On Slickering Country Mice

by CLAIRE WILLETT · April 7, 2008

Facebook Profile[Photo via roeblinghall]

How does one entertain an avowed misopolitan in one of the citiest of cities? Normally, when our s.o. makes his way over from Delaware, OH, we take him to Soho, the West Village, Gramercy Park. "See," we say. "New York can be pretty." He will shrug, too distracted by a minked and Birkened denizen catwalking to the beat of a coffee cup of coins to notice the nice blue door, or the window box of geraniums. So this time, we decided to venture off-island, into uncharted Burgs and Slopes.

Friday's hour-long voyage to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens tried our spirits; the cherry blossoms and Murakami retrospective restored them. Saturday, we walked across the Williamsburg Bridge amongst runners, bikers, and Hasidic families and explored South Williamsburg. We bought cut-up mangoes and shaved ice from street vendors and amazing tacos from the back of a derelict-looking deli, we wondered how so many 99-cent stores could thrive in a small area, we played pick-up basketball with a couple of ten-year olds in McCarren Park, and we checked out Paul Campbell's paintings of Facebook profile pictures at the Roebling Hall Art Gallery.

After so much trekking, our Sunday proposal of the Cai Guo-Qiang show at the Guggenhiem, a little ouzo with our Greek revelers, and a lot of shoestring fries at the Spotted Pig was met with approval, and maybe even a touch of enthusiasm. Meandering back with a couple of Magnolia's overrated and overpriced and utterly Manhattany red velvet cupcakes, we heard "I like that building with the ivy." Mission accomplished.