Things have changed a bit since that day in July you grabbed a ReachNow car from one of our neighborhood side streets and spent the day exploring Red Hook. You’ve gotten a little busier. The days have gotten a little shorter and a little colder. And your weekend time has maybe become more about recovering from the week than indulging in some local exploration.
Let’s fix that.
After all, what hasn’t changed is ReachNow. You’ll still get access to a fleet of super-fun BMWs and MINIs with no annual membership required. All you have to do is download the iPhone or Android app and use it to find and reserve your car. Plus, ReachNow cars are roomy enough to take some friends along with you (or maybe bring some treasure back from your excursion).
The only thing better than their $20/hour flat rate is the $25 for 3 hours they offer if you reserve Monday to Thursday, 9am to 6pm.
As the season changes and leaves turn, neighborhood characters change and turn as well. Maybe you’ve noticed this on your own block. Why not take the opportunity to take in the fall character of another neighborhood, one that might not be so easy to get to without ReachNow’s help?
Spend a day over in Sunset Park.
Long referred to simply as South Brooklyn, the area took on the name of its park in the 1960s. The park is named for a reason that becomes obvious once you visit – the spectacular sunset view of New York Harbor, including the Statue of Liberty, from its hilltop. It’s bounded by Greenwood Cemetery, 8th Avenue, 65th Street, and the New York Bay. Immigrant groups have long flocked to Sunset Park over the years – Irish, Polish, Norwegian, Finnish, Italian, and, most recently, Latino and Asian.
In warmer weather, maybe you’d take in the Sunset Park Pool or sit at one of the chess tables in the park and people/city watch. But this time of year, the pool’s closed and you’re probably more interested in getting cozy inside tucking into some tasty local flavors.
Sunset Park is now known partially as Brooklyn’s Chinatown. So why not start your day with dim sum? If you’ve never had it, dim sum is a Chinese meal style in which servers wheel large carts stocked full with small plates of various dishes and you simply grab what you want. They mark off your table’s ticket as you pick things (don’t worry – no matter how much you take, it will sensibly affordable).
One great option is East Harbor Seafood Palace on 65th Street. Get there early, especially if you go on a weekend day. The wait on Saturday and Sunday after 10am or 11am will be at least an hour. Once seated, sip some tea and wait for those sought-after dishes to come around. Or if you spy something across the room, chase it down before it’s gone. Just remember to take your ticket with you on your “quest.” Pork buns, dumplings, rice noodle rolls, bacon-wrapped shrimp – it’s all fantastic.
Having stuffed yourself beyond reason, take a brisk walk down 8th Avenue and take in all the Chinese markets and bakeries. Especially worth stopping into is Fei Long Market on 63rd. It’s got a food court, but the real attraction is the market itself. Just wander around for a bit and maybe pick up some fermented black beans to make homemade black bean sauce. Super delicious.
On your walk down 8th Avenue, you’ll also pass lots of great Vietnamese restaurants. You won’t go wrong with a banh mi from the no-frills Ba Xuyen on 43rd. If you only want a snack, they’re great for sharing!
Sunset Park (the actual park) is due west of Ba Xuyen. So take a wander over and check out the views from the west side of the park near the newly refurbished playground. Time your visit to the park for late afternoon and you’ll be treated to the park’s namesake attraction.
Finish your visit in the Hispanic section of the neighborhood with some truly excellent tacos at Tacos El Bronco on 4th Avenue and 43rd. Take the opportunity to branch out a bit with a lengua (tongue) or barbacoa (goat) taco. And get a regular taco instead of small. You’re going to want more, not less.
By the time you get back in your ReachNow car, you might have to put the seat back a little further from the wheel, but you’ll be plenty happy and fortified against the November autumn chill.
After a couple of meals like that in Sunset Park, Thanksgiving is going to be no problem.