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Living in Bushwick

As the up-and-coming bohemian hangout of Brooklyn, Bushwick is chock-full of apartments to both rent and buy. The neighborhood is sometimes described as a unique melding of the East Village and Williamsburg, rolled into the industrial setting of northeastern Brooklyn. Former industrial lofts and warehouses have been converted to live/work spaces, as well as artists’ studios. Many of these residences and work spaces in Bushwick still retain details, like expansive spaces and soaring ceilings, found in those old lofts and warehouses.

If you’re looking for one word to describe living in Bushwick, “eclectic” just about captures this Brooklyn neighborhood. Bushwick has a thriving street scene, thanks in part to artists who found warehouse space to work, live, and show their art in the industrial section of the neighborhood. The Bushwick Collective’s outdoor street gallery showcases artists from around the world, and venues like House of Yes host entertainers ranging from dancers, circus and cabaret performers, to actors.

Proximity to the L train means an abundance of galleries, restaurants, bars, clubs, and shops, while small businesses, like Daya Yoga Studio generate a feeling of community. For commuters, the L train means a mere 30-minute ride to Midtown Manhattan. The M train takes you to the Lower East Side in about the same amount of time.

Bushwick history

Beer. Breweries. More beer. If Brooklyn was the beer capital of the United States from the 1890s until 1915, then Bushwick was its cask. Before that, however, back in 1660, it belonged to the Dutch. Governor Peter Stuyvesant named it “Boswyck” or “Boswijck,” meaning “refuge,” or “heavy woods.”

Almost from the beginning, Bushwick was a diverse place. In addition to the Dutch, French, Scandinavian, and English farmers worked the land. The area was rural until the 1850s, when the land was mapped for homes. At that point, many of the millions of Germans and Austrians who emigrated to the United States made their homes in Bushwick — and they brought beer with them.

They built breweries. They built beer halls. They built restaurants — for drinking beer while eating. They created singing societies — for singing beer songs. Of course, Bushwick, diverse as it was even then, was home to all types of industries, from pottery to ironworks, and from shipbuilding to clothing manufacturing.

Between 1880 and 1913, Bushwick Avenue became mansion row, where wealthy merchants and professionals constructed architectural wonders in the Queen Anne, Romanesque Revival, Italianate and Neo-Grec styles. For decades after, Bushwick was considered an affluent community, but after the 1977 blackout came a period of decline. Fortunately, community leaders and residents worked hard to bring Bushwick back.

Bushwick attractions

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Silent Barn is a three-story performance art space with individual work areas known as “Stewdios.” Working artists, a barber shop, recording studio, synthesizer factory, and production companies all share space in this spot. Events ranging from concerts by visiting violinists to release parties, meaning there’s always something at Silent Barn to see, hear and do.

Maria Hernandez Park is named after a community leader. The nearly seven-acre park provides the neighborhood with tranquil green space. Bushwick Inlet Park is a multi-purpose recreation and playground space with access to the waterfront.

Brooklyn Museum’s “Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Beyond features 35 local artists and collectives. In various ways, this exhibition encapsulates what Bushwick is all about. For example, these artists’ works often defy categorization, and the multigenerational picture presented by the exhibition reflects the area’s long history of varied creativity.

Bushwick restaurants

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Almost nothing beats a good taco cart. Thankfully, Bushwick has them. Given how diverse the neighborhood is, however, you’ll also find a variety of international cuisine. Roberta’s wood-fire pizzas and Faro’s homemade pastas to satisfy your craving for Italian, while Momo’s Sushi Shack is a go-to spot for vegetarian and non-vegetarian Japanese fare. Blanca creates an intimate setting for its upscale New American tasting menus with its reservation-only seating in a tiny loft space with an open kitchen.

You’ll feel like you’re in Paris at L’Imprimerie’s French bakery and café, where you’ll find small-batch breads and pastries. Angela’s Bakery serves up traditional Dominican pastries and cakes, while Raw & Fine Chocolate makes its espresso and chocolates on the premises, which create some truly sweet smells.

Bushwick nightlife

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Lest we forget Bushwick’s hoppy heritage, there are many bars to remind us. The Sampler Bushwick specializes in microbrews and small-batch whiskeys paired with cheeses and pickles. Bushwick Public House covers all the bases with coffee, cocktails, culture and community. Nobody combines superhero graffiti and beer like Gotham City Lounge. For booze, and barbecue, there’s The Boobie Trap, but if you’re looking for select wines, try The Bodega. Heavy Woods combines Bushwick’s history with its penchant for the unusual by serving as a coffee shop during the day, a cocktail bar in the evening, and New Orleans-style, Southern food at night.

You might prefer dancing the night away to a tropical techno beat, so there’s the Bossa Nova Civic Club. A former ice warehouse serves as House of Yes’s performance space, which means the circus acrobatics are truly spectacular.

Bushwick real estate

Bushwick real estate is as eclectic as everything else about this funky and creative neighborhood. There are apartments, condos, and row houses for sale or rent. In addition, industrial buildings have been converted into loft-style condominiums, lofts, and apartments.

The neighborhood’s residential atmosphere is provided by two and three-family homes — some clapboard, some limestone and brick, and even some brownstones. Condos, apartments, studios, and a few co-ops also contribute to the neighborhood’s lifestyle.

Many people find Bushwick an excellent place to rent, since prices have been affordable. In addition, professionals find a number of housing options to suit their buying budget. The versatility of the neighborhood, both for renters and buyers, makes Bushwick an attractive living option.

Williamsburg's hip baby sister

"You know that little sister your friend had growing up that you didn't mind having around because you could tell she was only a year or two away from becoming a swan? That's Bushwick. Next year you'll be begging her for a date."
Holly Shawhan
Holly                Shawhan

What's In The Area: Bushwick

Driving Walking

Local tips and information for going out in the Bushwick from The Corcoran Group. Explore dining, shopping and nightlife.

All Bushwick tips




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