautiful. Families dangled fishing rods into the cool, murky water and I remember thinking I wouldn’t be too keen to eat whatever took their bait. But maybe they never intended to either, and perhaps the fishing was just an activity to get together and pass the time. Judging by the lack of activity on the end of their lines, it certainly seemed like a relaxing one.
Having made it to Pier 17, where I had agreed to meet Little Miss Korea, I settled down at a long trestle table at the Beekman Beer Garden, facing out over the River and the uninterrupted view of the Brooklyn Bridge. I could just make out the pedestrians and cyclists going across the giant structure and I sipped my cold (and local) Sixpoint Ale and read a couple of chapters of The Hunger Games, hardly noticing the beer garden filling up with tourists and locals around me.
When Little Miss Korea arrived, we enjoyed a delicious beer and bratwurst lunch (plus sauerkraut and grilled corn cobs of course), and then we left to walk home. We headed up through the South Street Seaport shopping precinct (cute market stalls and handmade goods); through Little Italy (vintage stores and loads of cafes and pastries); past the World Trade Center site; skirted around Soho (lemon & pomegranate sorbet? Don’t mind if I do); and plopped into El Parador for some restorative happy hour margaritas.
Even though my feet were throbbing by this stage, I was pleased to have explored some new parts of the City (some of it accidentally) and chalked up 19,900 or so steps (woohoo!). After a day of activity like that, I really think the kiss of death is sitting on the sofa. How hard is it to get back up after you do that?! Yikes.
We had another quiet night at home on Saturday, emerging on Sunday morning with enough get up and go to visit Pipa for brunch. The fantastic tapas place has great decor (chandeliers dangling overhead and all), plus a very cool brunch menu, including my favourite dish on the menu – Huevos Rancheros. It’s fun to say and fun to eat. But Pipa also has passionfruit caipirinhas on the drinks menu; made with sugar cane rum, lime and sugar. They are very delicious but very strong. One serve of huevos rancheros does not adequately absorb the rum from two of those little beauties, trust me.
The restaurant is located behind the gorgeous ABC Carpet store, and it was lovely to browse around there afterwards, trying not to let the rum get the better of me. We even had a bit of a celebrity encounter, seeing Aussie chef Curtis Stone and his lady friend Lindsay Price (plus baby-on-board), shopping for goodness knows what. We didn’t say anything of course – we are far too cool for that. Plus I didn’t want to get maced, or breathe rum all over a pregnant lady.
On leaving the store we could hear the whoops and hollers from the nearby Gay Pride Parade, but we kept our distance and instead wandered through Union Square. A sporting injury prevented K from striding along too much – the best the poor thing could do was hobble around valiantly. When it all got a bit crazy and we were ready for home, we took the subway and collapsed in a heap on the sofa. Blissful.