Vinegar Hill & More

Groundhog Chuck (from Staten Island) said that it was going to be an early spring and I decided to leave hibernation mode and finally explore the world. Having started a new job and enjoying the cosiness of my warm apartment, I forgot what a real world was like. WIth my boyfriend, we went on our first date-ploration of the year, visiting a place I had on my checklist of places to visit in 2013.

As oppose to our normal dates, which normally includes going to dinner, date-ploration is a way for us to explore the city and see all that it could offer. This time around, I planned out breakfast at Carroll Garden’s famous pie shop and then historical Vinegar Hill, both in Brooklyn. Because work has me on an early schedule, we managed an hour travel from Queens to Brooklyn and reached Four and Twenty Blackbirds before pies were sold out.

Four & Twenty Blackbirds

A friend of mine had told me about this place many years ago and warned me that I should not arrive at 3pm and expect to find pies. The pie shop sells only what it makes for the day and if you don’t want to miss out, you have to order in advance. Since neither my boyfriend and I planned on taking a pie home, we opted for pie slices.

Needless to say, we pigged out, testing 3 different pies, flushing them down with tea and coffee to stay warm. They were exceptional! No wonder people talked about them. The crust was perfect carb wonders and the core were sweet and salt and not too mushy or watery. The dollop of whip cream on the side did wonders. I cannot wait to go back to try their summer pies.

Salted Honey Pie

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Chocolate Pecan Pie

We would have walked to Vinegar Hill, which Google Maps said would only be an hour but it was freezing by the water so we hopped on the train back to Dumbo. I have always walked towards the Brooklyn Bridge off the F train stop at York St, never turning the opposite direction, which led to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Note to oneself, never walk on York St to get to Vinegar Hill. It stands along the projects and is not the safest feeling neighborhood. At the end of York St, you connect with Navy St, where a mural for the abandoned navy yard greets you. As you can see, there seems to be works to save the location and bring it up to speed with the rest of gentrified Brooklyn. It is a forgotten part of Brooklyn, which most of Brooklyn has slowly become, overtaken by hipsters.

If you turn right on Navy Street and walk up the hill around a short bend, you’ll enter cobblestone streets and quaint little houses that remind me of suburbia Boston. A few short blocks and you’ll turn right facing an old garage, though right next to it, a beautiful stone building stands erect across an abandoned yard, littered with junk.

You would never think to go beyond the street but if you continue to venture up, you’ll be treated to a roundabout that is the gate to the Admiral’s House.

I had first heard about this when a friend of mine posted a picture from his bike ride through the area and posted that this was taken on Little Street. How apropos as it was literally a little street. During the warmer season, you might even see old cars.

This area of Brooklyn is considered a national historical preservation site. The neighborhood strives to keep all that remains of the old world feeling with cobblestones and small houses amidst a decaying naval junkyard, now empty smoke stacks and converted storage spaces. It’s like a ghost town jutting out from the past looking into the modern world connected to an advance technological greedy world like a scene lifted from Battle Angel Alita.

Of course, to end a date-ploration, one must replenish with a hearty meal. As I had been craving Italian, we ended at A Voce at Columbus Circle. Looking forward to another date-ploration in the near future!