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Things to do in Bushwick, Brooklyn

When I was studying fashion trend forecasting at FIT in 2014, I remember the professors mentioning Bushwick as a place to keep an eye on it. Then, in that same year, Vogue choose the neighborhood as one of the coolest in the world. Today, Bushwick is the place for new music, buzzy eateries, fashion trends, galleries, and rock venues. Bushwick is probably what Williamsburg was once in that past – just because a lot of people say that Williamsburg is already gentrified enough, lol. Well, I’m not here to determine which one is the coolest one – but I wanna share some amazing things to do in Bushwick if you are planning to explore the area.

The Bushwick Collective

The Bushwick Collective is a street art and graffiti gallery. The gallery begins on Jefferson Street and continues through Troutman Street to Saint Nicholas Avenue. The curator of the place is due to Joseph Ficalora, which is the project creator and long-time resident of the area. Along with other owners of local buildings, Ficalora tries to find and provide empty walls for street artists – who are not only from the United States but also from countries such as France and Italy. The neighborhood is super quiet and you will see some art on the street from the moment that you leave the train station. My advice is: get lost because every corner is a discovery. You need to look at all sides, because there is art everywhere – cross the street and you’ll notice something you had not seen. It is truly amazing!

The gallery begins on Jefferson Street and continues through Troutman Street to Saint Nicholas Avenue.

Carthage must be destroyed

This restaurant has a speakeasy vibe, as it is somewhat hidden among some warehouses – and the restaurant itself sits in a large warehouse, identified on the outside by a pink pipe – no identical signs on the street. Inside, the enviroment is really cool and if you love pink, you will surely fall in love with the setting: tables, dishes, and pink decoration in a spacious and comfortable environment. The highlight of the menu, of course, is the organic appeal of the dishes. The menu includes a selection of breakfast items, which are served all day: from toast to eggs – with prices ranging from $8 to $35. For lunch and/or dinner, the main dishes are the Sandwich Boxes, with toast, greens, cheese, vegetables, ham, eggs (depending on which option you choose). These dishes cost from $16 to $20. In addition, the menu also includes sides like egg, cheese, and yogurt, with prices ranging from $3 to $10 and soups, from $8 to $10.

Roberta’s

Considered one of the best pizzas in New York,  approved by Jay-Z, this place is a Brooklyn classic. The pizzas start at $15 and the menu has about 8 options – it is also possible to customize and add more toppings. Roberta’s opens every day for lunch and dinner.

Sea Wolf

This seafood restaurant has a funky atmosphere and cool decor. Founded in April 2016, Sea Wolf was born from the taste for fishing, the culture of surfing and skateboarding, and is concerned with supporting local fishing and sustainable agricultural practices. The menu features tons of seafood options like fish, shrimp, mussels, oysters… There is a happy hour every day, from 4 pm to 7 pm, with great prices!

Kings County Brewers Collective

By the turn of the century, a whopping 10% of the beer produced in the US came from Brooklyn, and the majority of that beer was brewed in Bushwick. Then came the New York State hop blight and Prohibition.  Only a handful of the Brooklyn-based breweries survived and continued to operate afterward. When Rheingold and Schaefer breweries both closed their doors in 1976, Bushwick was left without a local brewery, until 2016, when KCBC was opened. It is the first brick-and-mortar brewery to operate in the neighborhood in more than 40 years. The 15 BBL production brewery + taproom is located in a 5,000 square foot warehouse in Bushwick and the tap room opens every day!

Elsewhere Rooftop

This rooftop features live performances, it is also a nightclub and an art space, located in a shed in the neighborhood. Contemporary art, concerts, parties, DJs, film screenings: Elsewhere Rooftop reflects the eclectic mix of Bushwick. The place is huge, with a capacity of 500 people. It is open during the warm months. Check the website and the events schedule.

House of Yes

Probably the most famous nightclub in Bushwick, this place features a theater, it is a brunch scene on weekends and it has a very busy calendar – there is an event almost every day of the week. Burlesque shows, acrobatic performances, theme parties, it is a space that welcomes everyone with open arms. Keep in mind that to absorb all the good energy of the place.  The dress code is totally out of character for Manhattan parties. As it is a place outside the bubble, most parties, which are themed, require the public to participate with outfits that match the theme. Usually, it is possible to enter for free, before 11 pm, with a ticket you can get through Eventbrite.

Fine & Raw Chocolate

This artisanal chocolate factory/shop was created by Daniel Sklar. As a financial analyst, he also had another passion: cooking. He started producing small amounts of chocolate and sharing it with friends. The business became successful and he decided to invest in the business. And what makes Fine & Raw chocolate so special? The ingredients are of the highest quality, from all over the world; and the manufacturing process, which uses low temperatures. In addition, the brand uses coconut sugar, which accentuates the flavor of cocoa.

Friends NYC

I could say that Friends NYC is like a local Urban Outfitters. This indie department store features clothing, accessories, shoes, decor items… The store was open in 2012 as a friendship pact between wannabe-sisters Mary Meyer and Emma Kadar-Penner. The girls made a great duo: Mary’s experience as a fashion designer and Emma’s knowledge of fashion history + obsession for thrifting united to create the wonderful world of Friends NYC. The store has a vintage collection and also contemporary clothing, from local Brooklyn artists and worldwide designers. Everything is so cool! There are also bags, chokers, rings, sunglasses… you can find a little bit of everything and the prices are reasonable, start at $20.

Risk Gallery

Probably the coolest thrift shop I’ve ever visited here in New York. Lindsay Rose Risk uses the place as a gallery – her paintings share the place with a flawless vintage collection of pieces that belonged to her mother and grandmother. The store is designed in such a way that the visitor feels at Lindsay’s house. The collection has incredible pieces for men and women, including clothing and accessories, If you are looking for differentiated items in thrift stores, this is the place.

Urban Jungle

This thrift shop is similar to Buffalo Exchange, but more organized! The store is huge and has a vast selection of women’s and men’s clothing. You will find items starting at $6 – shirt, jacket, pants, skirts, blouses. It’s that kind of thrift store that you need to have a little more patience and if you are open-minded, you can get great finds.

Getting there: use the L line and get off at Jefferson St Station. 

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