Smorgasburg

August 2015

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..because they said we need our daily quota of fruits

Way before summer is official here, street food markets mushroom around the city. Some of them are farmers’ markets selling fresh produce and freshly prepared foods, others are dedicated food bazaars. This year I’ve so far eaten at Broadway Bites at the little park outside the PATH station at Herald Square, Mad Sq. Eats at Union Park right outside office and at the Smorgasburg –  the mini version at South Seaport and the full version at the Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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This was our first visit to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Another first in the city! (just saying) I didn’t know it then, but I know now how the park uses natural eco-systems, in addition to grey infrastructure to protect itself from the damaging effects of flooding. What used to be Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront, was revamped by landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh as the ultimate sustainable park, with  natural and grey infrastructure working together to keep the park alive. The hills of the park are constructed from stone recycled from a nearby tunnel-digging project. The park has a vast underground water storage system that captures storm water  for irrigation purposes. The rushes planted along the shore act as wave breakers and slow down the water. The water is also slowed down by the vestigial remains of  the park’s industrial origins.Great care has been taken in the selection of trees. The salt water tolerant endemic species selected withstood the influx of saltwater due to the storm surge from superstorm Sandy. Generations to come with look at this park with awe and wonder, like we look at the Basilica Cistern  and the ruins of Mohenjo-daro today.

SmorgasburgSmorgasburg was much smaller than we expected. I got there by lunch time, but the husband got there much later, around closing time. One thing to keep in mind is, most stalls do not accept cards. There is an ATM at the location, but it is best to carry cash.  The place was smaller than I expected, but it still had a plethora of options. The number of vegetarian and vegan options is unbelievable.  While waiting for the husband I tried some West African Fare at Woezo – delicious. The line for Ramen Burger kept growing like a snake’s tail. With so many tastes to explore, who wants to be stuck in line! Besides, I had tried it at the mini Smorgasburg at South Seaport. It is very… interesting. If like me you think this is a ramen patty between buns you are in for a fun surprise. It’s a burger patty sandwiched between ramen buns. Ramen buns = two thick round unbroken cakes of Maggi magic masala. Doing my best to stretch my meagre cash reserves till the husband gets here,  I walked around the bazaar almost twice before zeroing in on MofoGO – mashed plantain in a bowl.  Monkey food? It’s pretty good. Just as I am about to give up and head home, the husband saunters in and asks, “So what’s good?”  “Did you get cash?” After hunting for the ATM all over the place, we found it right at the entrance. He tries a few GoaTacos and some terrible Greek food. The menacing grey rain clouds decided to roll over from Manhattan to Brooklyn, and without a warning break loose. We grabbed two push-sicles – popsicles on a push stick and ran for cover. The raindrops were the size of marbles and cold as ice. Once the rain dragons had had their little laugh they relented, and allowed us to go home.

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