For decades Brooklyn has been a confluence of culture. From books to films and TV shows, the borough of 2.6 million residents has played a starring role. The hipster-cool vibes depicted in shows like Girls and Bored to Death tell a story of a Brooklyn lifestyle synonymous with brunch, brews, and brownstones.
Brooklyn's lower rents and creative culture have attracted digital nomads, entrepreneurs, and remote workers, and the vibrant art, music, and culinary scene kept them enthralled while the borough has revitalized in the last few decades. Ever evolving, Brooklynites are constantly treated to new surprises on every block, like freshly painted street murals, experimental coffee shops with unique pastries, and bohemian boutiques with trendy and timeless wares.
Located on Long Island's southwestern end, Brooklyn has beckoned explorers, innovators, and artists for centuries. Today, Brooklyn boasts exemplary epicurean endeavors, cutting-edge music venues, and acclaimed art spaces that are more approachable, accessible, and affordable than in Manhattan.
A mere mile separates Brooklyn from Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge, but the leafy borough feels further away thanks to the more laid-back pace, community-centric neighborhoods, and creative spirit. It’s a place where artists, techies, musicians, and writers cohabitate, collaborate, and create.
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This burgeoning neighborhood in northern Brooklyn is edgy, industrial, artsy, and ever-evolving. The 2.3-square-mile neighborhood that borders Queens is populated with former warehouses covered in colorful murals, vintage shops, art galleries and studios, dive bars, and rooftop rock venues with enviable views of Manhattan. It won't be long before the rents are sky-high thanks to the plethora of eateries, experimental nightlife, and cool creatives who call this place home.
The neighborhood is increasingly popular with start-ups, entrepreneurs, and freelancers, who have multiple coworking spaces to choose from like the pet-friendly Bond Collective, family-owned 100 Bogart, and amenity-filled Cocoon. BKLYN Commons, run by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, offers perks like a rooftop patio overlooking Prospect Park. With three Bushwick locations, B[x]‘s art gallery and open studio events are specifically for visual artists and technologists while My Hub Studios has two coworking spaces with studios for music producers, entrepreneurs, and artists.
Fuel your creativity with a cold brew and bagel at Dweebs, organic coffee at Vex El Cafe, or a matcha latte at Lazy Suzy Cafe & Shop. Order fresh Italian cookies and pastries from Circo's Pastry Shop or French breads and pastries from L'imprimerie.
After a day of collaborating, do dinner at FARO, which offers a seasonally-changing menu that highlights its wood-burning oven, or Falansai, a casual Vietnamese-American restaurant that practices whole animal butchery. Enjoy happy hours in the taproom at Kings County Brewers Collective and post-work drinks at the laid-back Cypress Cafe and craft beer parlor Nook.
When you're not busy working, browse the shelves at the local bookshop Better Read Than Dead, and the racks of vintage, retro, and upcycled clothes at thrift store L Train Vintage. It’s hard to miss Bushwick's vibrant art scene. The neighborhood playhouse The Bushwick Starr is an Obie Award-winning not-for-profit theater while Arts in Brooklyn produces the annual Bushwick Open Studios. Bushwick's creative vibes extend to the dance floor at House of Yes, which hosts themed dance parties on most Friday and Saturday nights.
There's much to see and do in the 25 blocks of DUMBO, an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Originally a ferry landing, the former industrial and factory-filled neighborhood is thriving. Its paved streets are flanked by loft apartments, boutiques, eateries, and art galleries.
Part of Brooklyn's Tech Triangle, DUMBO has seven coworking spaces that attract innovative remote workers, including the stylish Greendesk, the loft-like Kongo, dog-friendly WeWork DUMBO Heights, the convenient Spaces, and homey Soho Works.
DUMBO may be small, but its culinary offerings are robust. Treat the team to coffee at % Arabica, the Japanese coffee chain known for its coffee and design, or take a lunch break and grab thin crust coal-fired pizzas at Grimaldi's and Juliana's Pizza. For groups who can’t agree on what to eat, there’s Time Out Market, home to nearly two dozen local restaurants, bars, and bakeries. Locals' favorite 68 Jay Street Bar is a cozy spot to unwind after a long day as is the swanky old-school cocktail bar Harriet's Lounge. When in season, step aboard the 147-foot wooden schooner Pilot, an oyster bar docked at Brooklyn Bridge Park. For a fancy dinner, book a table at the Michelin-starred The River Cafe adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge for seasonally-changing American cuisine.
On a day off, DUMBO is best explored on foot. The collection of boutiques at Empire Stores, independent bookshop The Powerhouse Arena, and the weekend Brooklyn Flea all offer wares made by local artisans. From strolling art galleries like A.I.R. Gallery and admiring the street art of DUMBO Walls to exercising while enjoying the skyline views in Brooklyn Bridge Park to taking a whimsical ride on the antique Jane's Carousel, there's something for everyone. Don't miss taking photos at Fulton Ferry Landing, the refurbished pier with enviable views of the Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan. At night, take in a show at St. Ann's Warehouse or walk to Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge.
Greenpoint, Brooklyn's northernmost neighborhood, is often referred to as "Little Poland'' due to its large Polish community. Formerly farmland and then an industrial area filled with factories, Greenpoint has been revitalized. In recent years, the working-class community has emerged as an after-work destination and a happening place to live. Freelancers of all kinds flock to the boutique coworking spaces like the pet-friendly Class & Co, the sun-filled PencilWorks, housed in a former pencil factory, the well-appointed Greendesk, and factory-turned-coworking space Bond Collective.
Between meetings, head out to family-owned Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop for handmade doughnuts, Pierozek for handmade pierogi, and the one Michelin-starred Oxomoco for authentic and creative Mexican fare. Relax after work with live Polish music, beer, and pierogi served by waitresses in traditional Polish attire at Karczma or dinner and drinks at 21 Greenpoint, the creative culinary world of Homer Murray, actor Bill Murray's son. Save room for ice cream and pie milkshakes at Davey's Ice Cream.
Toast to a job well done at local watering holes like brewpub Keg & Lantern, Danish bar-restaurant Tørst, and wine bar Coast and Valley. Make time to visit Sunshine Laundromat, an arcade, laundromat, and art museum filled with pinball and washing machines or go for a frolic in the 35-acre McCarren Park and take a refreshing dip in the Olympic-size McCarren Pool. Indulge in some retail therapy at the weekend Greenpoint Terminal Market, where local artisans and food vendors set up along the East River. Or, spend time browsing the books at WORD bookstore and seeing the latest exhibits at Greenpoint Terminal Gallery, an artist-run waterfront space housed in a former rope factory.
What was once a gritty, industrial home for counterculture artists at the turn of the 21st century has since transformed thanks to rapid gentrification that brought glittery residential towers with waterfront views. South of Greenpoint, the large neighborhood is packed with repurposed factories, colorful murals, indie music venues, and trendy bars along with dozens of coworking-friendly cafes and spaces.
Just about every corner of Williamsburg has a coworking space. Class & Co, Cocoon, Greendesk, Spaces, The Yard, and WeWork all have locations here. The boutique Bat Haus, the stylish The New Work Project, the leafy The Brass Factory, and the gallery/studio The Bakery, housed in a former kosher bakery, are inspirational options.
Begin the workday with chocolate babka from Oneg Bakery and coffee at roastery and coffee shop Devoción. Grab sandwiches from Marlow & Sons or book a power lunch at famed steakhouse Peter Luger. Go old school with burgers, chicken tenders, and hand-dipped soft serve ice cream from Mister Dips, a retrofitted 1974 Airstream trailer parked at The William Vale hotel.
Take an afternoon coffee break in the courtyard at Freehold, a coffee shop by day and bar by night. For Michelin-starred meals, sample the locavore cooking at The Four Horsemen or the farm-to-table fare at Meadowsweet. Enjoy snacks and appetizers at brasserie Francie (be sure to save room for the cheese cart!) or splurge at Aska, which serves seasonally-inspired set menus by reservation only. For meals without Michelin stars, consider dinner in the garden at the pork-focused Traif or authentic Roman dishes at Antica Pesa.
Take the team out for beers at Brooklyn Brewery, absinthe cocktails at Maison Premiere, or craft cocktails at the rooftop Watertower Bar or The William Vale's Westlight. Want more team building? Williamsburg's varied nightlife options include bowling and rock concerts at Brooklyn Bowl, movies at Nitehawk Cinema, performances at theatrical incubator The Brick, and live music at Music Hall of Williamsburg and Pete's Candy Store.
Spend leisurely weekends along the five-acre Domino Park, perusing the world's largest collection of artist's sketchbooks at Brooklyn Art Library, soaking away stress at BATHHOUSE, and enjoying an eat-a-thon at Smorgasburg, an outdoor Saturday food market.
Gowanus was an industrial area most known for its eponymous 1.8-mile-long canal that was once very polluted but now, the neighborhood's rowhouses and warehouses are quickly being converted to highrises, art galleries, and coworking spaces. The neighborhood attracts mostly artists and writers to its pet-friendly coworking spaces like the warehouse-style The Yard and amenity-filled Bond Collective, Makeshift, and Brooklyn Writers Space, which are sanctuaries for writers while Gowanus Studio Space offers industrial workshops, private studios, and exhibition space to emerging artists, craftspeople, and designers.
A collection of cafes serve comfort foods like gluten-free and nut-free baked goodies at Everybody Eats, pie from Four & Twenty Black Birds, ice cream from Ample Hills Creamery, Brooklyn coal-fired pizza at Table 87, and Southern barbecue at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and Pig Beach. Wind down with beers at brewery Threes Brewing, which frequently has performances in its space-within-a-space upstairs called Tiny Montgomery. Catch live music performances at ShapeShifter Lab, The Bell House, and Littlefield.
Gowanus has plenty of playful places to destress like Royal Palms, a shuffleboard club and bar. Tap into your creative side and take glass blowing classes at Brooklyn Glass or soak away stress at boutique bathhouse cityWell, a relaxing respite with an aromatherapy steam room and backyard hot tub, cedar sauna, and massages under a pergola.
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