Governors Island

I kind of knew that going to Governors Island on opening weekend when the weather is 27 degrees would be a mistake – and it kind of was and it kind of wasn't. It was mobbed, there were rented-bicycle bells everywhere, and it was way too hot – but there was a hidden gem.

Governors Island, for anyone who doesn't know, was once a historic US Army barracks at the foot of Manhattan – all drilling grounds, parade grounds, canons and billets. It's quite fascinating from that perspective, although the leftover colonial-style houses are strange – it's like a little secret ghost town, with padlocked doors, empty verandas and boarded windows. Nowadays it's open to the public for the summer (they hold the amazing-looking Jazz Age lawn party there in June).

One house that wasn't padlocked (although I'm almost certain that it should have been, given the state of it) was the Commander's House – a huge sprawl of a crumbling mansion, with little hints of what it once was. It was fascinating to be able to have such a good look around, even if it wasn't actually permitted, strictly speaking. It felt strangely like a open house view, but without the purchasing option.

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Self PortraitIMG_0832Governor's House



Lately, we realised that Ben is only ever really happy when he gets to cook things. This of course mystifies me completely, as I never really feel the need to cook anything at all, but all the same, we decided that in this city of amazingly priced (and delicious) eating out, we would see if we could try to do some amazingly priced eating in for a change.
Asparagus season
The Union Square Market is a feel-good kind of place I think, especially when the sun comes out. The farmers get to sell without a middleman, the buyers get to buy without a middleman and also get the added bonus of making the farmers happy, while the produce you can buy there is incredibly good. 

Little dogs padded around, a stallholder called me over to chat about my AE-1 (which was nice, although initially I thought he was going to tell me off for photographing the flowers he was selling), baskets were filled with amazing things and there were lots of virtuous paper bags everywhere. It's a world away from the double-bagging-addicted supermarket down the street from our apartment in Bushwick.

Anyway, it seems it is asparagus season at the moment. So that's what we bought. We also bought some San Francisco sourdough bread, as I read somewhere (annoyingly I can't remember where) that the natural yeast in the air in San Francisco makes the best sourdough starter and the tastiest loaf. I can't vouch for how San Franciscan this loaf really was, given that we are coasts apart, but it was easily the nicest sourdough I've had.
Grade AA
So we ate in. Asparagus and poached eggs and sourdough and butter, and it was delicious, and quite grounding. The number of mac & cheese variations that I am yet to try out might put a stop to it for now though – you just can't get mac & cheese like the mac & cheese in New York.


The Brooklyn Way


My uncharacteristic over-planning paid off, and I made it to New York. I like it here.

I'm here for a while, so it should be less frantic than a typical New York 'holiday', but still, it's hard to get out of the holiday habit of walking too far, for too long, and feeling overwhelmed by all the things you want to do that you haven't done.

I'm in the holiday habit at the moment however, so I'm running around all over the place. One place I'm so glad I did run into though was Cafe Habana in Brooklyn (found via Kate), which was lovely, and made me seriously reconsider my general dislike of sweetcorn. A foggy walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, though incredibly touristy, was so impressive.

It amazes me how raw everything feels here, despite being worn down by the heels of so many tourists and so many locals for so long, while the amount of choice makes me realise how narrow things can often be in England. One of the reasons I wanted to come here for so long was to look at things from a completely different perspective, and to give myself enough time away from my real life to process it all. The perspective kicked in the minute I arrived – the thinking time, hopefully, will happen soon.