Seeking Solace in Brooklyn

Every now and then, I need to make a quick escape.

Life gets tough and the four walls in my apartment in New Jersey – as much as I adore my crib – start to close in on me and I want out!

This past weekend was rough. I had a lot on my mind and needed a change of scenery. A change of pace. Different air to breathe.  Something to help me clear my head and take a break from my thoughts. I knew just where to flee: Brooklyn.

I’m in Manhattan all the time – working, eating, chilling, partying – but I don’t head down to BK as much as I’d liked to. Over the weekend, I decide to take a couple friends up on their offer and let my hair down on the other side of the East River.

I start the day off brunching with friends in Park Slope at Bogota Latin Bistro, a Latin American restaurant that serves Colombian cuisine and drinks.

141 5th Avenue

 I feast on guava mimosas, French toast flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup and fruit salad with a side of yucca home fries. Carb overload!!

After we leave there, we hop in the car and head over to Williamsburg to drink, eat and dance at Miss Favela, a tiny Brazilian dive bar/restaurant on the corner of S. 5th Street and Whythe Ave.

57 South 5th Street

Patrons spill out of the doors and off the side terrace as a live band plays Brazilian music. My group and I brave the unseasonably cool temperatures and set up shop outside where we nosh on pan de queso, a starch based oven-baked cheese bread and I wash it down with a super fruity glass of sangria.

Bursting at the seams and ready for a nap, I dip out of Miss Favela early, leaving my friends to party on without me and head down to DUMBO to meet up with my homie, Joey, who is anything but ready to nap.

Once I finally find parking, he’s ready shop! Ugh.

We slip into Brooklyn Industries to buy some summer tee-shirts, take advantage of a 20% off pillow sale at West Elm, grab a slice of whole wheat pizza at Front Street Pizza and two chocolate cupcakes at Almondine Bakery on Water Street. Whew! By this point I’m spent and in need of a reprieve. We trudge to the car and drive to his neck of the woods: Prospect Heights.

Finally, I’m able to lay down and take a breather. I curl up in my favorite spot on his sectional and grab my MacBook to check my email and do a little research only to discover that He Doesn’t Have Internet Service!


As I shove my laptop back into my computer bag, I realize this is a good thing. This is no time to work. I need to disconnect and unwind. Instead, we chat about the newest drama in our lives and pop in a DVD of the Tony Award winning musical revue, Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Two hours and several show-stopping numbers later, my stomach is growling. Can you believe it?

We decide on Thai food at National in Ft. Greene.

723 Fulton Avenue

My favorite Thai dish is chicken pad Thai. Every time I try out a new Thai spot, I love to order it because everyone makes it differently. The National’s chicken pad Thai: best I’ve tasted. Hands down. It’s juicy, savory, tangy and slightly salty. Delish!

We take our grub to go and pop in Burlesque while we ate. Horrible movie. But dinner saved the night!

It’s an early start to the next day as we roll out of bed at 7 am to head into Manhattan to volunteer at the Aids Walk in Central Park. 

The weather is humid, wet and dreary but that doesn’t keep me from holding down the refreshment stand and unloading bananas for hungry walkers.

After a weekend of eating up and giving back, I head back home bloated, content – and ready to face my problems.

Where do you like to take refuge?

Got a small coffee shop off the beaten path that you enjoy being holed up in?

A hideaway on the other side of town where everyone knows your name?

A friend’s house that’s always warm, cozy and inviting? 

Tell me, where do you go to find peace of mind?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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  1. Joyelle

    great post homie! Brooklyn is seeming like the go to place. I've been exploring a little. And its on the list of possible places to move in the upcoming year.
    Cool places I'm going to have to check out, esp the DUMBO area.
    Great sh*t!
    Sidenote: in the pic you look like the future version of my nephew.


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