A day in Bushwick

Lace up your sneakers and explore this burgeoning Brooklyn neighborhood.

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  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Northeast Kingdom

    Northeast Kingdom

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Northeast Kingdom

    Northeast Kingdom

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Northeast Kingdom

    Northeast Kingdom

  • Better than Jam Handmade Co-op

    Better than Jam Handmade Co-op

  • Better than Jam Handmade Co-op

    Better than Jam Handmade Co-op

  • Better than Jam Handmade Co-op

    Better than Jam Handmade Co-op

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Orphanage Moped Shop

    Orphanage Moped Shop

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Orphanage Moped Shop

    Orphanage Moped Shop

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Orphanage Moped Shop

    Orphanage Moped Shop

  • Photograph: Courtesy Factory Fresh

    "Bushwick Art Park"

    "Bushwick Art Park"

  • Mods Love Rockers

    Mods Love Rockers

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Arancini Bros

    Arancini Bros.

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Arancini Bros

    Arancini Bros.

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Arancini Bros

    Arancini Bros.

Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

Northeast Kingdom

Northeast Kingdom

11am


Though it's most frequently associated with urban blight, Bushwick has evolved into a haven for artists and other creative types, with a budding gallery scene, indie music venues and foodie-approved restaurants—and on foot, you can explore much of the neighborhood in a day. We suggest heading out on a Saturday; that way, you can sit down to brunch at Northeast Kingdom (18 Wyckoff Ave at Troutman St; 718-386-3864, north-eastkingdom.com), where house favorites like the gooey French-toast bread pudding ($9) will sate your rumbling belly. Feeling stuffed afterward? Take a detour down Irving Avenue to tree-filled Maria Hernandez Park (Knickerbocker Ave between Starr and Suydam Sts; nycgovparks.org), a lush oasis surrounded by graffiti-covered brick buildings, to walk off some of the meal.

1pm


Now that you've fueled up, stroll to the Shops at the Loom (1087 Flushing Ave at Porter Ave; 718-930-2642, shopsattheloom.com), a minimall housed in an old textile factory, for a little window shopping. Indie boutique Better Than Jam Handmade Co-Op (betterthanjamnyc.com) stocks quirky finds from local designers, including hand-cut sterling silver necklaces shaped like hearts—the organ, not the cutesy icon—by Caja Jewelry ($84). Or drool over the stylish bikes at Orphanage Moped Shop (718-389-1979, orphanagemopeds.com), which is devoted to the stylish rides. A vintage Puch Maxi or Motobecane bike (starting at $900) may not be practical, pricewise, but you'd sure look cool riding one.

3pm


Stop for a snack at tiny Mexican joint Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos (271 Starr St between St. Nicholas and Wyckoff Aves; 718-456-3422), located inside a tortilla factory. That means fresh, made-to-order shells for your tostadas ($2.50) and tacos ($2.25). (Don't stuff your face too much—you've still got some walking to do.)

4pm


The neighborhood's giant warehouses (and cheaper rents) provide the setting for Bushwick's emerging art spaces. Start off at Jason Andrew's humble apartment gallery Norte Maar (83 Wyckoff Ave at Suydam St, No. 1B; nortemaar.org), where "Boys of Bushwick," an examination of the male form, is on view through April 30. Next, head down Flushing Avenue until you hit Vandevoort Place (between Flushing Ave and Thames St), where "Bushwick Art Park," a kaleidoscopic mural by artists Jaque Fragua and Yatika Starr Fields (and curated by local gallery Factory Fresh) occupies a wall. Finally, stop off at English Kills (114 Forrest St between Central and Flushing Aves; 718-366-7323, englishkillsartgallery.com) to see "Grab Bag Sack," which features Brent Owens's intricate woodcarvings and imaginative, beastly wooden sculptures. Stick around for the exhibit's closing-night party on Saturday 16 (6--9pm) to sample some of the artist's homemade moonshine.

7pm

By now, all that walking has probably stirred up your appetite again. Grab a seat at Momo Sushi Shack (43 Bogart St between Moore and Seigel Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-418-6666, momosushishack.com), hidden behind a garage door on the Williamsburg-Bushwick border. Communal tables (which were cut from a black-walnut tree from Pennsylvania) and dim lighting create a boisterous atmosphere, while the food—like the Pork Betty, a serving of slow-cooked pork belly served with a wasabi cream sauce ($9)—is inventive.

9pm

You've got an evening of dancing ahead of you, so a little pregaming is in order. Cocktail den The Narrows (1037 Flushing Ave between Morgan Ave and Vandevoort Pl; narrowsbar.com) lives up to its name in scale, but not in the scope of its drinks. Try the Babushka, a springlike quaff that combines vodka, ginger syrup, lime juice and club soda ($7); if the weather's warm enough, sip your drink in the bar's back garden.

11pm

Boogie down at the '60s-inspired Mods Love Rockers bash on Saturday 16 (Beauty Bar, 921 Broadway between Arlon Pl and Melrose St; 347-529-0370, thebeautybar.com; 10pm; free), where soul, garage rock and rockabilly tunes are spun by DJs Jaime K (of the Nouvellas) and Captain Heartlock. If your well-crafted buzz from the Narrows is starting to wear off, console yourself with a $4 well drink.

1am

Wind down (and sop up some of that booze) with a heavy serving of carbs at hole-in-the-wall storefront Arancini Bros. (940 Flushing Ave between Central and Evergreen Aves; 718-418-6347), which doles out Italian-inspired rice balls to a late-night crowd. Six varieties ($3 each) of the fried delicacy are always available—if it's on the lineup, grab a Nutella-stuffed treat to nibble as you head back to the subway.

Users say

9 comments
Tony
Tony

First day in Bushwick and I'm loving it. After a long walk through Maria Hernandez Park, we're now dining at the Northeast Kingdom on some fine cuisine. Enjoying it thoroughly and excited to explore even more!

Jackie
Jackie

I've lived in Bushwick my whole life and still live here. You can get mugged anywhere in NYC, even the UES, and it's no less dirty than anywhere else. I love it here, but I stay away from the hipsters, so it's fine for me.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Momo Sushi is still the best I've had in this town.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Well, I suppose the hipster crowd has found it now, but it's still a great neighborhood. All the edgy stuff is still there (the Taco place, King's County, Orwell...) Doesn't do any harm to have a bit of LES-style swank (The Narrows), too.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Personally, I've never felt unsafe in this neighborhood. There are some amazing places to live in if you look carefully. And trust funders are hardly unheard of in Williamsburg, either.

meghazen
meghazen

I agree with the crime issues entirely,but rats and trash are bad even on the UES...this is nyc... and my dump was fully renovated before I moved in 6 years ago, and a 2 bedroom for $1200 a month is spectacular... the trust fund kids however are not

meghazen
meghazen

I agree with the crime issues entirely,but rats and trash are bad even on the UES...this is nyc... and my dump was fully renovated before I moved in 6 years ago, and a 2 bedroom for $1200 a month is spectacular... the trust fund kids however are not

Anonymous
Anonymous

oh please... Bushwick is a crime-ridden, rat invested, garbage-stinking dump with a few trust-fund babies running about pretending their too cool for Williamsburg. And the rents are not that cheap for the dump you have to live in.

A map would go great with this article. I know how to use google maps but it would be nice to just see where everything is in relation to one another.