Brooklyn Rocks!

I know you think that’s a punchline for a joke, but really — the borough is loaded with trendy artists, designer boutiques and some sooper restaurants thrown into the mix. Just a short 30-minute train ride from Manhattan brings you to a myriad of Brooklyn hoods.. with great names like Willyburg, ( Williamsburg), Dumbo, (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), and Bococa (which covers Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens.)

A fun day can be had exploring, shopping and eating your way through one hood to another. Some of my fav stops were:

* Moon River Chattel — an eclectic antique, gift and home design store, featuring some repros and original old- timey pieces. I fell in love with some of their antique lighting fixtures.

* Armoire — eye-catchers at this boutique were Ernest Sewn cigarette-leg jeans and gorgeous snakeskin slingback shoes by Jacqueline Schnable.

* Bird — a variety of up and coming international designers are shown here…selected by the owner who used to be an asst. buyer at Barneys. If you have a wee-one then dart next door to the new addition: Baby Bird.

* Matter – if you can’t find the perfect gift here than just buy them a bottle of wine and call it quits. Clever gifties range from the “still-life fruit bowl” which are perfect for designer-klutzes like me to some unique stainless-steel carved oil lamps.

By now you’re probably starved so head on over to:

* Franny’s, 295 Flatbush Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-230-0221), arguably some of the best pizza — EVER! and this from a part of the world that takes their pies seriously. Franny’s is equally serious about their ingredients-using only local, sustainable produce, organic and hormone free-eggs and dairy, as well as honoring the venerable tradition of artisanal pizza-making. Even the crackling thin unadorned pie (extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt); is a thing of beauty-though I certainly didn’t leave even a blackened edge of my Clam and Chilies version.

If you are more the anal type, rather than a wanderlust, check out this edgy Brooklyn website that has everything neatly organized by hood, and then by topic (Shop/Eat/ Play/etc.)