Two years ago this week, we moved into our cozy little Brooklyn home. I’d fallen in love with the apartment’s exposed brick and coveted outdoor space — not to mention its convenient location directly above a Vietnamese restaurant that served (so we’d heard) the best bubble tea in the borough. We had a long list of things we wanted to do to the apartment, and we’ve had varying success in accomplishing them. I have the gallery wall I always wanted in our front hallway and an (almost) full wall of bookshelves (that is now nearly at capacity) in the office, and we somehow managed to squeeze Matt’s much-desired oversized sectional into the main room. I don’t know that we’ll ever quite get around to achieving our lofty goals to “landscape” the back porch, but I’m sure we’ll put up another good effort this summer — for the first few weekends, at least.
More important than all of that, though, is the fact that this apartment has been an amazing home for the past two years. We got engaged smack in the middle of it. I planned our wedding from that oversized couch and spread my many DIY projects throughout (literally) every room. Matt carried me over the threshold after we got married. I started a whole new life from this home office. Even though it can sometimes feel like we’re bursting at the seams in this place, it really is our home, and when I think of anyone else living here, I can’t help but feel sad. After switching dorm rooms on an annual basis in college and living in a few different apartments when I first came to New York City, two years in one place feels like a really long time, and I’m so grateful that we’ve been able to put down these kinds of roots in a place we love so much.
In honor of our two year “Brooklyn anniversary,” I’m also sharing a list of some of my favorite spots here in the neighborhood, in case you ever visit (and when you do, you better let me know!). This Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens/Brooklyn Heights/Downtown Brooklyn area is really pretty magical, and I could go on for way longer with all of my recommendations.
- Ample Hills Creamery: The best ice cream I’ve had in New York, plus they have an amazing roof deck at the location on Nevins Street (yes, a roof deck at an ice cream shop!) with some great skyscraper views. This is one of our favorite outings for a summer evening. Go for a scoop of Snap Mallow Pop!
- Brooklyn Bridge Park: This one’s sort of obvious, but it still deserves a mention! Sometimes, I feel like our whole social life in New York revolves around eating and drinking, so it’s nice to have a place like Brooklyn Bridge Park to explore when you just want to get outside and move around. They have picnic tables and BBQ pits down there, too… maybe we’ll finally get around to using those this summer!
- Lavender Lake: When I think of spring and Brooklyn, I think of this place. It’s sort of a hole-in-the-wall tucked into a street off the beaten path, but it’s always crowded because anyone who discovers it becomes obsessed (like me). They have a huge outdoor space, and I love to spend afternoons parked at one of their tables with a glass of rosé and some yummy plates to share with friends.
- Lemongrass Grill: Nothing fancy, but it’s a definite go-to in our house, and if you like Thai food, it should be on your radar! They have super fast take-out, a great lunch special, good food, and a dangerous BOGO happy hour.
- Bar Tabac: This little French bistro is quite literally on our corner, but we don’t get there as much as we should. They have live music there a few nights a week, which is always fun to hear when we’re out and about! Bar Tabac also holds a special place in my heart since it’s where I treated myself to wine and French fries when I left my corporate job to start freelancing.
- Lobo: Great margaritas, fresh Mexican food, and a great back patio (are you noticing a theme here? we love the back patios!).
Ugh, Brooklyn, honestly, you rule. Happy two years, my sweet little borough.
Also, please take a second to shop this link before the end of the week! Twenty-five percent of all proceeds will benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand and their efforts to cure and treat childhood cancers, plus you’ll get to take home some super cute accessories or grab an early gift for mom. I really appreciate that my own mama is teaming up with me to make this happen for a cause so important to me. Check it out! xo