Lovin' 5th ave. from 11th to 25th

It is the last day of the month and I had to go get the car inspected. Usually, I grab a coffee at the Red Horse (6th Ave./12th St. - they also have great scones I think from Baked in Red Hook), drop the car with the St. of Ancient Silver Hondas (Mohammed at Bartroni on 5th Ave./24th St.) and go up the hill across the street to sit by Minerva in Greenwood
to watch the ferries go back and forth. But today we needed more work and I walked home, discovering and remembering some wonderful things along the way.

Officially the second best pizza in the USA is in a tiny ordinary looking store front named Luigi's (according to them, the first best pizza makers eat at Luigi's) on 5th between 21/20th St. Get the "grandma" pizza. If you don't enjoy watching them make it one pepperoni at a time go two doors down to Laurntino's for pastry (supposidely a former baker from Veniero's owns it). We heard that there were great empanadas along that strip and I think that I found them at La Boulangerie Lopez (20/19th St.). We have always taken out of town friends for a vodkha tasting at Adam's Liquors (corner of 17th St.). Don't go in asking for Grey Goose..."unless you are using it to kill rats". Try the Sobieski, Bull Grass or Honey Vodkha. Skip Eagle Provisions and go straight to Jubilat Provisions for your local Polish sausage fix (they smoke it in the back, or get the fresh which is garlicy and wonderful) - also great poppy seed loaf. Kumon has opened a new bigger location (15/16th St.) right across the street from the beautiful new home of Park Slope Schoolhouse (they should be moving in any moment now). I have been missing the Salvation Army that moved out of the big corner space on 13th St. years ago and was surprised to see a groovy new second hand store there, Life. They accept donations and give tax receipts for all clothes and furniture. It is staffed by volunteers and the proceeds go to Pediatric Cancer Research as well as other programs for children with serious illnesses. My daughters did all their tween budget fashion shopping at Rainbow and Mandees (12/13th St.) but Fresh (11/12th St.) is still the only place to get your skinny jeans. I was surprised at how many new little interesting bars have popped up like crocuses on the avenue and I am making a May 1st date with my husband. We will send off the first college check and then go for a pub crawl down 5th Ave.