All-night club crawl
Party animals, take note: This Greenpoint-to-Williamsburg walk will have you ragin' till dawn.
Thu Apr 30 2009
Photos: Sarah Rubenstein
Start: 149 Greenpoint Ave at Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
End: 518 Metropolitan Ave at Union Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Time: 8 hours
Distance: 2.3 miles
1 Few of even the city’s most seasoned clubbers have been to Club Exit (149 Greenpoint Ave at Manhattan Ave; 718-349-6969, club-exit.com), a full-on disco lurking behind an unmarked brushed-metal door. The fab venue boasts space-mushroom lights and a giant stripper cage, but the real attraction is the crowd, particularly on a Saturday after 11pm: That’s when the club swells with young Polish party people (many speaking in their native tongue), performing their weekly mating rituals to a WKTU-friendly soundtrack. Muscled-up dudes, spiked hair glowing with highlights, in tight shiny shirts; shapely, blond babes on the prowl, teetering on their stilettos, all drinking like there’s no tomorrow. It’s $15 after midnight, but the entertainment is priceless.
2 Take Greenpoint Avenue toward the Hudson. You’ll pass the massive Polonaise Terrace catering hall and restaurants with names like Karczma, but just like anywhere else in this half of Brooklyn, there’s been an influx of hipsters and young professionals attracted to the ’hood’s (relatively) low rents. You’ll find a bunch of ’em chugging pints at Coco66 (66 Greenpoint Ave between Franklin and West Sts; 718-389-7392, coco66.com), a fun drink spot located a stone’s throw from the East River. The bar is a former wood shop and still has its loading-dock door and partial tin ceiling; the fake fireplace behind the DJ booth is, we would guess, a new addition. A mixed bag of local DJs and cultish rock bands play in the spot’s two rooms, so check ahead and find out what you’re getting into.
3 The riverfront is pretty bleak in these parts, but walk the extra block west to check out the sparkling Manhattan skyline; your half-drunken state will only increase your wonderment. Then amble south on West Street, where you’ll be surrounded by remnants ofits industrial past. The postapocalyptic Greenpoint Terminal Market burned to the ground a few years ago, but other low-slung warehouses are intact and ungentrified. The area is desolate this time of night, but it’s a side of New York that’s worth experiencing before it’s gone.
4 Go left on Calyer and right on Banker, and you’ll hear a throbbing emanating from a drab gray-brick facade—that’s Studio B (259 Banker St between Calyer St and Meserole Ave; 718-389-1880, clubstudiob.com), a former Polish bote that’s been rejiggered to jibe with west-of-the--River Oder tastes. Like Exit, it’s a real-deal club, but whereas Exit’s Saturday-night music possesses a goodly aroma of cheese, Studio B regularly features international superstars from the realms of house, techno and electro, attracting discerning clubbers of all stripes. If you’re lucky, the Fixed fiesta will be in effect—the party, which has welcomed guests along the lines of Ellen Allien, Lindstrm and the 2020 Soundsystem, is one of the city’s best.
5 Now that you’re suitably sauced, ditch quiet Greenpoint to deal with the Saturday-night scrum of Williamsburg. Continue down Banker until it ends and then turn right onto Nassau (which becomes Berry), where amid more warehouses you’ll see additional signs of gentrification. Even though the neighborhood’s been changing for years, one thing is constant: Teddy’s Bar and Grill (96 Berry St at North 8th St, 718-384-9787), a Tammany Hall--era spot that evokes the B-burg of yore—if you can disregard the yuppies that have largely replaced the old-guard tipplers. Grab a beer from the bar’s midsize selection and fortify yourself for the homestretch.
6 Stumble around the corner to Public Assembly (70 North 6th St between Kent and Wythe Aves; 718-384-4586, publicassemblynyc.com), one of the ’Burg’s few dance clubs. It might not look like much (brick walls, cement floors, a stage), but it’s here you’ll find the monthly Bunker, one of the city’s premier techno parties. You still have hours to freak the beat, too—the booze stops flowing at 4am, but the electronic rhythms pump till 6 on Bunker nights (next one: Fri 1).
7 Leaving a dark club and walking into the morning sun is always a retina-burning experience, but that (and a bellyful of spirits) is easily soothed by a shiny plate of eggs and home fries. Walk east on North 6th until you hit Metropolitan Avenue and spot the 24-hour Kellogg’s Diner (518 Metropolitan Ave at Union Ave, 718-782-4502). A recent renovation gives the greasy spoon a sort of fake-diner look, and the prices might be a dollar or so more than they should be—but at this point in your trek, it’s any port in a storm, right?
View Clubs walk in a larger map
Like this walk? Try these:
I-spy-drinking game walk
The night walk
Flea markets walk
BACK TO MAIN PAGE Great walks
18 treks for your bipedal pleasure.