Williamsburg: home of the humble New York hipster, Smorgasburg, and the renaissance of the American beard. Williamsburg was one of the first Brooklyn neighborhoods to really challenge New York’s coolest area and has immensely benefited from its fashionable reputation.
Bordered from North to South with Flushing Avenue to Nassau Avenue and East to West with Bushwick Avenue to East River, Williamsburg may seem small but it is huge in variety.
Williamsburg has numerous transit links to Manhattan. The L train provides a fantastic link directly into Manhattan, with the M and F crossing the East River at a more leisurely pace. The G train connects Williamsburg with the E and 7’s links to Midtown.
When discussing Williamsburg transit, it’s important to address the subway tunnel sized elephant in the room: the L train’s closure. It’s going to shut down for 18 months in 2019 for repairs of damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. However, despite New Yorkers’ (unsurprisingly) dramatic reactions, Williamsburg will be fine – the MTA is planning a host of transit alternatives, and the L train will have renovated subway stops when it re-opens in 2020.
It goes without saying that Williamsburg offers an incredible lifestyle. Manhattan is incredibly close by, but residents often find themselves not even making the trip across the river. The neighborhood isn’t quite as hipster as it was 5 years ago – its grungy, artistic aesthetic has become a little more expensive as high-end boutiques, restaurants, and bars have moved in.
However, it is still great for those who love to live in a cultural hub – the area is bursting with artists. Walking through the streets can feel like attending a particularly avant-garde fashion show – despite its increasing popularity, Williamsburg’s residents have managed to retain their own unique sense of style.
Restaurants and Bars
Williamsburg’s mix of restaurants and bars represent both Brooklyn’s past and its present. If you’re interested in sipping craft beers and tossing back pickleback shots, the Whiskey Brooklyn might be perfect: its excellent selection of drinks is complemented by a laid back, stylish vibe, and the whiskey store next door. For a different, but equally cool, feel, Roebling Tea Room is really worth exploring. With its tasty modern food and stylish decor, the Tea Room balances substance and style beautifully.
Alternatively, Carmine’s Pizzeria is a fun throwback to Brooklyn’s traditional Italian-American roots. With excellent slices to go, along with a range of traditional Italian dishes, the restaurant is very popular with locals and has a cheerful, busy atmosphere. Similarly, various members of the Bamonte family have been serving Italian family favorites to Brooklynites since the early 1900s. “Bamonte’s” is now considered such a typically New York spot that multiple episodes of the Sopranos were shot inside the restaurant.
While Williamsburg’s median rent hasn’t quite reached the heights of some of Manhattan’s more well-known neighborhoods, it’s still fairly expensive to live there. There is a cost to living in New York city’s coolest area: in average, residents spend $3,350 per month on their rent, and the cost of living is correspondingly high.
However, prices have recently shown signs of dropping or stabilizing in Western Brooklyn, perhaps due to the raft of new developments that have recently been completed. Regardless, it’s certain that 2019 will bring a drop in rental prices, and a chance to move into the neighborhood at a discount.
With its independent boutiques, excellent restaurants, well-established artistic scene, and its perennial presence in pop culture, Williamsburg is an incredible combination of cool and luxury – and it’s barely across the river from Lower Manhattan.
Whether you’re a bona fide hipster, an up and coming artist, or someone who just loves living in a culturally exciting neighborhood, Williamsburg’s worth a look. Hipsters are notorious for declaring popular things “overrated” – Williamsburg is one New York phenomenon that’s worth the hype.
This post was contributed by our own Marketing Associate, Joshua McGilvray, and this will, unfortunately, be his last post. As he further his education, we all wish him the best of luck as he towers over the world. Thank you for all your help Mr. Giant!