Locals’ guide to Bushwick, Brooklyn

Exploring a Viewfinder's hometown 'hood

Hotel Deals for New York
Ameritania at Times Square
NY, USA
Nov 19 - Nov 19, 2017
per night from
$ 286.5
$ 171.9

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.

Cafes

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.

courtney-scott-bushwick-ap-cafe-close-up

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.

Vintage Shops

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.

Restaurants

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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Hotel Deals for New York
Ameritania at Times Square
NY, USA
Nov 19 - Nov 19, 2017
per night from
$ 286.5
$ 171.9

Courtney Scott

Courtney Scott is a New York-based travel blogger, TV personality, and leading on-air travel expert.She has appeared more than 200 times in national broadcast, radio, and print outlets including TODAY show, MSNBC, Fox & Friends, CNN, Wall Street Journal, and Peter Greenberg Worldwide. Her travel career began in 2007 when she kicked her cubicle and booked a one-way ticket to Italy.She now inspires others to live their travel dreams through her blog and her weekly YouTube travel series GLOBETROT with Courtney Scott. She is a regular panelist at Women's Travel Fest and is also the co-creator of The Getaway Girls, a travel show uncovering the best girlfriend getaways in the world, co-starring Kiersten Rich, a.k.a. The Blonde Abroad. Subscribe to Courtney's adventures on YouTube and keep up with her travels on Instagram and Snapchat (imcourtscott).

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