For those visiting New York City, or locals looking for a day in creative, free spirited surroundings out of the neon, concrete jungle, Williamsburg, Brooklyn is an option worthy of your time.
When you hop on the L train going east towards Brooklyn, you may find yourself surrounded by people dressed in plaid shirts, stonewashed denim jackets, army pattern, spikes, trendy sunglasses or optic yellow Carhartt beanies.
Many will exit along with you in Williamsburg, more specifically at the Bedford Avenue subway stop. The carelessly stacked 60’s style bicycles, walls covered in colorful graffiti, and trendy street style dress code makes it hard to believe that this is the first stop past the more chic Manhattan.
When standing on top of the subway stairs, you will see Konditori, a small, Swedish espresso bar between Bedford and Driggs Ave. They serve a variety of coffee and pas- tries. There are croissants, bagels and of course, it wouldn’t be Brooklyn without something gluten-free, like their muffins, good for either breakfast or lunch.
On Bedford Ave, there is just as much to observe out on the streets as inside the shops. Street vendors sell everything imag- inable; and even some things you couldn’t imagine. Piles of classic books that you can buy for five dollars, vintage clothing, jewelry and artwork made out of obscure materials are some of the things you might find. There are creations for sale that are hard to wrap your head around; portraits of sock puppets, hand knitted attire for cats and dogs. Cans for sale, which are tipped over and seem to have soda spilling out of them, are suggested to be used for scaring your mom, or reserv- ing a spot. Because who wants a chair with soda all over it?
There are many old-school record shops in the area, as well as unique clothing boutiques in both ends of the price range. If you are looking for old-fashioned anything, you have come to the right place.
The perhaps best-known vintage store in the area is Beacon’s closet. You will get there by following Bedford Ave north and then turning west on 11th street. Beacon’s is a thrift shop where you can buy and sell old or new clothing. It has two departments, one for each gender. The sections are packed with such a huge quantity of clothing that it’s hard to pass through some places. Ralph Lauren shirts, fur coats, clothing made by brands you have never heard of and denim anything. Almost everything is in the price range of five and 60 dollars. Sixty dollars will get you a nice, previously expensive coat, but most things are only about 20 dollars.
Continue walking west, until you hit Kent Street, and you may see a lot of powerful, thoughtful, creative and even politically inspired graffiti. Dan Hewins, a photographer from Brooklyn said the industrial, edgy surroundings make for great pictures.
If you are looking for a real treat, Fabbrica, an Italian restaurant and bar, is on the corner of Kent and 6th. Fabbrica has a very open and spacious atmosphere, but if you are hoping to be outside while enjoying one of their desserts, like a pastel colored French macaroon with a hint of golden shimmer, or a delightful lemon pie, East Ferry Park is just a few feet away. The park has a picture-perfect, clear skyline view of Manhattan.
At this point, it is easy to walk back to the subway stop along 6th street. If you choose to explore Brooklyn further, a ferry can take you to the base of the scenic Brooklyn Bridge for only four dollars. You can take a leisurely stroll across the bridge, but beware – it’s at your own risk of getting trampled by a cyclist.
The photo opportunities from the ferry are vast, with Manhattan’s skyline in the background.
Lastly, you can either take the subway home from High Street, or walk across and enjoy the timeless view.
LIU Post student, Talia Charlton, said she has not been there yet, but since she is very interested in fashion and has read good things about the restaurants, it’s about time.
Williamsburg has options for everyone, and is definitely a place where you can truly be yourself whether you want to blend in or stand out.