A Day in Fort Greene

All these years in Brooklyn and I still hadn’t gone to the Brooklyn Flea  – the weekly event that is part urban flea market, part eclectic food mecca. On Sundays it’s held at One Hanson Place (the old Williamsburg Bank Building, a historic landmark) – some indoors, some out.

This past weekend it ran simultaneously with an African bazaar that was part of the BAM DanceAfrica Festival. The brightly colored fabrics and crafts added to the intensity of the sunny day, the beat of the drums set the pace of my steps and added a sway to my hips that I couldn’t hold back if I wanted to. A cool breeze and an ice-cold lemonade kept the humidity and heat from the crowds at bay.

 As much as I enjoyed the festivities, the real reason I was there was for the food, and one thing in particular. Pupusas. Pupusas are Salvadoran stuffed masa flatbreads. The best in NYC are rumored to come from the Red Hook Food Vendors, a group of latino food vendors whose notoriety began street-side by the soccer field in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn. They’ve since spread the wealth by branching out to other parts of Brooklyn and beyond, including the Brooklyn Flea. A pupusa platter includes two pupusas (I had cheese and jalapeno and chicken), tangy cabbage slaw, sour cream, and a mild tomato sauce (pickled jalapeno slices on the side, if you like – I do) – all for $5.00. The pupusas packed intense flavors and comfort like only crispy warm masa and melty cheese can do – the slaw was a perfect crisp, tangy foil for the rich flatbreads.

Fortunately I had a friend with me so I could try even more tasty bites without looking like too much of a glutton… that meant Asia Dogs – a fine example of my favorite current food trend, fusion street food (thank you Kogi Truck). This isn’t my first time enjoying an Asia Dog – I can thank my LuckyRice outing for that (click here and here for more)! Today we had a dog topped with kimchi and nori flakes, and one done up bahn-mi-style with julienne veggies and pate… kimchi wins.

The dining area was a bit rustic, but it was shady and had plenty of clean communal picnic tables. After an afternoon of shopping and snacking, we walked through the eclectic neighborhood of Fort Greene (a little industrial, a little Robert Moses era housing projects, a lot of brownstones and tree-lined streets). We headed to Fort Greene Park for a bit of people watch and relax in the shade. I’m looking forward to another visit to Fort Greene and a bit more wandering in yet another fascinating Brooklyn neighborhood.

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