Brooklyn Print by Layla KrausTo shop: Swallow, Carroll Gardens Swallow is a store that specializes in beautiful objects of all shapes and sizes, from books and jewelry to vases and wall hangings. I’ve had my eye on the cast rose branches for a while now. It’s a great spot for unique gifts, or just to browse around and get inspired. To eat: It’s so hard to narrow down my favorite places to eat! Here are a few of my top picks: Geido Sushi, Park Slope/Prospect Heights There's something about this place that I love. It's nothing fancy, just good food and a laid back, welcoming staff. I always get the Hijiki Salad and Chirashi! Plus, their wall of graffiti is fun to look while I eat. Doughnut Plant, Park Slope/Prospect Heights This place is no secret, but it lives up to its reputation. I can't walk by it without treating myself, and their seasonal and unusual flavors always catch my eye. My regular favorites have got to be the Tres Leches, Cake Donut and Crème Brûlée Doughseed.
Brooklyn Bridge by Layla KrausTo drink: These two spots are fairly new, but I'm excited about what they add to my neighborhood. New places tend to be a sensitive topic in a changing area, but these two places in particular seem to embrace the spirit of what the neighborhood held before the changes began. Erv's, Flatbush Erv’s is a coffee shop during the day and a bar at night that serves up a great selection of liquor and well-crafted cocktails. Where else can you get good tequila and a chocolate croissant? Brooklyn Greenery, Flatbush Brooklyn Greenery is great for smoothies, juices, and Acai bowls. I usually get the "Brooklyn Green," and love it when it comes with a fresh piece of starfruit on top! You can tell that the owners of this spot had a vision, and saw it through. The smoothies are delicious, there's always good music playing and the art on the walls changes. Something about this place just feels positive. Photo credit in main image collage: Top left image: The Sketchbook Project, top right: Kate Ignatowski, bottom left: The Doughnut Plant, bottom right: Apartment Therapy.