I haven’t picked up a hard copy of a NYC guidebook in years, so am not sure if Bushwick has been listed as a ‘hood to visit in Brooklyn. If not, it most certainly will be (or should be).
My husband and I lived in Bushwick 4 years ago, and while its skyline hasn’t changed, it’s definitely coming into its own. The neighbourhood is located about a 40 minute walk from the heart of Williamsburg, or a short ride on the L line, where the action takes place steps away from the Morgan St subway stop. There’s no view of Manhattan from here, there’s no cool breeze from the East River; the inland activity pretty much centres around three streets: Bogart, Moore and Varet.
An industrial area made up of still functioning factories, the community is young, art loving, fedora wearing, and low key. It’s not unusual to see a Porsche parked near an 18 wheeler truck, alongside a row of bikes, at the curb of one of the many commercial-turned-residential loft buildings. The neighbourhood made a name for itself largely because of the appeal of Roberta’s Pizza restaurant, which I wrote about here: Bushwick, Brooklyn – the new frontier? Side note: wow, the photos in that ‘ol post…
“When we first opened here, there was nothing around,” said Anthony Falco, the director of mobile operations for Roberta’s Pizza. “It’s been great to watch the whole area grow…”**
Mario Batali, famed Italian chef, lists it as a favourite restaurant in Brooklyn; the New York Times has given it rave reviews. In the vicinity of Roberta’s, there’s a wine store, a couple cafes, a Natural Foods store, another restaurant, and vintage shopping – streetside.
The gritty streets are decorated with street art, and while the hordes of tourists haven’t made it this far (yet), it is possible to stay at recently opened New York Loft Hostel.
The neighbourhood is still evolving, and though my husband mentioned that he wouldn’t mind moving back (years ago, he knew then, the area was on the ‘brink’), I feel that I’ve outgrown Bushwick. Or maybe Bushwick has outgrown me. But I still like to return, reminisce, and see what’s changed.
This weekend, we walked in on Roberta’s Pizza Block Party. No invite required. Enjoy the photos!
*NB: All photos taken with my new 35mm 1.8 Nikon lens. I’ve found that it’s a matter of using the legs as zoom, and am still figuring out best aperture to use for different compositions.
Below: an adjoining taco shack by Roberta’s, further down from the main restaurant
Below: chicken taco. Behind it, one with pork topping.