This past Saturday, North Brooklyn got one last chance to find that special something for that special someone at Greenpointers’ Love Birds Valentine’s Market. To celebrate the upcoming holiday, the neighborhood blog converted the Lutheran Church of the Messiah on Russell Street into a literal love nest filled with artisans from all over the five boroughs. These vendors weren’t just hawking chocolates and flowers though; they were pushing the imagination of what makes for the perfect V-Day gift. From Kumquat Cupcakery’s mini maple bacon cupcakes to embroidered cards handcrafted by French Braid Paper, it was all about finding something truly unique for your sweetheart.
Kristin Godburn from Kitty Lee Thomas Sweets said it’s important to step up your game on Valentine’s Day and not resort to the same old thing. She suggested trying her homemade chocolate covered strawberry marshmallows topped with 23-karat edible gold flakes. Ella Nemcova of The Regal Vegan agreed that food is big for the holiday, but shouldn’t be limited to sweets. “You have to step up the lusciousness for the day,” Nemcova said. “It’s all about texture and rich flavors.” She offered up samples of her coconut lemongrass heartbeat bisque and her vegan take on foie gras aptly named, faux gras.
After Terri Sullivan’s husband, who grew up in Greenpoint, found the event on facebook, Sullivan along with daughter Kelly and friend Jillian O’Connor began brainstorming for community-inspired recipes. Their table of homemade goodies included whoopee pies, Oreo cupcakes and heart-shaped chocolate lollipops. “Anything on a stick is delicious,” Sullivan said. O’Connor agreed and said anything homemade is a big hit on this holiday recalling her first Valentine’s with her husband. He surprised her with a special home-cooked meal and baked her chocolate chip cookies. “They were Pillsbury, but it was completely unexpected,” she said.
A letter-writing station with an old-fashioned typewriter offered scribes the chance to express their true feelings for that certain somebody. “This holiday especially is all about going homemade,” said Alison Walla from Butter + Love. The Fort Greene baker made specialized Valentine’s Day gingerbread cookies shaped like mustaches.
Many, like Amy Lynn Herman from A Secret Vegan Bakery, believed the market wasn’t only for lovers. Though Herman isn’t a resident of Greenpoint, she loved celebrating the neighborhood with other local artists. “Greenpoint is the heart right now,” she said. “There’s a lot of risk taking going on here and it’s just nice to share that.”