IKEA and Fairway in Red Hook, Brooklyn
I finally made my excursion to IKEA in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
For the last half century, Red Hook was a desolate waterfront overlooking the Statue of Liberty, Governor's Island and the New York Harbor. A total burned-out industrial wasteland of the Railroad era of the Industrial Revolution. Very slowly, there is a renaissance and we can all enjoy the beauty of Red Hook.
IKEA has managed to establish a bridgehead and started free ferry-boat service between Pier 11 at the Wall Street/South Ferry in Manhattan. All subway lines converge there and a short walk to Pier 11. The ferry operated by the NY Water Taxi operates every 40 minutes during the week-days from 10 am to round about 9:20 pm. What a lovely way to travel there with the view of the Statue of Liberty, the Waterfalls and the harbor-view.
IKEA has a 450 seat restaurant serving all types of Swedish food, such as gravlax, meat-balls, poached salmon, lingonberries, etc. Hot dogs were on sale for 50 cents!
Moreover, Fairway, my supermarket of choice has established an outpost with smashing views of Manhattan. I can't wait to go back for another wonderful time, strolling and eating with the fresh ocean breezes!
The shopping mall
[Victor] Gruen got an extraordinary number of things right first time [with his first shopping mall, Southdale in Minnesota]. He built a sloping road around the perimeter of the mall, so that half of the shoppers entered on the ground floor and half on the first floor--something that became a standard feature of malls. Southdale's balconies were low, so that shoppers could see the shops on the floor above or below them. The car park had animal signs to help shoppers remember the way back to their vehicles. It was as though Orville and Wilbur Wright had not just discovered powered flight but had built a plane with tray tables and a duty-free service.
"Birth, death and shopping: The rise and fall of the shopping mall," The Economist, December 19, 2007
Great produce in Chinatown - fun to browse and haggle
I agree with Julie Powell ... the Union Square Farmers' Market is too expensive and elitist for my taste ... a great place for browsing ... and where I buy my produce is Chinatown ...
I confess that half an hour browsing in that utopia of produce [Manhattan's Union Square Farmers' Market] - or the new Whole Foods Market at the square's south end - often leaves me longing for the antiseptic but nonjudgmental aisles of low-end supermarkets like Key Food or Western Beef.
Don't get me wrong: I love a big, ugly tomato as much as the next girl. I buy my fair share of pencil-thin asparagus and micro-greens, and I'm sure if ever I were to stand in an orchard and taste a peach picked during one of its two days of succulent perfection, I would find it one of life's greatest joys.
Shopping is the province of the privileged; fine cooking is not. Indeed, great cuisine arose from privation. The techniques of smoking, drying, salting and roasting were all developed to preserve foods past the "perfect peach" stage, past the day the vegetable was harvested or the animal butchered, to save for a time of less bounty. Preserved foodstuffs led directly the development of culinary traditions, as people who wanted nothing more than to feed themselves well and with pleasure taught themselves how best to combine ingredients artfully, to create something more than the sum of its parts.
Excellent shopping web site - Recommended
LittleViews on Shopping is an excellent web site with shopping tips and secrets that even experienced New Yorkers will find worthwhile. And many of her quick tips warm our frugal heart.
Do you know where you can get fancy umbrellas? Wholesale jewlery? Where to locate lists of sales in the City? You will after you visit this "little" gem, hosted by Karen Little.
Kitchen Arts and Letters
For a great encyclopedic experience for serious food lovers, cooks and pastry chefs...visit "Kitchen Arts and Letters," 1435 Lexington Avenue, NY, NY 10128...www.kitchenartsandletters.com. 212-876-5550
Deluxe Food Market
For a great Chinatown food shopping experience, please visit the "Deluxe Food Market," 79 Elizabeth Street - store runs from Mott to Elizabeth
Freshly prepared hot meals to go ... 3 items over white rice for $2.75!!! BBQ roast duck, crackling skin roast pig, soy-sauce chicken, etc. ... baked pastries, coffee and tea ... fresh fish, lobsters and shrimps ... smoked salmon from Acme ... frozen soup dumplings, shrimp won-tons, pork buns, soy beans, unagi, surf clams ... fresh vegetables, meats and tofu ... marinaded meats and fishes for the home cook to save time and effort.