North Brooklyn: Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bushwick
They say that Brooklyn residents rarely see a reason to go to downtown anymore. Surely I’ll admit, it has been two months for me. One can argue that Manhattan’s love for corporate cash put a dent on the borough’s true character; truth is you can thank ridiculous rent prices and Starbucks lovers for Brooklyn’s attractiveness.
To start, Williamsburg and Greenpoint were home of 2000’s warehouse raves, artist lofts, and immigrant families. Today, they have been mostly replaced by luxury condos and $5 lattes. But if you know where to look or who to talk to, you’ll find yourself face to face with the creative DIY spirit that drew broke people here to begin with.
Here, dining options range from Argentine, Moroccan, BBQ, Japanese, Polish, and German, to quite possibly the best New American cuisine in all of NYC (courtesy of the Marlow & Sons folks). Get your morning coffee from a shipping-container-turned-radio-station where DJ’s play around the clock. Party with real people at Good Room and Black Flamingo. Sip adult beverages at neighborhood favorites Delmano and Kinfolk. Buy local, and enjoy enough music venues and record shops to make your head spin.
Their grittier counterpart, Bushwick, still feels like its own eco-system and is fighting gentrification. Born out of the need for cheaper, larger art spaces, the neighborhood still aims to keep its original Latino flavor while welcoming newcomers. This is where graffiti reigns (however questionable some street art can be these days), your friend’s roommate is performing her new piece at Bushwick Collective Block Party, and the night always seems to end at Bossa Nova Civic Club because techno is king.
McCarren Hotel & Pool
A hotel with a pool in NYC is not easy to come by. A hotel with cool summer programming at a pool is even harder to come by. If partying is on your calendar, then consider the McCarren Hotel as your new favorite summertime hang in the city. Other pros to this spot include trendy mid-century interiors and the famous McCarren Park across the street. A Williamsburg staple.
The Wythe Hotel is where “grown-ups” stay in Williamsburg. This hotel pays attention to detail: interiors are a combined effort of local artisans, a partnership with the very fancy Brooklyn Athletic Club, a screening room, commissioned art, and more. This beautiful hotel truly embodies the new Brooklyn, steered by young creative’s seeking spaces to make things happen. Like it or not, gentrification is here to stay. Luckily, it’s aesthetically pleasing.
The Henry Norman
Greenpoint–a ten minute walk from busy Williamsburg–is the more laid back, less tourist-y neighborhood that residents never wish to leave. It hasn’t alienated its long-time Polish residents, yet has equally welcomed new, younger neighbors and businesses alike. The Henry Norman channels the vibe in their quaint, affordable, homey, and clean rooms. What it lacks in amenities, it makes up for in quality. Pro tip: score a ride on their antique car service for free if it’s within one mile.
The Box Hotel
Sister property to The Henry Norman, The Box Hotel is a recycled old building converted into colorful, modern lofts and suites close to the Greenpoint Waterfront area. While they have a restaurant on the premises, we’d highly recommend you try our favorites: Esme, Anella, and Glasserie (all within walking distance). Chances are you’ll end up falling in love with the neighborhood and extend your stay… indefinitely.
The Williamsburg Hotel
We knew it was about time until alumni of successful Manhattan hotel ventures would cross over the bridge. With design by the firm that did the Soho House Berlin, and management by The Standard and Bowery Hotels alumni, we’re happy to give them a chance. Here’s what’s in store: a rooftop pool with bar, an underground nightclub, restaurant, and a bar inside a water tower? We hear they’re looking forward to serving film and music industry professionals, so expect programming to be catered for those with an ear to the ground.