Brooklyn hot spots

Brooklyn’s Historic Neighborhoods

Brooklyn’s Historic Neighborhoods

Nov 24, 2008

If you grew up in Brooklyn you probably have a “in my day” story about TriBeCa, Harlem, and Williamsburg. With dynamic, and vastly different histories, those three neighborhoods have become trendy destinations with coveted addresses. Today’s bearded, L-train riders, with their mini fedoras, are all over Williamsburg, assuring your grandfather would not recognize the streets.


Originally they draw to Williamsburg was the cheap rent for an oversized space. The neighborhood was desolate, many sites were under construction, and drug lords ran several of the corner stores. Now the streets are lined with specialized boutiques, nail salons, and restaurants, and has a small town feel where everyone knows each other.


Andrew Tarlow was one of those people who was originally drawn to Williamsburg for the cheap rent, but he found there was nowhere for him to go for a convenient meal. In 2000, he opened ‘Diner,’ a simple setting restaurant that boasts locally sourced ingredients. 13 years later, he’s opened his fifth Williamsburg eatery, the latest is Reynards, housed in the new $32 million Wythe Hotel.


Even the brand new Wythe Hotel has a local feel. Located on the site of a former barrel factory, wood was salvaged and used to make the beds and ceilings. Even the wallpaper for the 72 rooms is local, all made specifically for the hotel by Flavor Paper, in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill.


Each of the storefronts in Williamsburg appears to be making something, not just selling something made by someone else. Fixed-gear bikes, organic soaps, and chocolates are just a few of the goodies that can be picked up in these street boutiques.


With a deep history of corruption and illegal activity, Williamsburg today is not the Williamsburg your grandfather knew. It’s a kinder, gentler Billyburg that is a hip location for people flock to.

Leave a Reply