The hub of the Caribbean is in Brooklyn

You’ll need the stamina of Jamaican sprinters to make your way through Brooklyn during Labor Day weekend.  The New York Times gives a guide to some of the restaurants to visit during West Indian Day.

“NEXT weekend, according to nonpolice estimates, 10 quadrillion people will sweat their way down Eastern Parkway, dancing and eating and waving the flags of more than a dozen Caribbean nations during the city’s most famous street party, the West Indian American Day Carnival.

Into the food but not so much the ear-splitting music? Explore the West Indian restaurants of Brooklyn, concentrated along Nostrand and Flatbush Avenues. Like Chinatown in Flushing or Russian Brighton Beach, visiting is like entering another world, but with one big difference: just about everybody’s native language is English. For the monolingual traveler, that’s a boon. Everyone from the toughest-looking teenagers to the littlest old ladies can explain at length what rotis and bakes and pones and cou-cou and macaroni pie are all about.

So many restaurants, so little stomach real estate. One must-visit spot is Culpepper’s, a Barbadian (or Bajan) take-out spot where you can pick up the national specialty: cou-cou with flying fish. It’s an absolutely humongous meal that involves a cornmeal mass in a soupy tomato and onion sauce topped with a couple of fried fillets of flying fish. And you can enjoy it on chairs outside under a charmingly out-of-place white sidewalk tent.”


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