It’s transforming from a traditionally working-class neighborhood to a veritable embodiment of gentrification and urban rebirth. These days, tourists and day-trippers flock to Williamsburg for a little slice of cosmopolitan bohemia.
Throughout the neighborhood, you will find old industrial buildings that have since been re-purposed into residential spaces, galleries and commercial/retail space. These buildings were the initial draw of the artists that fled the higher rents of Manhattan in the 1970s for the large lofts of Williamsburg. The neighborhood was considered an affordable alternative to Manhattan until fairly recently, when prices began rising astronomically and young professionals began moving in. The ever-growing population of eco-conscious youth and trendy businesses in the area has now made it Brooklyn’s most stylish (and expensive) destination and for many, Williamsburg has become practically synonymous with the term “hipster.” But despite all its recent changes, some areas, such as South Williamsburg, still have a very traditional feel, with large residential Hasidic populations.Find Williamsburg apartments
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When it comes to entertainment, Williamsburg is literally exploding with options; boutiques, bars, restaurants, clubs and cafes are almost too plentiful to list. Bars in the area pride themselves on their innovations in mixology, and farm-to-table restaurants are a dime a dozen. Brooklyn Brewery and Five Leaves are just a couple of the countless renowned spots to eat and drink in the area. The area also has a flourishing music scene, and is the birthplace of numerous electroclash, funk, and world beat bands such as the Scissor Sisters and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings. In the summer, seasonally specific entertainment options abound, from swimming in the McCarren Park Pool, to outdoor dining at Smorgasburg, a foodie pop-up paradise filled with handmade food purveyors selling their wares.
The super popularity of Williamsburg is spilling over to its neighbors: Greenpoint to the north, Bedford–Stuyvesant to the south and Bushwick and Ridgewood, Queens to the east.
The area has a rich and varied history beginning in 1638, when the Dutch West India Company purchased it from the local Native Americans. The opening of the Williamsburg Bridge in 1903 brought upwardly mobile immigrants to the area from Manhattan, and it quickly became one of New York’s most densely populated areas.
Williamsburg is served by three major subway lines and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The Williamsburg Bridge crosses the East River to the Lower East Side, and several bus routes including terminate at the Williamsburg Bridge/Washington Plaza. The neighborhood is a short commute from Manhattan via the Williamsburg Bridge, the L subway line or the J,M,Z lines. One can get to work or go out in the East Village quite easily. Additionally, proximity to the G train means that the rest of Brooklyn is accessible.