A New York Hideaway: Exploring Black Owned Businesses
Want to know a secret? I'm slowly convincing myself that New York is the place for me! I'm probably not going to be moving there anytime soon, but maybe one day! Until then, I'll continue to take my spontaneous trips there to tackle my never-ending list of things to do in another state. Last week I visited Brooklyn for a few days searching for inspiration on upcoming projects. I've been getting stuck a lot lately and it could have a lot to do with my personal life, but I'm working on how to regain my focus. Leaving my desk to explore different cities has definitely proven to help get me back in the zone with my artwork. I've noticed that my breaks come in different forms and that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm shying away from art/design. With everything I do, there's a hidden agenda that I create to tie into my journey and growth. I'm a workaholic and haven't had a true vacation my entire life. However, I’m finally getting the best of both worlds by finding time to work and enjoy life, and it’s been fulfilling.
The night before leaving, I created a list of about 20 places I wanted to slide thru in the city. Since this was a solo trip, I knew that I would be able to accomplish this task. Even though I didn't have time to visit all the places, I'll be sharing my full list for you all to stumble upon if you’re ever in Brooklyn. All the places I visited were strategically picked because they're all black owned business and I live for a little black support. Here's just a few of my favorite places I found while roaming Brooklyn.
My first stop was Cafe Rue Dix, a cute cafe that I found while walking around Crown Heights. I decided to walk majority of the day since it was absolutely beautiful outside and after a 6 hour bus ride, a breath of fresh air was needed. Cafe Rue Dix is the type of place I could see myself becoming a regular. I ordered a piping Hot Chocolate and the Spicy Poulet Sandwich (chicken sandwich with everything on it, even avocado) with a side of fries. I stuffed my face and watched a local artist paint a bench outside the window. The food was amazing and the atmosphere of Cafe Rue Dix was peaceful and welcoming. Next door I fell in love with Marche Rue Dix. I'm a sucker for a chic boutique and Marche has to be one of the best boutiques I've walked into this year alone. I don't know what I loved more, the music selection, the body care products, the simplistic jewelry or the fact that the prices were so reasonable. I wanted to buy the entire place and bring it back home with me, but I settled for some new lippies from Gold Label Cosmetics.
Later that evening I explored the Clinton Hill area and went to grab drinks and food at Peaches Shrimp & Crab. The restaurant was surprisingly big (I was expecting a small homey place after reading reviews) and had a romantic ambience. I had an order of Brooklyn Wings that were sauced in a savory spicy BBQ-like sauce and a bowl of Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo. I could tell that this was a neighborhood favorite being that everyone at the bar were regulars and they were extremely kind. There was a good variety ranging from wines to cocktails. I indulged in a few glasses of Goodnight Kiss, a very chic tequila drink where the bartender wasn't being stingy with the liquor for once.
I've been looking for a boutique nail salon for some time now and knew that Brooklyn would be a great place to visit one. I found a few great salons but decided to book an appointment with Very Polish Lounge. This salon/spa is as adorable in person as it looked on the website. The salon was very clean, quiet and relaxing. I was served a cold cocktail as I enjoyed my Mango Mint Manicure which included a mango soak and mango mint scrub down. The service was fast and the prices were fair. I'll definitely be returning on my next trip to try the mango soak pedicure. Around the corner I took a detour home (where I was staying) so that I could grab a lobster roll from The Crabby Shack. They had a clobster roll on special so of course I had to stuff my face after a long day. It was buttery and delicious! The service was fast so it was the perfect place to grab something to eat while waiting on my Uber.
I'm all for supporting friends and I knew that my night would be spent at Wray's for a Happy Hour hosted by a dear friend, JHall. This was the type of happy hour I'd love to see in Richmond after a long day of packing orders. There was a special menu from Remix Kitchen which included your regular happy hour drinks. The food was amazing (Henny Wings should just be a permanent thing in all restaurants, especially for happy hour) and the energy was just how I liked it, very chill, judgement free, laughable and rounds for everyone. If you're in Brooklyn and looking for a chill after work spot, stalk JHall for any upcoming events.
I've been hearing rumors of how mouthwatering the food is at SoCo so I dragged my Beautiful to brunch so that I could finally taste the hype. I am in no way a Mac&Cheese person at all but I think SoCo has changed me forever. The modern design of the restaurant made my heart melt as I walked in. I ordered Chicken w/ a Red Velvet Waffle and an order of Mac&Cheese. It was all that I thought it would be and more. The menu includes mimosas, jambalaya, lobster, shrimp & grits and lots of other southern comfort food.
Overall my trip was pretty short being that I planned it in 24hrs. Although it wasn’t as long as I would’ve liked, I was still able to engulf myself into the city's heart and found a world full of inspiration. I'm discovering about myself more as an artist and realizing that there's so much more to being creative than just painting.
Although I'm an artist already, I'm learning different ways to inspire others and that may result in getting lost so that I can find myself. Sharing my journey may seem like it drifts me away from my goal as an artist, but it doesn’t at all. My sole purpose is to be transparent about my experiences, the places I go, the people I meet, etc so that the next person wanting to follow this path can grow a little more in their chosen path.
- Milk River
- Brooklyn Swirl
- Sweet Science
- Brooklyn Wine Yard
- Ak Couture Boutique & Beauty Bar
- The Pink Tea Cup
- Brooklyn Circus (never been but have ordered online)
- Five Spot Soul
- Installation NYC
- J&R Symposium
- And Yoga Studio