06 Jan BUSHWICK. BETWEEN M AND L TRAINS (Part I)
Because of my work, Leo and I spent few months in New York, and our apartment (you can here read basement) was located in Bushwick. The main point for the election was, of course, its relatively low prices (you are in New York, don’t forget about it), but also some references I read about this neighborhood in few blogs. Despite actually we didn’t have much information and neither expectations, it didn’t disappoint us at all: we loved its relaxed mood, its great restaurants and the nice people we met there. My Bushwick experience was actually the main reason to start this blog: I needed to share all that little know spots, outside the touristic routes, but absolutely worthwhile.
Bushwick used to be, few years ago, a neighborhood you would probably avoid while visiting New York. But its proximity with Williamsburg and the overprice of housing there made this industrial are a focus for young people, artists and creators, who now live together with Puerto-Rican families who have been there for years. We must mention too the work done during a decade by The Bushwick Collective, which with its task has converted these streets in a sort of Street Art mecca. This amazing project, started by Joe Ficalora, has built a really alternative quarter, far from the too much hip (and overpriced) Williamsburg. Here a more extensive post on Bushwick Street Art.
We lived in Hart Street. Just in front of our apartment there was one of our favorite places in the neighborhood (and even in NYC), Molasses coffee and bookstore: A small and charming place owned by Matt, a great point to spend hours on a book and a coffee, and to have a beer during the evening. And for lazy days, just around the corner there is THE place for cheese sandwiches: The Weelhouse, a former butcher shop converted in a nice restaurant.
Our street was actually very well connected. I always took the L train from Dekalb Avenue, but Leo preferred the M from Central Avenue Station, as he loved the train crossing slowly over the river. I normally prefer quicker underground options. It’s all about moods, actually… However near Central Avenue there were some of my favorite spots: first of all, Little Skips. This hip café was the perfect place for a cappuccino, a sandwich or a hot chocolate during that extremely cold winter. I must say some days it was really difficult to have a sit, as it is actually a very popular place. From the same owners and just a walking stroll from Little Skips, the is Little Mo restaurant: we ate lots of banh mi sandwiches and rice bowls there! I loved the place and of course its food.
Bushwick is also a place to go out: there are actually no big or hip clubs, but plenty of interesting places. One I really liked to go even on weekdays after work was Bossa Nova Civic Club. A beer or a cocktail tasted even better for the great music, mostly electronic, and the cool ambience. Alphaville was also really close to our place: it is perfect for a snack and a beer, and the music they play it’s also really good. It has the I also loved going to Miles, but I have read that unfortunately the have closed. Anyway, here you can purchase a book with their most representative cocktails.
On the opposite direction of our house, there was Maria Hernandez Park. It was such a special place, really crowded during weekends by Puerto-Rican families who, even with the cold, took this place as a meeting point. In Spring, when the snow melted and trees flourished, it was even a more alive place. Right next to the park there were two shops we were pretty assiduous of: organic market Hi Mango Natural Market, which feed us during those months (thanks for existing!) and Vinyl Fantasy (Leo is a super vinyl-and-music fan).
I think it cannot exist anybody who doesn’t like arepas. This traditional Venezuelan food is served in Guacuco, a sober and cool restaurant in the heart of Bushwick. I used to order arepas de pollo with a cocada to drink. Sooo good 🙂
Not far from there are also two cafés to which i was pretty assiduous. I liked AP café for week days: as very calmed and fancy place, perfect to work with your laptop (I wrote parts of my PhD there…). I especially loved the decoration of this place, in concrete, White, gold, Wood ans lots of plants. Another café, which I preferred during weekends was Heavy Woods, a great place for a long Saturday morning coffee (those that finish with a beer at noon). I was also truly fascinated for the restroom tags!
In my next post I will share other spots of Bushwick, mostly in Morgan area (yes, near Roberta’s), focusing on great street art interventions.