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Living in Williamsburg

From the waterfront views of the New York City skyline to the buzzing restaurant scene and enduring indie-rock vibe, Williamsburg is undeniably cool. The area's artsy atmosphere and easy access to Manhattan attract newcomers and lifelong New Yorkers alike. With its industrial aesthetic, fashion-forward attitude and vibrant nightlife, you’ll soon see why the neighborhood has earned the moniker "Little Berlin." Arguably the birthplace of NYC's distinctive hipster street style, Williamsburg sports edgy authenticity and funky warehouse conversions that have long been a beacon for artists, musicians and other creative types. While a young bohemian spirit is one of the area's defining characteristics, you’ll find an eclectic group of locals from single professionals to young families to empty nesters all embracing Williamsburg’s casual-cool culture.

Williamsburg real estate

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Williamsburg real estate tells the story of the area's exciting transformation. Exposed brickwork, stripped hardwood floors and original freight elevators imbue Williamsburg apartments for rent with a trendy industrial aesthetic that pays homage to the area's history. The old warehouses and factories that hark back to Williamsburg’s manufacturing days have now evolved into modern lofts that sit side by side with new luxury high-rises and trendy Williamsburg condos. Bordering the East River to the west, Williamsburg’s waterfront real estate is also in high demand, and with inspiring city vistas and convenient transportation options, it’s easy to understand why.

Williamsburg history

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Williamsburg takes its name from a nephew of Benjamin Franklin, Jonathan Williams. A well-respected engineer and surveyor, Williams was the first to survey the original tract of land purchased by Richard M. Woodhull in 1792. Woodhull had intended Williamsburg to become an attractive suburban alternative to crowded New York City. While Woodhull’s vision never quite came to fruition, Williamsburg’s dynamic past has seen it serve as a home to immigrant entrepreneurs, railroad magnates and the biggest names in American industry, including Charles Pfizer.

The boom of industry brought shipyards, refineries, factories and foundries to Williamsburg’s waterfront, while the opening of the Williamsburg Bridge in 1903 made commuting between Brooklyn and Manhattan easier than ever. Its enviable location and industrial spirit made Williamsburg an attractive destination for those seeking a better life from the city and abroad. While the manufacturing industry declined in the final decades of the 20th century, the industrial architecture left behind has inspired a new wave of immigration to Williamsburg. Abandoned warehouses and factories live on today as light-filled lofts and converted condos, attracting a new set of New Yorkers to this dynamic neighborhood.

Williamsburg restaurants

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From low-key lite-bites to world-class Michelin star dining, Williamsburg’s vibrant restaurant scene has it all. Authentic Latin American and Italian restaurants speak to the neighborhood's immigrant heritage, while inventive fusion reflects its cutting-edge creativity. Although vegetarian and vegan fare is certainly easy to come by, the much-lauded Peter Luger Steakhouse remains a Williamsburg standout. Consistently ranked the among the top steakhouses in New York, Peter Luger’s has been delighting carnivores for generations. If you're not sure what you have a taste for, come hungry to Smorgasburg. This weekly food fest on the Williamsburg waterfront hosts over 100 vendors serving up their top menu items every Saturday.

Williamsburg nightlife

With its indie-rock ambiance, neon-lit dance clubs and warehouses-turned-venues, Williamsburg really comes alive at night. While there’s no shortage of late-night dive bars and atmospheric music venues, the intimate 550-capacity Music Hall of Williamsburg is a local favorite for catching the best acts of the alternative rock world. In the neighborhood's north side, the Brooklyn Bowl is much more than just another Williamsburg bar. With a killer combination of raucous live music, multiple bowling lanes and acclaimed comfort food, it's been a big area draw since 2009. Alternatively, if you're looking for an upscale cocktail with a view to match, head across the street to the rooftop Ides Bar at the Wythe Hotel.

Williamsburg shopping

Bedford Avenue is Williamsburg’s go-to street for one-of-a-kind shopping. Here, the trendsetters of New York's hipster scene happily fill their wardrobe with thrift-store finds while foodies indulge themselves in the gourmet Bedford Cheese Shop. A few blocks away, you’ll find Rough Trade's well-stocked Williamsburg shop, one of the best places to expand your music collection or catch an in-store gig. On Thursdays, south Williamsburg residents head to the summertime Greenmarket for locally grown fruit and vegetables. McCarren Park to the north hosts an even more expansive Greenmarket on Saturdays. Every week, locals enjoy live music and cooking demonstrations while they stock up on a wide array of fresh meat, dairy and produce.

Williamsburg attractions

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To embrace Williamsburg’s creative energy, pay a visit to any number of small independent galleries showcasing local artists. The Front Room has been a stalwart of the area's conceptual art scene since 1999 and remains one of the best galleries to witness inspiring exhibitions of emerging and mid-career artists. Williamsburg is also home to the much-loved Brooklyn Brewery, which is proud to provide craft beer enthusiasts with behind-the-scenes tours and tastings. For another taste of New York, check out the miniature museum known as The City Reliquary. Despite its small scale, it's chock-full of fascinating city artifacts, including fragments of landmark buildings, historic subway tokens and a colorful collection of models of the Statue of Liberty.

What do you know about it?

"Artist lofts? Cool shops and restaurants? If those are the only things you know about Williamsburg, you will be suprised by what is happening now in the area and will love it!"
Tetsuo Matsumoto
Tetsuo               Matsumoto
Explore Properties in the Neighborhood
39 Powers Street, Apt. 2A, Williamsburg $1,150,000Open House
39 Powers Street, Apt. 2A 2 Beds / 1.5 Baths / 1,125 Sq. Ft.
8 Sharon Street, Williamsburg $1,600,000New

What's In The Area: Williamsburg

Driving Walking

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

All Williamsburg tips




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