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Locals’ guide to Bushwick, Brooklyn
Exploring a Viewfinder's hometown 'hood
By now, most people who have visited New York City on vacation have made it to Brooklyn at least once. But have you ever been to Bushwick? It happens to be my base in New York City and over the past six years this borough has become a true home. When I travel I always like to ask my friends about the places where they habitually hang out, so for this post I wanted to share with you my local haunts; the places that have shaped my love for Brooklyn’s most up-and-coming neighborhood.
AP Cafe‘s prime location in the center of Bushwick Collective’s outdoor art gallery on Troutman Street has made it a popular hangout in Bushwick. I love its earthy, minimalist vibe. It’s inviting and makes me want to linger for hours writing or working. Unfortunately they’ve recently put a cap on all-day work sessions to accommodate a growing lunch business, but that hasn’t turned me away. I’ll always come back for the best cold brews in Bushwick.
My other favorite cafe is Wyckoff Starr. It’s a hole in the wall with a couple of stools for a quick sit down, but this places does a massive takeaway business thanks to talented baristas and quality coffee. Their lattes and cappuccino and excellent, but my go-to drink here is a cortado with almond milk.
Half of the most coveted pieces I own have been collected from vintage stores around Bushwick. It’s not just the massive selection in Bushwick that I love, it’s the prices. They are about half of what you’ll pay for the very same items in Manhattan. If you love rummaging in warehouses you’ll adore L Train Vintage’s multiple locations around Bushwick. Each one is huge and packed with racks of everything from vintage tees to denim, to furs.
If you prefer a more curated vintage experience head to Collections BK, a tiny boutique where a handful of beauties hang neatly on racks and the shop’s owner, Lucyann will help you pick the piece that’s perfect for you.
Brooklyn has a reputation for some of the best pizza in New York City, and contributing to the borough’s foodie fanfare is Union Pizza Works. Wood-fired pizzas as good as you’ll have in any pizzeria in Italy, a small but well-thought-out wine list and an effortless atmosphere combine for the perfect date night or group dinner. Summer is especially lovely when the front patio serves al fresco Italian under the stars.
In true Bushwick style, a converted garage completely blacked out from the street is where you’ll discover some of the Bushwick’s best sushi at Momo Sushi Shack. Three rows of communal picnic-style tables fill the small space where co-owner Phillip Gilmour makes the rounds seeing how his regulars are enjoying their grub. The scene is not like your typical sushi joint and that’s the point. A Tribe Called Quest might be playing on the radio. And cilantro might end up in your hand roll. It’s Bushwick. Roll with it. And definitely get two orders of the Spicy Mc Bomb.
Viewfinder Tip: Pop-up projects and underground events are common in Bushwick so check local street poles and cafe bulletin boards to stay in the know.
Parks & Recreation
For a slice of Bushwick life, head to Maria Hernandez Park. It’s where locals go for a summer sun bath, dog walks, and group hangs. A couple blocks up, in the lot on the corner of Wyckoff and Willoughby Ave., you will find Bushwick Flea. It’s a seasonal outdoor flea market where local artist and artisans sell their wares. A couple of blocks over, retreat to Daya Yoga Studio. Owners Anna and Meghan have made Daya a place where everyone who is passing by Bushwick are welcome to drop in for a yoga class or a meditation session. This place is my home away from home and oozes with good vibes.
Speak of high vibrations, enter Bushwick’s new music and performance venue, House of Yes. It’s currently one of the best venues in New York City to listen to electronic music and watch dazzling performance art. The House of Yes crew also decided to bedazzle their bathrooms with jewels, sparkles and disco fabulousness. They are latrines to be seen.
What is your favorite thing to do in Bushwick?
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