Rachel's, the beauty salon and tattoo parlor with the funky handmade sign on Fifth between 11th and 12th, opened up shop on Saturday. It's actually pretty swanky-looking inside, with some couches up front, a few hairdresser stations, and a tattoo/piercing area in the back. There's also a pretty nice DJ setup, for some reason.
Rachel's Tattoo and Beauty Salon, 477 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-788-2704.
Bogota Latin Bistro, on Fifth between St. Johns and Lincoln, has consistently been serving up quality pan-Latin cuisine since friends George Constantinou Fernandes and Farid Ali Lancheros first opened its doors in July of 2005 after years of careful planning and research. It's usually crowded (especially on the weekends), and it's the kind of restaurant that knows exactly what it wants to be, who it wants to cater to, and does that very well. In this neighborhood, that certainly can be commended. It also stays open until 11 on weekdays and 1 on the weekends, which is a big plus.
Their Cuban Sandwich, above, stacked with cumin-y, garlicky pernil, is one of the tastiest around. Their Colombian and Argentinian-style empanadas are also worth seeking out, and a mojito or two does a great job of washing down anything doused in their homemade aji sauce.
Bogota Latin Bistro, 141 5th Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-230-3805.
It's always fascinating to think about what relics of an older time are still in place, just hidden from view behind modern additions. Case in point: this classic hand-painted sign for a grocery that previously occupied the space recently vacated by clothing boutique Serene Rose, on Fifth Avenue between 3rd and 4th. It looks to be from the 70s; can anyone make out the first word there?