Neighborhood: East Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Population Density: 81,666 people; 32,561 people per square mile (Brooklyn: 34,917 people per square mile)
Adjacent Neighborhoods: Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bushwick
Public Transit: L to Grand St., Montrose Ave., or Morgan Ave.
What’s Here?: As gentrification spreads outward from Williamsburg into the grittier East Williamsburg (and, beyond, Bushwick), more and more businesses are popping up in this neighborhood, from clothing stores to art galleries to restaurants to bars. The neighborhood is still very much in flux, so the new, arty/hipster establishments sit alongside the older mom-and-pops, like bodegas and Latin restaurants (East Williamsburg is historically Hispanic).
East Williamsburg has an industrial past, and while it’s still actively industrial, many of those big old factory spaces have been turned into art workspaces and exhibition sites. “With the slow-yet-steady infusion of new businesses, the contrast between the east end of Williamsburg and the trendier, more gentrified pocket of Bedford Avenue in north Williamsburg is beginning to fade,” the Wall Street Journal wrote in 2012. Or, as AM New York put it, “East Williamsburg: where hipsters, industries and cultures collide.”
Flat or Tall?: East Williamsburg has an architectural mix, from loft apartment buildings to industrial spaces, but is mostly flat.
History: Originally, East Williamsburg, first referenced on maps in 1783, actually wasn’t located in Brooklyn-it was in Queens. The region that’s now East Williamsburg was called Cripplebush, and was part of Bushwick. The neighborhood we now know as East Williamsburg took on the name, and its somewhat separate identity, in the 1980s or 1990s, possibly in tandem with the 1982 establishment of the East Williamsburg Industrial Business zone. Then again, some say East Williamsburg is simply, well, the eastern part of Williamsburg.
Activities: Visit art galleries, or simply look up: East Williamsburg is a prime spot for street art. Take classes at 3rd Ward or the Teaching Studios of Art. Eat at one of the many excellent new or old joints-or join the East Williamsburg CSA, which runs from June through November.
Check it out: The first ever Brooklyn Eats, a food and beverage trade show, took place this past June, and will hopefully be reprised in 2014. Walk to the nearby Williamsburg waterfront for the Brooklyn Flea and its companion food-cart market, Smorgasburg, every Saturday in the summer and fall.