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    Williamsburg, Brooklyn's multi-ethnic hipster neighborhood

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    Lluis Enric Mayans
    @lluisenricmayans
    SOURCES CONSULTED:

    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    Multi-ethnic, rock and cradle of New York hipster culture, Williamsburg it is a district that is perhaps still little known overseas, but which deserves a place of honor among the hot-spots of NYC. Forge of great talents of contemporary art, with a sparkling nightlife and a cultural panorama worthy of mention, for its strong multi-experiential vocation, Williamsburg has been defined as Little Berlin, “little Berlin”.

    Home of ethnic groups ranging from Italians to Jews, from Poles to Puerto Ricans, today Williamsburg is a very valid alternative to the most famous boroughs of the Big Apple, thanks to its offer of fashion and vintage boutiques, trendy locations, gourmand restaurants and street-art.



    Index

    • Where is it and how to get there
      • How to get there from Manhattan
      • How to get there from JFK airport
    • What to do / see absolutely
      • Williamsburg Bridge
      • Markets
      • Nostalgic shopping on and around Bedford Avenue
      • East River State Park
      • Brooklyn Brewery
      • Bedford Cheese Shop
      • Mast Brothers Chocolate
      • Street art in the neighborhood
    • Where to eat
    • Accomodation

    Where is it and how to get there

    Williamsburg is one of the boroughs of NYC, in the borough of Brooklyn. Located in front of the East Village, from which it is separated fromEast River, is between Greenpoint to the north, Bedford-Stuyvesant to the south, Ridgewood to the east, and Fort Greene to the west.

    How to get there from Manhattan

    The 2 reference stops for visiting the neighborhood are Bedford Avenue Station, to get off on one of the most central and representative streets of the neighborhood, e Marcy Avenue, near another quaint street that runs under the Williamsburg Bridge, albeit a bit more off-center than the district's main points of interest. Here are the lines that cross the neighborhood parallel and arrive at the 2 aforementioned stations:



    • Bedford Station: line L
    • Marcy Avenue Station: linea J

    To better organize your travels around the city, I refer you to our guide on like taking the subway in New York.

    How to get there from JFK airport

    To get to Williamsburg from the airport you have the following options:

    • Combined train + metro:
      • Marcy Avenue: trains (AirTrain JFK Red) leave every 4 minutes from JFK Terminal 10 to Jamaica Station. Upon arrival, take subway line J at Sutphin BLVD - Archer Av. - JFK Station, direction Broad St., and get off at Marcy Av.
        Cost of the journey: € 7.
        Estimated travel time: about 1 hour
      • Bedford Avenue Station: from JFK take the AirTrain JFK Green, get off at Howard Beach Station and from there take the subway (line A) to Broadway Junction, where you will have to make another change to take the L line that will take you to your destination.
        Cost of the journey: € 7.
        Estimated travel time: about 1 hour
    • Taxi: as an alternative to public transport, you can also take a taxi.
      Cost of the journey: from 50 € (without tip).
      Estimated travel time: from 20 minutes to 45 minutes depending on traffic.
    • Shuttle, private car or shared shuttle:
      • there are some transfer alternatives to consider and some even save money. You can find them all at This Page.

    What to do / see absolutely


    In this interactive map you will find not only the location of the attractions but also that of the metro stops, in order to get an idea of ​​the distances to be covered.



    Williamsburg Bridge

    Il Williamsburg bridge, considered a true symbol of the neighborhood, crosses the East River connecting the Lower East Side of Manhattan to Brooklyn and, when it was inaugurated in 1903, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world (it lost its record in 1924). The bridge includes both rail and car passage, but also a pedestrian and bicycle path.

    The length to go is more than 1 mile and crossing it by bike or on foot is a truly enjoyable experience for both the beautiful view of the East River both for the bridge itself which, with its iron structure, has its own particular charm in an industrial style. The pedestrian entrance and the one for bicycles (with a city bike station in front of it) are on opposite sides of the bridge, both reachable within a few minutes' walk from the stop. Marcy Avenue.

    To photograph the bridge, always get off at the same stop and walk the Broadway towards the river (West), you will begin to see the bridge on your right.

    Markets

    Brooklyn Flea Market

    For those who love vintage and vintage accessories (but not only), this market is an absolute must. Despite having been a consolidated tradition for just 11 years, the Brooklyn flea it has grown over the years to accommodate about a hundred artisans, designers and chefs who, every Saturday and Sunday, meet with fans of fashion, antiques, jewelry, art and delicacies.


    There are two locations that host the market: the Williamsburg Hotel (Saturday, from 11 to 18) and the area DUMBO, under the Manhattan Bridge (Sunday, 10am to 17pm). Be careful, however, because the flea market is held outdoors only from April to October, while from November to March the event moves to the indoor location. Given the location of the market, it has sometimes been moved, I refer you to the official website, to be checked for any changes in location.


    Great for: buying designer items or fancy jewelry, enjoying great street food and admiring eclectic contemporary works of art.

    Smorgasburg

    About 100 stalls entirely dedicated to food. Smorgasburg it is a direct derivation of the Flea Market, but much more delicious. There are two unmissable locations: Williamsburg's East River State Park (Saturdays, from 11 to 18) and its Prospect Park (Sundays, from 11 to 18), hundreds of gourmet proposals, from take-away food to craft beer , from classic burgers to pancakes, to ethnic delicacies, all to try.

    Great for: sipping amazing colorful cocktails, alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

    Artists & Fleas

    Another stop not to be missed is theArtists & Fleas, a paradise for shopping enthusiasts of all kinds. Here, in fact, every weekend over 75 exhibitors ranging from designers to creatives, from collectors to museum curators offer unique goodies. For those looking for delicacies and trendy objects, fashion and design, the Artists & Fleas knows how to provide answers and ideas thanks to which returning home empty-handed is absolutely impossible.

    • Dove: 70, North 7th St., Williamsburg, NYC
    • When: the location is open on weekends, Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 19pm.

    Nostalgic shopping on and around Bedford Avenue

    The hipster air is everywhere in Williamsburg, but even more so in Bedford Avenue, a real mecca for those in search of vintage, rarities and timeless pieces. Here is a series of shops listed from south to north.

    Spoonbill & Sugartown Books

    Inaugurated in 1999, this bookshop is a real paradise for those looking for rare books (used and new) on topics such as contemporary art, philosophy, music, literature, design and more. Fans will also be able to visit the other shop of Spoonbill & Sugartown Books at 99 Montrose Avenue, towards East Williamsburg (it is a bit of a walk to reach so take the subway, line G to get off at Broadway).

    • Dove: 218, Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NYC
    • When: the bookshop is open every day from 10 am to 22 pm.

    Buffalo exchange

    In the beating heart of Williamsburg, the Buffalo Exchange is a fashion paradise where local designers compete with each other in fabrics and colors. Not only clothes, however, but also precious vintage gems: dresses, shoes, bags, scarves, jewels. Enter from Buffalo exchange it is an experience that projects from the contemporary to the golden years of fashion loved by the most nostalgic.

    • Dove: 504, Driggs Avenue, Brooklyn, NYC
    • When: the store is open from Monday to Saturday, from 11 to 20, and on Sunday from 12 to 19.

    RoughTrade

    CD, 33 rpm, melodic rarities: at Rough Trade you really can find anything you could wish for. The Williamsburg store, the largest in the chain, sells both CDs and fine vinyls in a unique location, where it is also possible to sip a cappuccino comfortably seated on the balcony overlooking the history of music.

    • Dove: 64, North 9th Street, Brooklyn, NYC
    • When: the store is open from Monday to Saturday, from 11 to 23, and on Sunday from 11 to 21.

    Beacon's Closet

    It is a destination within a destination: for those who adore fashion trends, but with an eye to the wallet. Mostly used items are sold there, kept very well, but also new clothes, shoes, bags and accessories. Only drawback? Getting trapped between endless stands and exhibitions. The store is indeed huge!

    • Dove: 74, Guernsey St., Brooklyn, NYC
    • When: open from Monday to Sunday, from 11 to 20.

    East River State Park

    City park located along theEast River, this green oasis allows visitors to enjoy unrivaled views of Manhattan. Nature trails, play areas for the little ones and walks through history (complete with information signs that tell the story of what was once a docking place for ships) are just some of the features of this park.

    In fact, it is also possible to admire areas where rare plants and flowers grow, discover ancient railway sections now abandoned, take advantage of the areas equipped for fitness or participate in the numerous events that are organized there. The park is open all year round, from 9 to 21 (May-October) and from 9 to 19 (October-April).

    Brooklyn Brewery

    Not just a brewery (although the choice here is almost unlimited), but a real multifunctional center in which to experience excellent gastronomy, concerts, cultural events and contemporary art exhibitions. An unmissable institution in the Big Apple landscape, for over 30 years. The perfect place to sip traditional beers, but also limited editions, accompanied by extravagant and tasty dishes, strictly paired with the chosen drink.

    • Dove: 79, N 11th St. Brooklyn, NYC.
    • When: the brewery is open every day, but at different times. From Monday to Thursday, from 17pm to 23pm; Friday from 17pm to midnight; Saturdays from midnight to 12 noon; Sunday from 12 to 20.

    Bedford Cheese Shop

    If you are used to traveling to the States you will know well how it is not easy to find high quality gastronomy. Well, if you are homesick, you have found the right place, since the mission of this shop is to make known in the USA the ancient traditions of the European culinary and agricultural world. In addition to the impressive selection of cheeses, here you can also find many cured meats (for example guanciale, Tuscan salme, mortadella etc ...), a wide selection of craft beers and wines. It is the right place to have a delicious tasting!

    • Dove: 265, Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NYC
    • When: the shop is open from Monday to Thursday and Sunday from 8 to 20; from Friday to Saturday from 8 to 21.

    Mast Brothers Chocolate

    Vegan, milk, extra dark. Whatever the preferred choice, the Mast Brothers Chocolate has the right answer (and finger). Promoter of desserts made with simple ingredients, using sustainable resources and following production processes linked to tradition, this family business, born in a NYC apartment and soon grown almost exponentially, sells greedy products and fascinating packaging. Because the eye also wants its part. Visiting the Williamsburg store is a great idea, not only to discover the secrets of chocolate, but also to return home with tasty souvenirs.

    • Dove: 111, North 3rd St. Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC.
    • When: open every day, from 11 to 19.

    Street art in the neighborhood

    Williamsburg's hipster and artistic vocation is also (re) found block after block, in the graffiti and “street” works of art that characterize this neighborhood a few steps from Manhattan. Therefore, a walking tour is recommended in which you absolutely must include the North 3rd Street, Bedford Avenue, Keap Street and Hope Street.

    For those who do not like to walk for a long time, I suggest you stop at two specific points:

    • the intersection of Bedford Av. and N 9th St., to admire the kaleidoscopic colored mural depicting Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol
    • 229 N 10th St. where there is an entire wall of murals painted by different street artists.

    Where to eat

    • Egg Restaurant: minimal setting, soft colors, traditional flavors (American, of course!). Egg is open for breakfast and lunch and serves dishes, pastries and eggs made with organic ingredients. The specialty for breakfast? Eggs Rothko, eggs and Grafton cheese with boiled tomatoes and a side of savoy cabbage or meat. Exquisite! Prices from: $ 15 excluding drinks.
      Dove: 109, N 3rd St., Brooklyn, NYC
      When: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, from 7 to 17; Tuesday from 7 to 15; Saturday and Sunday from 8 to 17.
    • Brooklyn Bowl: if you love American goliardic atmospheres, this is the right place. To try bowling, listen to live country music, see artistic performances, in one location very-American, where you can indulge in delicacies such as ribs in BBQ sauce, fried chicken wings, hamburgers, catfish tacos. Prices: from $ 25 excluding drinks.
      Dove: 61, Wythe Av., Brooklyn, NYC.
      When: open every day, from 18pm to late at night.
    • St. Anselm: ideal for those who love grilling, this restaurant serves both fish and meat with seasonal vegetables side dishes. Much loved by New Yorkers, it is a restaurant to try to experience the chic atmosphere of a place frequented only by locals. The specialty? Grilled salmon steak, with garlic butter. Prices: from $ 25 excluding drinks.
      Dove: 355, Metropolitan Av., Brooklyn, NYC.
      When: open for both lunch and dinner, it is advisable to choose it for a glam evening and to arm yourself with patience (in fact, they do not accept reservations). From Monday to Thursday the restaurant is open from 17pm to 23pm; Friday and Saturday from 17pm to midnight; Sunday from 17pm to 23pm.

    Accomodation

    In the Williamsburg area, near Bedford Avenue, there are some accommodations that may be right for you if you like the idea of ​​“living for a few days” in a Brooklyn suburb full of personality; here are our recommended accommodations in the neighborhood. Alternatively, check out the areas we have recommended for sleeping in New York in our dedicated guide. Finally, for a complete list of all available Williamsburg accommodation you can click the button below:

     Accommodation available in Williamsburg

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