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Get to know Williamsburg

Minutes from Manhattan and a gateway to the best of the rest northern Brooklyn offers, Williamsburg is trendy in all senses of the word. Boutique thrift shopping, waterfront food markets, exorbitant brunch cocktails — the works. Sitting along the East River, just over the bridge it shares a name with, Williamsburg is the image that first comes to mind for many when they think “Brooklyn.” Yet, while most probably only think of everything to do off the Bedford Avenue L as “Williamsburg,” the area encompasses so much. Williamsburg is huge. Not even mentioning the other eastward L stations, there’s an entire section of Williamsburg near Broadway (and beyond) under the JMZ tracks, plus more along the G train’s Union Avenue path. Because it spreads out so, the neighborhood is a lively and diverse one that genuinely transcends any one label that may pigeonhole it.

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Williamsburg History & Culture

From Village to Town to City of Williamsburg(h), the neighborhood we know has passed through several incarnations — all felt in some way today. After the City of Brooklyn annexed Williamsburg in 1855, many familiar manufacturers set up shop along Broadway, and names like Cornelius Vanderbilt constructed mansions along the river. Decades later, Brooklyn’s incorporation into New York City and the opening of the Williamsburg Bridge facilitated a more diverse and densely populated part of the borough. Artists and musicians flocked from the 1970s into the 2000s, and the area became a breeding ground for rising independent performers. As Williamsburg has achieved name-brand recognition, its evolution only continues. Look no further than Domino Park, a greenery located on the Domino Sugar Refinery’s former grounds. McCarren Park sits at the extreme northern edge of the neighborhood, so much so that it may be in Greenpoint, depending on who you ask.

Williamsburg Dining & Shopping

If there’s one thing that unites the various portions of the greater Williamsburg area, it has to be the food. Not because of any similarity in style and taste but because of a similarity in greatness. The neighborhood has become the epicenter of the borough’s dining scene. Homegrown joints, local chains, and Michelin-starred institutions are all liable to serve up an excellent meal. Standing up there with the food is, of course, the drinks. Dives, wine bars, cocktails at brunch, beer gardens, craft brewery tours, in between concert sets, after picking up a 7–10 split — if you want a place to sip on something, worry not, you’ve got your choices cut out for you. Shopping in Williamsburg is constantly changing as famous brands move in, but you’ll still find charming boutiques and vintage shops as well as book and record stores. After all, it’s still Brooklyn.

Featured Williamsburg listings

  • Featured

    184 Kent Avenue, C210, Brooklyn, NY 11249

    • Condo
    • 2 BD
    • 2 BA
    • 1029 Sq. Ft.
    Building presented by Corcoran
    Courtesy of Corcoran