Williamsburg is the poster-girl of NYC’s hipster movement. The artsy urban landscape has become so sought after that the rent prices have become equal to that of Manhattan lofts. I, ever the shameless lover of hipster culture, couldn’t resist exploring the neighbourhood whilst on my year abroad in New York. It definitely did not disappoint me; I completely fell in love with the slightly rough-around-the-edges feel of the city streets. Having made many a trip there during my year, I’ve curated a small, handy guide to the absolute best places to see, eat and shop in this exciting part of Brooklyn:
Sights to see
The best way to experience a city like NYC is to walk the streets and get lost. The main hot-spot is Bedford Avenue, located by the only subway station that connects the area to Manhattan. You’ll be greeted by colourful store fronts, local restaurants, and street stalls selling clothing and home-ware. You can admire the art murals that adorn the ground, the walls, the doors; the entire space is like one big street art gallery.
the entire space is like one big street art gallery
As for an amazing view, you can do no better than the East River State Park, which has one of the best views of the skyline.
There is no shortage of great restaurants in this neighbourhood.
My personal favourite was a tiny yet adorable Japanese fusion café on North 6th Street, named House of Small Wonder. Unassuming on the outside, the interior looks and feels like a Japanese garden and serves both continental breakfasts (I always picked the croissants and fruit salad) and traditional dishes such as Kobe Beef and sticky rice.
Unassuming on the outside, the interior looks and feels like a Japanese garden
If you were just looking to grab a coffee though, Sweet Leaf coffeehouse is offbeat, quirky and cosy.
Shop till you drop
This area is known for its vintage shopping opportunities, and it really lives up to its reputation. From the outside market stalls to the indoor stalls of Artists and Fleas, flea markets are definitely the way to go. The friendly sellers are always willing to negotiate and I have found some truly unique pieces.
Even if you can’t bring yourself to loosen the purse strings, just admiring the oddball decorative charm of Williamsburg shops is rewarding in itself
On Bedford Avenue, there is an alleyway that houses a plethora of irresistible shops, from bath bomb stores to cosy second-hand bookstores. Even if you can’t bring yourself to loosen the purse strings, just admiring the oddball decorative charm of Williamsburg shops is rewarding in itself!