Most people who visit New York just stay on the island of Manhattan, but that is only one of the five boroughs of New York City. Brooklyn is another one and totally worth checking out. A few weeks ago I did a post on DUMBO, Brooklyn and today I will tell you all about Williamsburg, which is a very hip and artistic neighborhood in north Brooklyn. This used to be the neighborhood where the rich would go when they wanted to get out of the city.
Smorgasburg and East River State Park
During the summer Williamsburg is host to Smorgasburg on Saturdays. Smorgasburg is a weekly food festival. There are over 75 food vendors, so you will always be able to find something you like. If you are vegan or gluten free, you will have more than one dish to choose from. I have tried a few different vegan options and they are delicious. They have burgers, fries, tacos, corn on a cob, doughnuts, ice cream, beer and so much more. The festival is held in East River State Park, so while you are enjoying your food, you have a beautiful view of Manhattan.
Toby’s Estate Coffee
This might be my favorite coffee shop in all of New York. Toby’s Estate Coffee has a few locations throughout the city, but this one in Williamsburg was the very first. They serve coffee and tea, pastries, lunch and also beer. Mainly I love this place, because you can go here to work, to catch up with friends, to have a meeting or just to read a book. The good coffee is a nice bonus. The entire storefront is made of glass, so there is a lot of natural light, and the ceiling is very high, which makes the space very open and welcoming. It can be very busy on the weekends through, but I have always been able to find a place to sit.
Williamsburg is known for its thrift shops and many people go here to find second-hand and/or vintage clothing. There is Monk Vintage Thrift Store, which is a very small space with a lot of clothes. It is nice to just browse the many racks of clothing, because they have some very cool stuff. Then there is Buffalo Exchange next door. Here you can find more “wearable” clothes and also some designer stuff if you look for it. It is also a bit more organized than Monk Vintage Thrift Store. I found a skirt from Zara there that was less than a fourth of the original price, I found out later. Beacon’s Closet is another thrift store. I have never been there, but I have heard it is an amazing store. Apparently you can find beautiful vintage dresses here and designer clothes for way less than the original price.
Artists and Fleas
Artists and Fleas is a store where small artists and designers sell their things. It is a big space with a lot of small stalls where you can buy jewelry, clothes, soap and art among other things. Something are a bit pricey though. They also have a location in Chelsea Market, but that one is usually very crowded. I think it very cool to look around here, because they have so many different things and the people are very laid back and easy-going.
That is your guide to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. There are more great places to go in this neighborhood, but these are my favorites. Williamsburg is a very nice change from busy Manhattan. It is a very relaxed and hip part in New York. To get a feeling for what New York really is like, you should definitely go to Williamsburg, because there are rarely tourists.