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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 all there is to do off the Bedford Avenue L as “Williamsburg,” the area encompasses so much. Williamsburg is huge. Not even mentioning the multiple other eastward L stations, there’s an entire other 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.

Nearby Neighborhoods:

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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 being annexed by the City of Brooklyn 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. From the 1970s into the 2000s, artists and musicians flocked; the area became a breeding ground for rising independent performers. As Williamsburg has achieved name-brand recognition, its evolution has only continued. Recent developments along the water include Domino Park, greenery located on former Domino Sugar Refinery ground. 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.

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Dine & Shop

If there’s one thing that unites the various portions of the greater Williamsburg area, it has to be the food. Not because it’s all similar in style and taste, but because it’s all similar in greatness. The neighborhood has become the epicenter of the borough’s dining scene. From homegrown joints to local chains to Michelin-starred institutions, they’re 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’re still going to find charming boutiques and vintage shops as well as book and record stores. After all, it’s still Brooklyn.