What makes Bushwick so strange?
These are the bright colors painted warehouses, which you can not say are functional or leaved.
These are galleries that serve as yoga studios, and coffee shops that serve as life drawing classes.
These are strange parties in leaved furniture stores, where people wear crazy costumes.
He is met by people who always end their calls with “God bless you”.”
A different Brooklyn than Brooklyn
Of all the neighborhoods I’ve visited in Brooklyn (not all, not far, but many), Bushwick stands as the least like the others. Instead of brownstones or skyscrapers, it is an industrial-looking warehouse district, many of which are covered with shiny paint. Everything is spread out.
Bushwick is one of the largest Latino neighborhoods in Brooklyn with significant populations from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Bushwick was a difficult area for a long time – a power outage in 1977 led to mass riots and you can still see damage to this day. The neighborhood began to turn a corner in the mid-2000s when the city began to pay much-needed financial resources to the neighborhood.
Then came the postman Williamsburg.
In the early 2000s, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, moved from a forbidden zone to the enclave of hipster artists in New York City. However, over the past decade, Williamsburg has moved from the hip to yuppie and has become one of the most desirable (and therefore expensive) neighborhoods in New York City.
Many low-income residents of Williamsburg, including artists, were expelled as a result, and many of them immediately moved to the southeast-to Bushwick. Now the longtime residents of Bushwick are facing an influx of gentrification. I don’t think Bushwick will ever be on the same level as Williamsburg, but you see a disturbing number of luxury buildings popping up.
How does gentrification affect long-term residents? Both positive and negative, as he always does. Bushwick’s crime rate is lower than it has been for decades, yes, and those who own property are seeing their values rise. But most people are trapped in an increasingly expensive neighborhood day by day.
I thought hard about living in Bushwick at some point; after spending a few days there, I explained it a little too “there” for me and decided to live elsewhere and visit often. (As a reminder, I think you get a lot more value for the money in Hamilton Heights, where I live now, the affordable the rents.)
Bushwick is the only place in New York that I would recommend visiting with a guide or someone who knows the area well. Not because it is peril — far from it-but because a large part of it is hidden in plain sight.
This is my favorite neighborhood cafe, Little Skips. Apart from some shiny splinters of color, you would have no idea there was anything there, let alone a cool coffee. And this is one of the most obvious!
Many places in Bushwick are like this – you just walk by without knowing what’s inside, and they don’t advertise it. In this way, the neighborhood reminds me of Melbourne, Australia.
Because of this, it’s great to go with a guide. And I was lucky enough to do this on A Bushwick beer, Bites & Art # Instawalk, a tour created by my good friend Jessie.
Now Jessie is not just a girl who tours – she is a certified New York City tour guide. With Jessie, you get a professional visit and a real insider’s look at Bushwick, because she’s been living here for years.
Jessie invited me, along with two of our blogger friends, for a free tour of the neighborhood.
Demonstration of cappuccino
Our first stop was at a café called Italo, where we showed Cappuccino and Mocha. It’s a cozy and cozy cafe and I recommend you stop! (Update 2018: unfortunately Italo has closed. I hope you enjoy the photos anyway.)
(I love these pictures so much! Thank you, Brooklyn hipsters, for dressing up vintage Y and making it look like they are pictures of decades!)
Street art galore
Street art is everywhere in Bushwick. Here are some of my favorite pieces:
It’s just the shortest taste. There are SO many THINGS.
Beer and meat tasting
A highlight was a stop at Hops and Hocks, a delightful specialty store selling food from Brooklyn and the surrounding area. Yes, they have homemade mayonnaise.
Here Jessie organized a beer and meat tasting for us. And it was out of this world! They actually had a flavored beer like Samoa (Caramel DeLite) Girl Scout Cookies! And Croatian meat like chorizo that blew my head.
Take Away food
It was one of the best days I’ve had in New York so far! I’m serious. I loved this tour, I loved the neighborhood and I loved the camaraderie.
Bushwick is such a cool and different place, and spending time there makes me feel like I’m getting to know New York on an devoted level. When you visit New York, I suggest you go beyond the quintessential sights that everyone visits. Bushwick is one way to do this.
One Last Note-My Favorite Bushwick Eats
If you do this tour, extend your time in Bushwick long enough to have a meal! These are all places I discovered when I spent a week here last fall.
When you’re ready for a coffee and sandwich, the aforementioned Little Skips is my favorite coffee shop in Bushwick and one of my favorites in New York. Another good option is Dillinger, where you make a nice matcha latte and an avocado toast, in the photo above. (These are both located near the place where the tour starts.)
Roberta’s is one of the iconic pizzerias in New York City — and certainly one of the trendiest. Ask for the bee sting that comes garnished with honey and soppressata. (It is always available, even if you tell them that you only serve menu that evening.)
983 (Bushwick Lounge)is a warm and cozy place with excellent comfort food. I had the chicken under a brick, on the recommendation of my waiter, and it was so delicious!
One restaurant that I have on my list soon to try is the Arrogant Swine, which specializes in North Carolina barbecue style.