Brooklyn/Williamsburg

From Wikivoyage
Jump to: navigation, search
The Brooklyn Flea flea market on the Williamsburg waterfront, with the East River and Manhattan beyond

Williamsburg is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, as little as one subway stop away from Manhattan, and is bordered to the north by Greenpoint, to the east by Bushwick and to the south by Bedford-Stuyvesant.

In recent years, Williamsburg has transitioned from a traditionally working-class Jewish, Italian and Polish neighborhood into a poster child for urban renewal and gentrification. The North Side and Greenpoint have become some of New York's hottest areas, with new bars and restaurants popping up every month. The South Side still has a very traditional feel with a large Hasidic Jewish population.

These neighborhoods together will give you everything you look for in New York: views, food, people, and plenty to explore. There is something here for every visitor.

Understand[edit]

Looking west on S. 6th St. toward the Williamsburg Bridge
  • Williamsburg- Take L train from Manhattan to Bedford or Lorimer. The closest water taxi stop is "North Williamsburg" via the East River Ferry. Many restaurants, several popular music clubs and a burgeoning art gallery district. This is now what Greenwich Village used to be - including the artsy scene complete with eclectic galleries and off-beat bars.
  • East Williamsburg- Centered around the Morgan Ave stop on the L train. Seemingly a desolate industrial area, this neighborhood has surprises around every corner. Try out Roberta's Pizza, which gets its ingredients for its fabulous pizzas from its own rooftop farm, and from befriended urban farms in the area. For a drink, head to The Narrows or King's County. Many of New York's underground warehouse parties are thrown in this area as well.
  • Greenpoint- At the northwestern tip of Brooklyn, Greenpoint is the second largest Polish enclave in the United States (after Chicago), but is also home to a sizable Latino population (north of Huron St.) and a growing number of hipsters (see Franklin St.). L Magazine recently called Greenpoint the best neighborhood in all of Brooklyn. The part that quickly is getting gentrified centers around the Nassau stop on the G train. The traditional Polish part is further up Manhattan Ave and its side streets.

Get Polish food at Karczma (136 Greenpoint Av.), coffee at Ashbox (Manhattan Av. between Ash & Box), brunch at Brooklyn Label (Franklin & Java), Mexican at Acapulco's (Manhattan & Clay). 5 Leaves, on the north-west corner of McCarren park, is one of the best restaurants of the entire city, build up with the estate that Heath Ledger left behind after he passed away.

There are lots of good Polish meat markets along Manhattan and Nassau Avs, too. For some industrial chic, walk down Java Street to its dead end at the East River for great views of Midtown. Nearest subway: G train to Nassau Av. and Greenpoint Av. stations.

  • Bushwick- Rich in its own history, Bushwick is home to many brownstones, mansions, and projects alike. As a low-income neighborhood, shopping can be done on Knickerbocker Avenue, whether for clothes, appliances, or food. The newly restored Maria Hernandez Park on Knickerbocker Ave. and Suydam St. is a nice spot to bring the kids and relax in the shade of the trees. While it's not like neighboring "East Williamsburg", Williamsburg, or Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick has its own sense of community, not to be confused with anything else. However violent crime is a still a concern along with the other social problems in a community with a high poverty rate.

Get in[edit]

The iconic Williamsburg Savings Bank Building

You can take the J/M/Z trains to Marcy Avenue for the South Side or the L to Bedford Avenue for the North Side. The East River Ferry makes stops in both north and south Williamsburg. The G train also runs through the neighborhood. This general area is served by the Bedford Avenue through Bushwick-Aberdeen stations on the L train and the Marcy Avenue through Chauncy Street stations on the J/Z trains. The M stations from Marcy Avenue through Wycoff Avenue also serve this area. There is a bus station at the Marcy Avenue station and at the Myrtle-Wycoff station in Bushwick. The B39 bus goes over the Williamsburg Bridge along with the J/M/Z trains and goes to the Lower East Side.

See[edit]

  •    Bedford Avenue. The area around the Bedford Avenue subway stop is one of the most lively areas and a great place to hang out and see hipsters (as well as many tourists).
  •    The City Reliquary370 Metropolitan Ave (at Havemeyer; Subway: G to Metropolitan Ave, L to Lorimer St),  +1 718 782-4842, e-mail: . Th-Su noon-6PM. Small storefront museum with random artifacts from the city's history.
  •    Williamsburg Art & Historical Center135 Broadway (at Bedford Ave/S 6th St; Subway: JMZ to Marcy Ave),  +1 718 486-7372, e-mail: . F-M noon-6PM. Housed in the former Kings County Savings Bank Building, constructed in 1867. Features art exhibitions and displays of historical art and artifacts.
  •    Brooklyn Brewery79 N 11th St (between Berry and Wythe; Subway: L to Bedford Ave, G to Nassau Ave). The award-winning brewery has grown to buildings on both sides of 11th, and they offer tours on both weekends and weekdays. The tour is a lot of fun and educational, and you get tokens to sample some of the delicious brew. They don't have a kitchen, but some great local pizza places deliver to the brewery -- it may seem odd but it's encouraged. There are some no reservation tours on Saturday and Sunday, with reservations required for smaller, more private tours Monday through Thursday. On Friday there are no tours, but it's a popular hangout. More information on tours can be found at their website.

Do[edit]

Row houses on a tree-lined street in Bushwick

Theater[edit]

  •    The Brick579 Metropolitan Ave (at Lorimer; Subway: G to Metropolitan Ave, L to Lorimer St),  +1 718 907-6189. A former garage, The Brick is home to cutting-edge independent theater, The New York Clown Theater Festival, and an annual themed festival each year (past themes included the Moral Values Festival and the $ellout Festival). Tickets are $15.

Concerts[edit]

  •    Knitting Factory361 Metropolitan Ave (at Havemeyer; Subway: L to Bedford Ave, JMZ to Marcy Ave),  +1 347 529-6696. Door times usually at 7PM or 8PM. Bar open Mon-Fri 5PM to late, Sat + Sun 12PM to late. The legendary New York concert club moved from Manhattan to Williamsburg in 2009. Check a diverse blend of live music, comedy, and special events. Main room events are all ages, bar events 21+.
  •    Death by Audio49 S 2nd St (between Kent and Wythe; Subway: L to Bedford Ave, JMZ to Marcy Ave). door times usually at 8PM. All-ages underground music venue. Cheap beers available for the 21+ crowd.
  •    Glasslands Gallery289 Kent Ave (between S 1st and S 2nd Sts; Subway: L to Bedford Ave). One of Williamsburg's many DIY event spaces. In the last couple of years it has become a direct competitor to the Mercury Lounge in Manhattan. All events 21+.
  •    Music Hall of Williamsburg66 N 6th St (between Kent and Wythe; Subway: L to Bedford Ave),  +1 718 486-5400. Door times usually at 8PM. Hosts larger indie rock concerts for the 18+ crowd. 600-person capacity.

Buy[edit]

  •    Academy Records Annex85 Oak St (at Franklin; Subway: G to Greenpoint Ave),  +1 718 218-8200. Noon-8PM daily. Fairly large selection of vinyl records.
  •    Earwax Records167 N 9th St (between Bedford and Driggs; Subway: L to Bedford Ave),  +1 718 486-3771. 11AM-9PM daily. This record store has operated at various locations in Williamsburg since 1990.
  •    Permanent Records181 Franklin St (at Huron; Subway: G to Greenpoint Ave),  +1 718 383-4083. Noon-8PM daily. Sells records.
  •    Beacon's Closet88 N 11th St (between Berry and Wythe; Subway: L to Bedford Ave, G to Nassau Ave). M-F 11AM-9PM, Sa-Su 11AM-8PM. A big thrift store focusing on clothes, they buy and sell and have lots of variety for men and women. Also lots of shoes.

Eat[edit]

Polish stores in Greenpoint, north of Williamsburg
  •    Café Moto394 Broadway (at Hooper/Division; Subway: JM to Hewes St),  +1 718 599-6895. Dinner: 6PM-midnight daily; brunch: Sa-Su 11AM-4PM. Please small bar/restaurant with very good food and good beer and wine lists. Don't miss the warm date cake with toffee sauce & fresh cream if you have a sweet tooth: It's one of the more delicious desserts you'll find, especially at this price point. Great live jazz every night, starting around 9, and also starting around noon for weekend brunch. starters and small dishes: $6-9; salads: $9-11; mains: $12-17; sides: $4; desserts: $4-9.
  •    Fornino187 Bedford Ave (at N 7th St; Subway: L to Bedford Ave),  +1 718 384-6004. Su-Th noon-11PM, F-Sa noon-midnight. Great wood fired pizza with an inside and an outside seating area near the Bedford Ave L train. They also have pitchers of Sangria, 3 types of beers, and wine by the glass and by the bottle. Service is a little inattentive, but the large portions of great food make up for it. Between $8 for a small up to $22 for a large.
  •    Peter Luger Steak House178 Broadway (at Driggs; Subway: JMZ to Marcy Ave),  +1 718 387-7400. M-Th 11:45AM–9:45PM, F-Sa 11:45AM–10:45PM, Su 12:45PM–9:45PM. Rated New York's No. 1 Steak House for 23 years in a row by Zagat! Located near the entrance to the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge, this over 100-year-old establishment offers what many connoisseurs consider the best steak in America and it is priced as such. Reservations recommended.
  •    SEA114 N 6th St (at Berry; Subway: L to Bedford Ave),  +1 718 384-8850. Su-Th 11:30AM-11:30PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-1:30AM. In a spacious and lively setting, complete with a reflecting pool and Buddha statues, you'll find what some consider among the best Thai fusion food, especially for the money, though sticklers for authenticity complain the food is too sweet. All of the curries are highly recommended, as are the emerald vegetable dumplings with black plum sauce and the green salad with mesclun, bean sprouts, taro chips and peanut dressing. DJ's join the fray in the evenings.
  •    Roberta's261 Moore St (at Bogart; Subway: L to Morgan Ave),  +1 718 417-1118. M-F 11AM-midnight, Sa-Su 10AM-midnight. Some of the best pizza in the entire city. Great inside and outside. Ingredients taken from rooftop farms around Brooklyn and Queens.
  •    Five Leaves18 Bedford Ave (at Nassau/Lorimer; Subway: G to Nassau Ave),  +1 718 383-5345. 8AM-1AM daily. One of Greenpoint's most popular new restaurants. Great, original food, place with vintage feel and a cocktail bar across the street. Coffee to go sold out the window. This place is very popular, so prepare to wait a little.

Drink[edit]

  •    Barcade388 Union Ave (between Ainslie and Powers; Subway: G to Metropolitan Ave or L to Lorimer St),  +1 718 302-6464. M-Th 4PM-4AM, F 2PM-4AM, Sa-Su noon-4AM. Features at least 30-40 classic 70s and 80s arcade games, all for 25 cents! Also has 20 microbrews on tap and specialty beer nights.
  •    Goodbye Blue Monday1087 Broadway (at Dodworth; Subway: J to Kosciusko St or JMZ to Myrtle Ave),  +1 718 453-6343. M-Sa starting somewhere around 7PM-11PM. A somewhere between a club and cafe Bushwick indie rock and jazz venue for local music junkies, largely college-age, named after a Kurt Vonnegut story. All the various clutter and unorthodox aesthetic jumbles that make up the place are apparently for sale too, so you can take a piece of the experience home with you. They get a good deal of well-known indie rockers here (as well as really out there nonsense), and were awarded the "Best Place to Hear New Music in NYC" award from the Village Voice. Beer, wine, coffee, and WiFi.
  •    Surf Bar139 N 6th St (between Bedford and Berry; Subway: L to Bedford Ave),  +1 718 302-4441. A tiki bar, true to form with sand on the ground, coconuts and all kinds of other beach artifacts. They serve tiki cocktails plus your usual bar drinks. A fun place, especially in flip flops.

Sleep[edit]

  •    Greenpoint YMCA99 Meserole Ave (at Lorimer St; Subway: G train to Greenpoint Ave or Nassau Ave),  +1 718 389-3700fax: +1 718 349-2146. Economy and deluxe rooms daily, weekly and monthly rates; higher prices during peak period. $99 for a double room. $48-69.
  •    New York Loft Hostel249 Varet Street (between White St and Bogart St; Subway: L train to Morgan Ave),  +1 718-366-1351, e-mail: . Check-in: 24 hours. Free breakfast, BBQ dinner three times a week, Wi-Fi and computer station. Well adapted to the backpacker type. Dorms $35-45, privates $65-75.
  •    Red Carpet Inn980 Wyckoff Ave (at Halsey; Subway: L train to Halsey St),  +1 718 417-4111. A 3 star inn.

Connect[edit]

  • Brooklyn Public Library (Bushwick branch), 340 Bushwick Ave (at Seigel; Subway: JM trains to Flushing Ave or L train to Montrose Ave),  +1 718 602-1348. M 1PM-8PM, Tu-W 10AM-6PM, Th 1PM-6PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
  • Brooklyn Public Library (DeKalb branch), 790 Bushwick Ave (at DeKalb; Subway: J train to Kosciuszko St),  +1 718 455-3898. M-Tu 10AM-6PM, W 1PM-8PM, Th 1PM-6PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
  • Brooklyn Public Library (Greenpoint branch), 107 Norman Ave (between Eckford and Leonard; Subway: G train to Nassau Ave),  +1 718 349-8504. M-Tu 10AM-6PM, W-Th 1PM-8PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
  • Brooklyn Public Library (Leonard branch), 81 Devoe St (at Leonard; Subway: L train to Lorimer St or G train to Metropolitan Ave),  +1 718 486-3365. M 1PM-8PM, Tu-W 10AM-6PM, Th 1PM-6PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
  • Brooklyn Public Library (Washington Irving branch), 360 Irving Ave (at Woodbine; Subway: L train to Myrtle Ave or M train to Wyckoff Ave),  +1 718 628-8378. M-Tu 10AM-6PM, W 1PM-8PM, Th 1PM-6PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
  • Brooklyn Public Library (Williamsburgh branch), 240 Division Ave (at Marcy; Subway: JMZ trains to Marcy Ave),  +1 718 302-3485. M 10AM-6PM, Tu 1PM-8PM, W 10AM-6PM, Th 1PM-6PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Williamsburg
ENDLong Island City, Queens  N NYCS-bull-trans-G.svg S  Bed-StuyDowntown Brooklyn
Financial DistrictLower East Side, Manhattan  W NYCS-bull-trans-J.svgnoframe E  Bed-StuyEast Brooklyn
Chelsea/Greenwich VillageGramercy Flatiron/East Village, Manhattan  W NYCS-bull-trans-L.svg E  East BrooklynEND
MidtownLower East Side, Manhattan  W NYCS-bull-trans-M.svg E  Forest Park, QueensEND
Jackson HeightsLong Island City  N I-278.svg S  BrooklynStaten Island


This district travel guide to Williamsburg has the status usable. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page
40.71493; -73.94314Map mag.png