Food Vendor Veronica Julien owner/chef of Veronica’s Kitchen
Walking in New York City today seem unusually quiet for a 4th of July. I assume many have travel out of the city for the long weekend but for those of us who are dirt poor like myself, a short ferry ride to Governors Island is a perfect oasis from the metropolis. Being Fridays at Governors Island are Free Bike rentals Fridays for the second year, Cynthia and I took advantage of this free city perk. I think we can all agree for those who can ride a two wheeler that riding a bicycle is absolutely liberating though ride a bicycle in Manhattan can be intimidating fighting the pedestrians and traffic which is why Governors Island a car free island is awesome! The free bike rentals are for 1 hour and it is a great way to explore the island, a once military base home to US Army and Coast Guards and it has beautiful views of Lower Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty to Red Hook, Brooklyn. Governors Island is also now home to one of my favorite street vendors Veronica’s Kitchen, a Jamaican food vendor. On weekdays you can find Veronica’s Kitchen parked on the corner of Wall Street and Front Street which I used to be a regular while working at Starbucks Coffee. Since 2007, Veronica’s Kitchen have been a finalist in the 2007 Vendy Awards and deservingly to be recognize. Veronica Julien treats all her customers with care and love. Providing generous portions for a small ($6.50) a choice of 2 sides and a protein meat. Being on Governors Island I had to make a visit to Veronica’s Kitchen so I chose my usual: Curry Chicken, with rice and peas and their string beans always run out so collard green. For Cynthia I had recommended their Jerk Chicken, with rice and peas and she liked fried plantains and added her signature sauce: thousand island dressing w. ketchup. As I recall it the curry chicken is slow-cooked till the chicken is tender and the curry flavor absorbed into the chicken, absolutely delicious. On the other hand Cynthia’s Jerk Chicken which is what Veronica’s Kitchen is famous for went wrong…it was way too spicy for either one of us to handle it, burning lips to perhaps even swollen lips if any of us were to finish eating it, next time we’ll go for the safer option and try the goat stew. Or I read from New York Magazine Grub Street new food vendors such as Harry Hawk’s bacon wrapped hot dog will be introduced to the island this summer…sounds like a brilliant heart attack.
Later we made a visit to Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Free Fridays 4-8pm – Love it! I have failed 2 attempts in visiting MoMA in the last 6 months due to the outrageous lines wrapped around the museum block by European tourists but thankfully found the line shorter or somehow manage to cut through the line without getting caught. Saw the Song Dong show that has been getting reviews even by Sinovision, a Chinese prime time news coverage for Time Warner Cable viewers. The installation of collection of items reflects the many habits of Chinese people and my conclusion from this exhibition is my mother is an artist too.
Park Slope, Brooklyn The Chocolate Room
Refused to go home at 8pm, Cynthia and I trekked our way to Park Slope, Brooklyn to satisfy our sweet tooth at The Chocolate Room. The first step into the shop was a delectable glass case filled with ornate chocolate and the smell of what I imagine Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory would smell of. The waitress brought us two glass of water with an unexpected sample starter of a chocolate sorbet instantly, I knew I was at the right place. I wanted to try all the desserts on the menu but Cynthia and I compromised on sharing a chocolate fondue and she had ordered a pot of chocolate hazelnut tea -chocolate everything here and I was crazy to order a cafe torino expresso with chocolate and milk. Along with the chocolate fondue was slice of pineapples, strawberries, bananas, homemade marshmallows, and scrumptious pound cake. The chocolate fondue is perfectly sweeten and nicely thicken for dipping though the depth of chocolate was not enough for the fruits and cakes, and marshmallow to be fully covered. Nonetheless, we cleaned the chocolate fondue real good. Cynthia’s chocolate hazelnut tea had a nice aroma and the tea was chocolate in color too and my cafe torino was a bitter dark sweeten chocolate espresso, a match made in heaven for the coffee + chocolate lovers. A great place to end the day and a four day work week, wishing every week was a four day work week…damn.
Veronica’s Kitchen/// Mon thru Fri corner of 100 Wall Street & Front Street, Sat + Sun Governors Island
The Chocolate Room/// 86 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11217