A Williamsburg Whim

Williamsburg, Brooklyn has an enticing reputation – that of a funky artist enclave. So, on a morning whim, i decided to check it out!

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Looking towards Manhattan

During the last twenty years, Williamsburg has become home to a new set of “immigrants.” In the Northside, artists discovered the low rents and large light-filled lofts of former factories, joining already established Italian and Polish immigrants. Galleries, restaurants and shops opened, catering to these new residents.

Looking forward to what i might discover, i set off on the train, aiming only for the suburb. Not the best idea as i popped up on a main intersection – that seemed like the middle of no where… Instead of funky galleries and quirky cafes…. there were advertisements for beer… in spanish…

Oh and did i mention it was repressively hot? I wandered and wandered, with a vague idea that i was heading in the right direction

buying an apple and a very refreshing iced tea to keep me marching onwards

i knew when the buildings became funkier and the graffiti more ‘refined’ that i was getting close!

and when i passed the first retro, 2nd hand shop – i was there!

With it’s tree lined streets

and proximity to the water, it’s no wonder that both general interest in the area and real estate prices are soaring. Long-abandoned factories are being converted to expensive condominiums and apartments.

New construction of high-rise buildings is changing the face of the neighborhood but it’s striving to keep it’s artsy culture alive and evolving

the youthful creativity is best shown in the skill and diversity of the graffiti around the area.

and i also spotted many examples of the “hipsters’ the term (sometimes derogative) used to describe the trendy locals. Urban Dictionary describes hipsters as

a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. With a certain bohemian life situation and lifestyle, he or she rejects “mainstream” culture and embraces and contributes to independent culture, and prides him/herself on this. Although “hipsterism” is really a state of mind,it is also often intertwined with distinct fashion sensibilities. Hipsters reject the “culturally-ignorant” attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often be seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses. Both hipster men and women sport similar androgynous hair styles that include combinations of messy shag cuts and asymmetric side-swept bangs.

Essentially -one who possesses tastes, social attitudes, and opinions deemed cool by the cool. (Note: it is not cool to use the word ‘cool’). Whilst i know im not ‘cool’ as i don’t even know the correct word for ‘cool’ i still enjoyed my surroundings

stopping at a cosy cafe to take it all in

before continuing to cruise in and out of funky boutiques and wander around

until it became time for me to work my way back

– harder than you’d think as i kind of wandered randomly to find the area in the first place. But this was also good as it meant i took a new route and discovered even more quirky graffiti

until i bid adieu to the area

with some parting words on buildings

and also in the subway!

and then i returned to the comfort of my suburb

a beautiful area in it’s own right with many wonderful cafes and boutiques that i am exploring bit by bit, day by day


1 Comment

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One response to “A Williamsburg Whim

  1. sally

    What a lovely rambling day. Were there no art galleries with this hipster art? Maybe it was all done as graffiti. LM

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