CMJ Neighborhood Spotlight: Williamsburg

posted by Laura Baker-Finch on October 09, 2013

Photo: Crown Victoria 2013 by Laura Baker-Finch

New York City -- Located across the East River into Brooklyn, Williamsburg and neighboring Greenpoint have become escapes for a new generation of young, artsy types. These new residents have instilled a unique and laid-back atmosphere to the borough, fostering a distinct nightlife scene and music community of indie labels, venues, musicians, and fans. In Williamsburg, cocktail lounges, beer gardens, dive bars, and restaurants line Bedford Avenue dispersed between countless music venues. While less tightly packed with CMJ venues than to the south, Greenpoint holds its own with standout eateries and bars lining Manhattan Avenue just north of McCarren Park.

Listed below is just a taste of what is available in our full Official Travel Guide to CMJ Music Marathon, which is loaded with information about city-wide hotspots. The guide is available for free at select venues throughout New York City, and if you can't pick up a physical copy, you can view or download the digital guide, hosted on CMJ's website. Physical copies will also be available in each CMJ registrant's gift bag. - Laura Baker-Finch

Calexico (645 Manhattan Avenue)
Both Calexico's brick and mortar location - where you can sit indoors, in the garden, or at the bar - and their street carts offer Mexican dishes like tacos, Mexican tortas, and carne fries. Don't forget to try their chipotle "crack" sauce - it's addictive.

Vinnie's Pizzeria (148 Bedford Avenue)
Vinnie's offers delicious, out-of-the-box pies that are as delicious as they are unusual. Opt for an avocado quesadilla pizza, or try Greenpoint's Finest, topped with cheese and potato pierogi, caramelized onions, cheddar and sour cream.

Wythe Hotel (80 Wythe Avenue)
This converted factory has open, airy, loft-style rooms with exposed brick and striking Manhattan views. The Wythe also features a sprawling sixth floor rooftop bar, The Ides, which is quickly becoming a go-to drinking destination in Brooklyn.

King & Grove (160 North 12th Street)
King & Grove features a pool area with private cabanas, a 360-degree rooftop bar with views of the Manhattan skyline, and a sleek architectural design to pair with its bright, spacious, and modern rooms. Stop in the lobby for a meal or to rent a bicycle.

Artists & Fleas (70 North 7th Street)
This indoor treasure trove, only open on weekends, features a rotating selection of vintage and artisan items. Often seen as an extension of Brooklyn Flea's Sunday market, Artists & Fleas has a lot more to offer - and is open year round.

Species By The Thousands (171 South 4th Street)
Cult admirers have followed this brand from retail outlets like Urban Outfitters to its first brick and mortar shop, where sterling silver and brass handcrafted jewelry is displayed among apothecary items and folk craft-inspired home wares.

Skinny Dennis (152 Metropolitan Avenue)
While many first approach Brooklyn's newest, and most likely only, honky tonk bar with skepticism, they end up embracing a little southern hospitality - along with some cheap drinks and free warm peanuts. Be prepared to get cozy, especially when there's live music.

Crown Victoria (60 South 2nd Street)
Crown Victoria's 9,000 square foot backyard dwarfs the patios of neighboring bars and its own indoor area - and that's exactly why everyone comes here. Instead of limiting your party crew, slide past the bar and DJ Booth at Crown Vic and take a gulp of fresh, waterfront air.

Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street)
While the Brooklyn Brewery's primary purpose is to make beer, at the end of the week it opens its doors to visitors to who come to enjoy cheap brews and the lively atmosphere. Take a tour of the brewery while learning about the beer-making process.

The Gutter (200 North 14th Street)
This 21+ vintage bowling alley offers 12 craft brew taps and is open nightly until 4am, should you want to indulge in a late-night game of bowling. At only $7 per game and $3 for shoe rental, The Gutter is a welcome change from the usual barhopping.

Venue Descriptions by Laura Baker-Finch

See Also:

Music Monday Playlist: CMJ Music Marathon 2013
CMJ Neighborhood Spotlight: Madison Square Park
Get Your Free Copy of Cultivora's Guide to CMJ 2013