Let’s pretend you’re taking someone on a hipster walking tour. What are some stops that would definitely be on it?
Places I always make a point to stop at with friends and family include Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave. Tel: 718-963-3369. www.brooklynbowl.com). Outside of bowling, there are shows almost nightly (usually up-and-coming artists), but also some mainstream groups. All the food is done by Blue Ribbon and is absolutely delicious. There are many breweries in Brooklyn, but hands down, Brooklyn Brewery (79 N. 11th St. Tel: 718-486-7422. www.brooklynbrewery.com) would be my favorite. They have a large tasting room and also offer free tours on Saturday and Sunday. Just a block or so over from us, The Whiskey Shop (44 Berry St. Tel: 718- 384-7467. www.whiskeyshopbrooklyn.com) carries a deep selection of craft whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch, and rye from all over the world, and Heatonist (121 Wythe Ave. Tel: 718-599- 0838. www.heatonist.com) is even more niche, solely stocking a curated selection of small-batch hot sauces, all of which you can sample. Held on weekends between April and late October, Smorgasburg (www.smorgasburg.com) is a food lover’s paradise. There are so many unique food options, from the ramen burger to truffle fries and lobster rolls, and not only is this a tourist stop, but many locals have their ‘brunch’ here.
It seems like Brooklyn has become a major hub for concerts, movies, and more. Where should people get their entertainment fix?
Nighthawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Ave. Tel: 718-782-8370. nitehawkcinema.com/williamsburg) is a dine-in cinema that features first run and repertory films. Brooklyn Mirage (140 Stewart Ave. Tel: 347-987-3146 www.facebook.com/BrooklynMirage) is a huge outdoor music venue located in Bushwick with a great mix of people and strong drinks. They have a pretty extensive calendar of events that runs throughout the summer. Brooklyn Steel (319 Frost St. Tel: 888-929-7849. www.bowerypresents.com/venues/brooklyn-steel) is a live music venue that has ticketed shows on almost a nightly basis, and Bushwick’s House of Yes (2 Wyckoff Ave. Tel: 718-675-6290. www.houseofyes.org) is located inside a former ice warehouse and is best known for electric performances and dance parties.
How about museums and galleries?
There are so many unique galleries and museums in Williamsburg. My favorites are the City Reliquary (370 Metropolitan Ave. Tel: 718-782- 4842. www.cityreliquary.org), Sideshow Gallery (319 Bedford Ave. Tel: 718-486-8180. www.sideshowgallery.com) for emerging and edgy work, Figureworks (168 N. 6th St. Tel: 718-486-7021. www.figureworks.com), and Brooklyn Art Library (28 Frost St. Tel: 718-388- 7941. www.brooklynartlibrary.com). Check out BAL’s Sketchbook Project, a crowd-funded library of 40,000 artists’ sketchbooks from around the world that anyone can contribute to.
Which guided tours, if any, do you recommend most often to guests?
Sights by Sam (Tel: 917-242-8421. www.sightsbysam.com). He’s extremely intelligent and does tours of all the boroughs. I would also recommend the NY Ferry East River Line (www.ferry.nyc/routes-and-schedules). For the cost of a subway swipe, $2.75, there are a couple of stops in Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and DUMBO, and it ends at Manhattan’s Wall Street or 34th Street. There’s no moderator to provide commentary, but it’s a great way to see the city and there’s also a bar on the ferry.
Where can you go to get the best views of the city from Brooklyn?
The brand-new Domino Park (www.dominopark.com) was constructed on the former Domino Sugar Factory Refinery and is filled with so much history. You get amazing views of the city and a cool perspective of the Williamsburg Bridge. Brooklyn Heights Promenade (www.nycgo.com/venues/brooklynheights-promenade), located in Brooklyn Heights, offers such a different perspective, as you literally feel like you’re on top of Lower Manhattan with views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Lower Manhattan as well as the Statue of Liberty. But the best view, hands down, is from Westlight, the rooftop bar at The William Vale. The bar is on the 22nd floor of the Hotel and features almost 360-degree views of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Where are the best places to work out and get exercise?
The best indoor gym in the area is Equinox Williamsburg (246 Bedford Ave. Tel: 718-522- 5703. www.equinox.com/clubs/new-york/brooklyn/williamsburg). The facilities are clean and the trainers are extremely helpful. For outdoor training there’s a running and biking path that goes along the East River from Greenpoint, all the way down to the Brooklyn Bridge. There are also so many branded fitness experiences in Williamsburg, such as Y7 Yoga, Flywheel, Soul Cycle, and Orangetheory Fitness, so there’s something for everyone.