While Williamsburg becomes more and more bourgeois and expensive, stylish Brooklyn youngsters move eastward and occupy Bushwick’s factory zones. The landscape of the block that used to be poor and rough in terms of living conditions has evolved and now features fancy shops, galleries, bars in place of former factories, street-art and local culture. Now it is really challenging to spend a whole day here.
A comfy cafe to pop in for a coffee or brunch with a baked Cheddar toast. The walls are covered with paintings and pictures that you can buy right on the spot. Many people here are hanging out on their laptops. Such atmosphere is really typical for Brooklyn today. Barista will make a superb espresso or Buschwick Egg Cream, which is the café’s version of Brooklyn Egg Cream with coffee in addition to milk and soda.
56 Bogart used to be a storehouse, which is now an art community. You can rent a loft here for a studio or a gallery. There are more than ten of them here now, including Nurture Art and Agape Enterprise. Even if not all the galleries are open, a few of them will be enough to check out digital art, installations, pictures and paintings by young local artists.
A former garage, which is today a trendy and fancy wood-panelled pizzeria. Fine crispy oven pizza with homemade mozzarella is served here. If you are willing to taste something more than just classical Margarita, then you will find a variety of ingredients on the menu, such as gorgonzola or special sausages to be added to your pizza for a few dollars. Besides pizza, Roberta's is famous for its crazy parties. On summer Sundays, a popular DJ trio Tiki Disco stands at the turntables.
Shops at The Loom
A hipster mini-mall was opened within a five-minute walking distance from Roberta's a few years ago in place of a weaving factory. It is unprecedented for a lonely and rapidly changing neighbourhood. Around twenty local venues are located here, including a yoga centre, synagogue, several galleries, café, and clothes and accessories shops. If you are searching for trendy designer clothes, go to Better Than Jam. North Brooklyn Collective is number one bike shop with fixed-gear bikes and accessories. For colourful vintage shirts, go to Nouveau Vieux.
Green Village is the so-called junk shop, in other words a second hand, completely filled up with furniture, clothes, books, paintings and other stuff. Here, you can buy things in boxes by weight, $2 per pound. Amid the piles of junk, you may be lucky to find a fine piece of antique or nice vintage clothes. If sorting through old junk does not attract you, visit the place just to check out the atmosphere.
The Bodega is a small cosy bar with Spanish and Latin-American wines. For something lighter, ask the beer menu. During the Happy Hour, from 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m., the beer brewed in Brooklyn is sold at a special price. The spot is perfect for a light warm-up before a restless night. However, if you don't feel like painting the town red, order half portions.
Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos
This is a small tortilla factory, where fresh tacos are made. There is a factory cafe here from which you can watch how tortillas are cooked. You can buy a package for $1 if you are going to prepare them yourself. The easier way is to order fresh tacos stuffed with popular chorizo or carnitas (pork) and homemade salsa. Los Hermanos is probably not the best venue for romantic dates, but cheap, quick and tasty meals are guaranteed.
The Bushwick Starr
The spot may be a theatre, bar or club – it depends on the day and time. Here, talented locals stage experimental plays and performances you better learn of in advance. The place is inspired by fine traditions of such underground venues as East Village and Lower East Side, which have been vanishing in Manhattan because of high rent. If you are not in the mood to see the performance, you may come here for an affordable beer or dance on Saturdays.
Bossa Nova Civic Club
The bar/club opened a bit more than a year ago and has achieved a status of one of the major nightlife venues. On weekends, you will probably have to wait in line, but if you feel like dancing till you drop to superb techno and house, the place is worth coming. Bossa Nova Civic Club is a true underground spot with a mixed crowd, plain design, cheap cocktails and dark stuffy dance floor fully crowded by 1.00 a.m. If you don’t want to pay to get inside, come earlier – admission is free before midnight and is $10 after.