As an avid traveler, staying in one place for months on end seems like a remedy for madness, but luckily my homebase of Brooklyn provides a constant source of stimulation. Local purveyors from restaurateurs to skincare artisans have formed a tight knit community of support during this pandemic. The neighborhood feels almost vibrant with hope with bars serving drinks out of tiny to-go windows to a (socially distanced) line of masked patrons. It’s a new normal, but we are beyond fortunate to have such staples within our reach at such a vulnerable time.
While most of my sheltering in place has consisted of backyard barbecues, long baths, and endless trash television binges (Love is Blind, anyone?), it’s been a journey in itself to establish a new routine that separates weekdays from weekends. My advice: weekends are for treating yourself to a few days of pampering. Below, take a tour through a typical weekend at home in Brooklyn, New York.
How To Start Your Day:
In the time when we could move freely from place to place, my neighborhood weekends always started out with a trip to City of Saints Roasters for a delicious cup of joe. Even though they are closed to the public, City of Saints Coffee is thankfully still producing and shipping out orders to their faithful customers, providing a taste of normalcy in the morning. The artfully graffitied bags mirror the neighborhood and the shop itself.
Throughout sheltering in place, my main focus has been taking care of my mind and body in a way I often put on the backburner during my daily life. With bars, restaurants, and retail closed, baths and skincare are the new “treat yo self.” Brooklyn Herborium’s Molly Watman and Marie-Emma Graves created an at home body treatment out of the need for a little extra self care while trapped at home. The dry brush and Renewal Botanical Body Oil combination leaves skin incredibly soft and the ritual feels like you’re getting a spa treatment.
Before applying body oil, slip into a bath made with calming, local products. Being inside for months on end, I have nearly perfected the ultimate bath formula. Warning: you may want to stay in there all day.
First, determine the type of bath you would like to draw. Need a skin reset? Skip the bubbles and go for a bath soak like Brooklyn Herborium’s Soak Your Wild Oats along with a sprinkle of an aromatic like Soap Cherie’s Herbal Bath, then treat yourself to a good full body scrub like Oil + Water’s Weekly Exfoliation Body Scrub. Looking for more of an escapist feel? Pour in some Soap Cherie’s Relaxation Bubble Bath, light Brooklyn Studio’s candle in Santorini to channel your future getaway, and allow yourself to drift into a calming place for a few precious moments. Kick the relaxation up a notch by whipping up a bathside drink with Rosebud CBD Oil. Founder Alexis Rosenbaum has some great recipes on her website, but the Watermelon Mocktail with CBD Ice Cubes is the quintessential pairing to your bath.
A solid grooming routine is nothing without the right skincare to anchor it. Oil + Water’s small batch production beauty line is great for everyday maintenance. If your skin needs a little extra love from being inside for three months, try Oil + Water’s Complete Facial Set and finish your DIY treatment with Brooklyn Herborim’s Moisture Duo to lock in that relaxed, dewy complexion.
Where To Eat:
Now that you are sufficiently noodle-like with relaxation, you’ll need a bite to eat. In the morning, Win Son Bakery’s famous Scallion Pancake BEC and Fan Tuans are about as good as it gets for breakfast. This Taiwanese fusion favorite usually has a line around the block on weekends, but with the shutdown, ordering on Caviar can get you their cravable meals instantly. If you are feeling more of a classic breakfast vibe, Williamsburg staple Jimmy’s Diner is comfort food central and has morning cocktails to-go.
For dinner, try one of Mable’s Smokehouse Lockdown Packages with a signature cocktail. Pro Tip: their brisket is heaven. Ordering in is great, but making a meal is a fun activity everyone can partake in. Roberta’s Pizza meal kit is the perfect sized dinner for two and comes with all the ingredients to make their famous pizza or pastas at home.
Where To Drink:
While not being able to sit at a bar and have a casual chat with my favorite bartender still stings, there is a silver lining–cocktails to-go! Many Brooklyn favorites have created makeshift to-go windows serving up their famous drinks to locals due to the relaxed open container laws. Pink Metal, an establishment that opened a mere month before having to close for the statewide lockdown, is a favorite in the East Williamsburg neighborhood crafting drinks like the mezcal based “Down 2 Clown” and gin based “Den After Dark”. Yearning for a tropical vacation? Pearl’s Social Billy Club is serving up the most delicious Pina Coladas to-go. Our advice: add the rum floater–you deserve it. DIY cocktails are so much fun when you’re stuck inside. Heavy Woods Bar has some foolproof mixology kits, complete with instruction cards, that will satisfy your need for barhopping.
This season, we are gravely missing wine tastings. There is something elegant about being walked through a varietal that invites you into a deeper palate experience. The Brooklyn Winery is scratching that itch by offering virtual group wine tastings. The bottles are shipped to each participant prior to the tasting, so be sure to book at least two weeks in advance of your preferred date. If you are dreaming of California wine country, Sonoma vineyards like The Donum Estate and Gary Farrell are holding private virtual tastings that feel like a mini getaway.
What To Watch:
One of the last public outings I had before Brooklyn was ordered to shelter in place was attending a sound bath performed by Sara Auster at The William Vale. It was moving, invigorating, and cleansing–something we are in need of now more than ever. Auster is sharing her gifts with our community even in lockdown by live streaming sound baths every Saturday at 5pm EST on her Instagram. If you are feeling anxiety creep in, this is the ultimate stress release.