Did you guys read Sarah Smith’s Practically Neighbors series? This Brooklyn tour will have *SPOILERS!!!* So get to it. Read about Ava and hunky Harker and all their sexy time fun! And in case you didn’t read my review and see the sneak peek into my Brooklyn tour, check it out here.
As you may know, I read books (mostly) set in New York City and then use the book as inspiration for a tour of the city. Sarah Smith has been with me from Day One.
When she reached out about writing a short story set in a Brooklyn neighborhood of my choice just so that I could do a book tour, I thought, “How cool!?” She wrote something for me! I still can’t believe it. Thank you Sarah for being an awesome writer but more importantly, such an awesome person.
As I stated, I like what I read to inspire my tour. Sometimes I even try to think of a theme for my tour based on the story. I wracked my brain and thought, “Yes! Got it! I need to meet a guy today and go home with him to have ALL the sex!” Well…that’s kinda what Ava did. She met handsome Harker for the first time in his apartment and had a rocking night! That’s what the theme of my tour should be!
WTF is this!? Really?
Me: Meet hot guy and have ALL the sex! That is the plan dammit! The cat is pretty cute though, but let’s get back on track. Time to meet my own heart-stopping Harker in 3…2…1…
“NO GOD! NO GOD!! PLEASE NO!!! NO! NO! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!”
Yes, I’m channeling Michael Scott in The Office so that I can cope with this unfortunate circumstance.
*Spoiler alert!* I do not meet a hot guy. And seriously Ava, you really have to be careful whose apartment you go to. I know it worked out for you but you could have ended up floating downstream in the Hudson River and not on a kayak.
Anyway, back to my Brooklyn tour and soon I’ll tell you all about those adorable cats. While I did not meet a hot guy to have ALL the sex with, I still had a pretty cool day.
I lived in this neighborhood for 8 years. My apartment was right in the middle of two great neighborhoods in Brooklyn- Boreum Hill and Cobble Hill. Ava lives in Boerum Hill while hottie Harker is in Cobble Hill, hence the title, Practically Neighbors.
I always like to start the day with some coffee and some grub and luckily for me, Ava likes her coffee too. Before hot-stuff Harker, Ava went on a couple of dates with a guy named Damien who she also met through a dating app. Ava meets Damien at Line and Dash coffee, which is a small cafe in Boerum Hill. I didn’t find a place with that name, however, I found something suspiciously close.
Sarah, did you know about this place?
I went inside, grabbed an iced coffee, a chocolate croissant, and headed to a random brownstone stoop to sit and enjoy.
I’m such a sucker for pop culture that whenever someone visited me, I had to show them Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams’ home. Yes! A celebrity home was about a block away from me! RIP Heath Ledger.❤️
I decided to enjoy my coffee and croissant across from their place. No, I’m not a stalker, I don’t think Michelle lives there anymore. However, I do know where her current house is, which you can check out in my Modern Lovers Tour post.
Okay, maybe I am a stalker.
I think it’s beautiful and it looks even better in person.
After waiting longer than I care to admit for Michelle Williams to come out, I mean, after enjoying my coffee and pastry, it was time for me to head to my next destination.
On the way, I crossed Smith Street…
Smith Street is the hub for lots of bars, restaurants, and shops. If you’re ever in the neighborhood and you like French food, go to Bar Tabac. My favorite bar for yummy cocktails is Clover Club. I love their cucumber cocktail. It’s usually only on their summer menu, but they’ll make it all year round if you ask nicely.
In my neighborhood, I always got intrigued by a particular sight. When I lived here, I used to watch a line of people climb out from a manhole and thought, “What is going on there?” The New York Transit Museum is what. Sadly, I don’t know if going through the manhole is an option anymore. Maybe someone got hurt?
New York Transit Museum
Next stop on my Brooklyn tour brings us to trains that used to make stops all over the city back in the day. In this museum, you’ll get the full history of the city’s subway system. Per their photography policy, I can’t show pictures from inside.
This museum has something for everyone: history buffs will enjoy learning all they can about the subway systems’ perilous beginnings, or if reading isn’t your thing, there is plenty to look at and go into, and kids will have a blast too. You’re in an actual subway and get to go inside a bunch of different old timey trains. It’s fun to sit in those old seats, read ads from the different time periods, and imagine you’ve gone back in time.
The museum also has a hands on exhibit that kids were all over. I saw kids go inside busses, pretend to steer the wheel, honk the horns, and even fill up with gas. I kind of wanted to get in on the action with the kiddos, but I refrained from looking like that weird loner.
To learn more about this museum, go to nytransitmuseum.org. Admission for an adult is only $10.00 and $5.00 for kids and seniors.
I left the museum with a much needed souvenir.
One of my favorite things to do when I lived in Boerum Hill was to take the 20 minute or so walk to get to the beautiful Brooklyn Heights Promenade. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve taken at least a couple of dates here. One was a decent guy who seemed to enjoy the stroll with me. The other guy seemed a little bummed that the very lovely stroll didn’t end up at my apartment. Ava, I am not! Sorry buddy.
But before we head to the Promenade, your girl has got to eat!
On the way
I walked by this place, which seemed inviting, so I took a seat outside to people watch. Is that blond Amy Schumer?
Before doing my book tours, I never really ate out on my own besides when I’m on my lunch break from work. That scene I do with ease.
However, during my tours, I’m doing a Saturday brunch or Saturday night dinner on my own, which has taken time for me to get comfortable with. I’ve seen this conversation a lot about how of course it’s fine to eat out on your own. It definitely is, but I’m a little self-conscious so still working on getting more comfortable with it.
Despite that, I’m glad I’m doing this for my tours. Because once I’m settled at my table, I feel like I’m treating myself and that feels good. In my opinion, everyone should go out and treat themselves. Do you eat out alone? Go to the movies or any other solo activities? If you don’t, what’s holding you back?
Okay, I promised you all some grub!
Do I get avocado toast all the time? I’m a creature of habit with food. Well, this toast did not disappoint. In fact, I gobbled it up, but like a picky toddler, I left my green leafy vegetables untouched.
If you’re into New American cuisine (who isn’t?) then check it out if you’re in the area. Their dinner menu looks yummy too. Mac & Cheese? Yes, please! I’d also love to try their watermelon martini. Next time!
At this point my plan was to head to the Promenade, but as I was walking, I spied some cuteness in the window.
Brooklyn Cat Cafe
A cat cafe! Years ago, my friends and I attempted to go to a pop up cat cafe in Manhattan. The line was miles long! It was at least a 3 hour wait and they couldn’t even guarantee that we’d get in. So we bailed but I’ve always wanted to go to one ever since. I had no idea this cat cafe existed! No line at all, therefore, I had to go in.
This cafe had a TON of cats which made for TONS of cuteness! They also had two bunnies and a pet rat. He was cute too! All the cats are up for adoption so if you fall in love, you can give one of these kitties a furever home. I’m surprised I didn’t cave and take one home. I’ll admit, it took a lot of restraint. The kitties galore I’ll have in my Instagram Stories will have to suffice for now.
To find out more info, check out their website at catcafebk.com. It’s a volunteer run organization, so entrance fees and donations all go to taking care of the cats and costs associated with running their rescue. Finding this spot actually ties in perfectly with Practically Neighbors because handsome Harker fosters cats and dogs. I meant to go here all along!
Brooklyn Heights Promenade
My friend and I walked along the Promenade one night and there just happened to be fireworks going off. First day of the summer, I think. It is a magical stroll. You could fall in love on this walk or dream up your next best seller. How about a walk with your adorable dog down the path without a care in the world? You could relax on a bench with a book, glance up at the Manhattan skyline, and go, “Hey New York, what do you got for me? I’m ready.”
Or you could be me and stare longingly at all the dogs that pass by. By this point, I gave up on my hot stuff Harker mission.
To get to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, since I was coming from Boerum Hill, I walked down Court Street and then took a left on Montague Street towards the water. That leads right to the Promenade. I walked along the length of it and at the end I walked down Columbia Street, down a hill to get right up next to the Brooklyn Bridge and into part of the Brooklyn Bridge Park, which has more water front views.
Pictures from my walk
Lovely Homes along the Promenade
I always go to this area for this yummy little ice cream shop but it was shut down. Sad!
Let’s take a moment of silence…
I settled for a strawberry watermelon basil lemonade instead. It was refreshing!
After this spot, next stop for my Brooklyn tour, I wanted to spend some time in hearty Harker’s neighborhood.
Cobble Hill is a very nice area with cute brownstones, plenty of restaurants and shopping. I love the old fashioned movie theater here so as an avid movie-goer, I decided to catch a flick.
Booksmart seemed like the appropriate choice. It’s a funny movie! These two high school best friends have spent their high school years studying hard and playing by the rules. They thought getting into Ivy League schools was proof they were the responsible ones who did high school right. Then, they learn that the other kids who partied hard and had fun, were also getting into great schools. Now they think they’ve missed out, so they have one night before they graduate to make up for lost time. They spend their night trying to get to the biggest party of the year and have a wild ride trying to get there. I felt a little old watching it, but it’s a fun summer movie. Definitely recommend it!
Restaurants in the neighborhood I love
- Layla Jones for pizza & pasta
- Buddy’s Burrito & Taco Bar
- Joya- Thai food
For my dinner, I head back to Ava’s neighborhood in Boreum Hill to eat at a place she went on a date with Damien. The date where she definitely realized he wasn’t the guy for her. I’ve had too many kinds of those dates. At least she had yummy food.
This place is sooo good! It’s cash only and no alcoholic beverages, which is a bit tough for this solo diner. I even tried to make a run for it. While waiting for the restroom, I asked the waiter if I could get my food to go just as he was holding my plate of food. They are fast there!
Look at this deliciousness-
When I ordered, the waiter had asked if I wanted hummus or baba ghanoush with my falafel. And then he said I could have both. How nice!
It was so yummy that I’ve since been on a falafel kick. Though, I haven’t had any as good as this place. Although, FYI, Nanoosh on the upper west side is pretty tasty too!
So that’s my tour! Ava and Harker, I hope you were taking notes. After you get done having ALL the sex, I highly recommend a lovely stroll down the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, followed by a satisfying dinner, and a good movie at Cobble Hill Cinema. Then, you can get back to having ALL the sex, okay?
Maybe you can get a dog together too?
Something to think about!
Thank you Sarah Smith for such a cool collaboration. I don’t know how I got so lucky that my blog could inspire someone to write a story for me but I think it’s amazing. Sarah inspires me. She and my blog has inspired me to write a chick lit book. Will it come to fruition? I don’t know yet, but I’ve written a scene so far. It’s a start!
Make sure you check out Sarah’s author page, www.sarahsmithbooks.com,so you can stay up to date on what she’s doing. Her debut novel, Faker, is out in the Fall!
As you may know, I usually I do an #amreading post, but this time I want to announce my next book right here! Drumroll, please….my next book will be…wait for it…Summer’s Child by Luann Rice. I might even read the next book in her series, Summer of Roses as well. “There’s mystery, a love affair, and…a seaside town.” Luannerice.net
Guess what seaside town it’s set in? Brooklyn? Nah…I’m going to Nova Scotia! Woohoo! I’m so excited. Can’t wait to share the books with you and my travel experience.
Well, I hope you all enjoyed my Brooklyn tour. Who’s coming to Brooklyn now?
For more from my Practically Neighbors Brooklyn tour, make sure you’re following me on Instagram @literary_dates.
I’d like to thank you all for reading, especially to Sarah for all her support and writing her incredible story, which I hope manifests my very own hunky Harker. 😉