“I would send you a bouquet of newlysharpened pencils if I knew your name…” Have we quoted this line before? It’s a goodie delivered by Tom Hanks in the 90’s classic You’ve Got Mail and conjurs up everything we love about September – the excitement of a new season, fall’s romantic crispness, and, especially, New York City.

To give us a fresh dose of New York thrills, we’ve asked Athena Calderone, with her impeccable taste and well-planted NYC roots, to let us in on everything turning her on this fall in the Big Apple. From Dumbo’s best grocery stores to her favorite kitchen ceramics, discover a few new fall must-haves to swoon over below.

Enjoy Athena’s picks, then head over to our feature with Athena from last fall: upstate farms, apple-picking…basically pure autumnal heaven. Make Athena’s fall squash recipe from her visit to the farm. We’ve got photos so gorgeous you might just drop what you’re doing and hit the farmer’s market!

Your City:

Dumbo Brooklyn, NYC.

Your Name:

Athena Calderone.

Top Natural Grocery:

Foragers in Dumbo, Union Market on Court Street, or Whole Foods in Gowanas.

Best Farmer’s Market:

Grand Army Plaza – Prospect Park.

Top Outdoor Recreation Location:

Brooklyn Smorgasburg in the Brooklyn Bridge Park on the waterfront.

Favorite local artisans:

Max Pogia knives, Helen Levi ceramics, Upstate dyed linens, James Daughter Flowers, Westwind Orchard wood boards.

Source for Grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, wild fish or the like:

The Brooklyn Kitchen – Williamsburg or Marlow & Daughters.

Best Local Cheese/Wine/Bread Artisan Food Source:

Bedford Cheese Shop or Stinky Cheese.

Best Restaurant Utilizing Local Resources:

Franny’s in Prospect Heights is my absolute favorite restaurant. Also love Reynard and Vinegar Hill House.

Best spot to unwind:

A walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset, alone.

Best gym/studio:

Next door to my apartment in Dumbo is a new gym, The Fitness Guru, that offers spinning, boxing and a variety of classes – it’s just too convenient!

Favorite local experience living in your city:

Sampling the many food trucks in and around Brooklyn. And wood-burning-oven pizza from Roberta’s or Franny’s.

Best local resource unique to your town:

Bklyn Larder, a specialty foods shop by the same owners as Franny’s, complete with an aging room for cheese and a full selection of charcuterie and other meats. A beautiful shop with an excellent selection of dry goods: great pastas and grains, plus fresh breads from some of the best bakeries in the city. Amazing prepared foods too, and bulk olive oil. Also, Brooklyn Roasting Company!

Favorite fall recipe from local resources:

Any type of roasted root vegetable or squash (like delicata or butternut). Add some, olive oil, sea salt, roasted pepitas and a touch of habanero for heat and you are good to go – fall swoon-worthy heaven!

Bottom banner image
From our friends