A Local's Guide to Hipster Brooklyn

By Go City Expert

What exactly does a local's guide to Brooklyn look like in 2019? For the better part of the last century, Manhattan was the place to be. The creative center of the world, the borough was culturally (and perhaps emotionally) landlocked. Manhattan residents used to balk at the idea of venturing beyond the island's 10-mile radius. Brooklyn used to have all the cool-factor of New Jersey. To put the local sentiment into perspective, the term "Bridge and tunnel crowd" was a label given to outer borough folks who tried to infiltrate Manhattan's exclusive club.

Today things are different. The perfect storm of economics, housing politics, and gentrification have shifted the cultural paradigm. Manhattan is out, Brooklyn is in.

While it may surprise you to discover that America's creative class now resides across the East River, Brooklyn is the new home of what's hip. In fact, sometimes Brooklynites' adherence to trends has earned them "hipster" labels. Encompassing nearly 100 square miles with 2.5 million residents, it can be difficult to know where to start and everyone will have their own opinions of the best places to visit in Brooklyn.

Luckily for you - we are part time investigative journalists. We bleached our hair and shaved ourselves mustaches to dive deep undercover within the Hipster ranks. After our extensive reporting, we've compiled a list of local musts, offering you insight to Brooklyn's up and coming culture.

Flowers for All Occasions (Bedstuy)

Coffee is the Brooklynite/Hipster life fuel. They need it to survive, and it doesn't get more trendy than Flowers for All Occasions. The coffee shop sits on the border of Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant (famously the birthplace of American rapper Notorious B.I.G.). It also doubles as a bar. They offer an eclectic, vegetarian menu of snacks, and once the sun goes down, the space converts into a bar where they serve soju cocktails. Filled with lush greenery, makeshift furniture, and usually with a DJ spinning some techno tunes - it is a quintessential Hipster spot.

For other lesser-known gourmet coffee houses, click here.

Rough Trade (Williamsburg)

Nothing makes a Hipster salivate like the mention of something "vintage." So it figures that vinyl records have enjoyed a huge resurgence in Brooklyn. Rough Trade is the largest shop of its kind in the borough. Funk, alternative, reggae pop, soul, rock, salsa - you name it, they have it.

Since Rough Trade opened in 2013, it has become somewhat of a local landmark, hosting record signings by some of the world's top artists. Additionally, they have a small stage in the back where local bands can often be found rocking out. Located on the Williamsburg waterfront, after you buy a record or two, walk a few blocks down to catch a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline.

The Living Gallery (Bushwick)

The Living Gallery is a DIY artists space that typifies the scene. Hosting an endless rotation of exhibitions, performances, anything really - the venue is a culmination of all that's good about Hipster culture. A personal favorite is their Drunk Drawing Wednesdays, a BYOB event in which you supply the booze, and they'll supply the art tools. A more cultural alternative to your Hump Day!

They've been around for years, but they haven't lost their edge. The space is well known in the neighborhood because of its ever-changing mural. Every three months they enlist a local artist to redesign the gallery's exterior. Their events are almost always free, and the crowd is always dressed well and friendly. A must for anyone trying to understand what Brooklyn is all about.

The Cardi Lisa (Williamsburg)

Somewhat of an internet sensation (probably because it earned its famous subject's approval via Instagram), the Cardi Lisa is a local must. The walls of Brooklyn are covered in street art, but few are as memorable as the Cardi Lisa. Funny, relevant, and just pretty darn cool, the wall size mural is a modern revision of Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" but with New York rapper Cardi B's face superimposed on the classic figure. It stands a several-foot high testament to the neighborhood's boundless creativity.

Photo courtesy of mural artist Lexi Bella.

Wonderville (Buskwick)

Hipsters, like all 20-somethings, love to drink. But a simple, straightforward bar is too obvious for them. Enter Wonderville - a bar arcade featuring one-of-kind games designed by Brooklyn locals. Inhabiting the building that used to be legendary punk rock venue Secret Project Robot (a pivotal player in the late aughts American rock resurgence that gave us the Strokes and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs), the bar-cade just opened and is peak Hipster vibes. They have a deadly house margarita and a spacious backyard patio. So grab a drink and pick a game, you're in for a good time!

Image courtesy of Carl Raw.

Book Row (Bushwick)

Located within the Broadway Flea - a series of metal sheds which house different stores under the J train railway; a Mad Max take on a flea market - Book Row is a helplessly trendy bookstore. Despite most copies that are sold being used, the collection is surprisingly expansive, covering all kinds of genres ranging from nonfiction to current best sellers. Barnes & Nobles is too obvious for Hipster locals, Book Row is classic Bushwick.

Image courtesy of author.

Prospect Park (South Brooklyn)

If being a Hipster is predicated on the idea of being counterculture, then they will always lean towards New York City's "other park." Prospect dominates roughly 525 acres of South Brooklyn, bordering several of the borough prime neighborhood. A less obvious choice than Manhattan's Central Park, Prospect is where Brooklynites go to unwind. During the summer, their bandshell hosts the popular "Celebrate Brooklyn" concert series which is free to the community.

If the greenery isn't enough for you, it's conveniently located besides the Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Museum.

For more things to do in and around New York, check out the other posts in our blog.

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Best Photos of Tribute in Light 2016

Enjoy some of our picks of the best images from yesterday's moving Tribute in Light, which happens every year on September 11th. Lady Liberty #statueofliberty #landmark #tributeinlight #1wtc #wtc #worldtradecenter #instacity #911 #nyc #newyorkcity #newyork A photo posted by Albert C. Lee (@albertclee) on Sep 12, 2016 at 8:41am PDT Tribute in light... #september11 ----------------------------------------------------- • • • • • • • • • • • #newyorkcity #nyc #nycprimeshot #nycprime_ladies #usaprimeshot #what_i_saw_in_nyc #newyork_instagram #icapture_nyc #city_of_newyork #Made_In_NY #ig_nycity #ig_unitedstates #ig_all_americas #just_newyork #TeamCanon #agameoftones #MoodyGrams #ig_masterpiece #topnewyorkphoto #ig_worldclub #watchthisinstagood #instagoodmyphoto #itsamazingoutthere #weekly_feature #nyloveyou #featuremeinstagood #nbc4ny #abc7ny #fox5ny A photo posted by Alex & Candice (@fallinginlovewithnyc) on Sep 11, 2016 at 3:14pm PDT To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. - Thomas Campbell . 09.10.16 Tonight's preview of the #TributeinLight and its reflection, from Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York City . Designed as a solemn, yet uplifting memorial to those who died at the World Trade Center, the Tribute in Light comprises of 88 7,000-watt xenon light bulbs positioned into two 48-foot squared, echoing the shape and orientation of the Twin Towers. . The display debuted on March 11, 2002, the sixth month anniversary of the attacks. On Sept 11, 2003, it became an annual memorial. . Shooting with @killahwave and @gigglegiver2 Welcome back to NYC Alexa, enjoy the rest of your stay. . #NeverForget 💙 . #amazing_longexpo #agameoftones #awesome_photographers #artofvisuals #freedomthinkers #heatercentral #huffpostgram #igpodium_night #ig_global_life #ig_shotz_sept16 #igpowerclub #igworldglobal #igglobalclub #igshotz #ig_nightphotography #main_vision #phototag_it #longexposure_shots #photooftheday #special_shots #urbanromantix #usaprimeshot #weekly_feature #worldbestgram #worldbestshot A photo posted by Gigi A (@gigi.nyc) on Sep 10, 2016 at 9:31pm PDT 15 years later.. . . . . . #artofvisual #streetshared #imaginatones #illgrammers #agameoftones #hypebeast #moodygrams #theimaged #ThisIsMyCommunity #streetactivity #streetmagazine #shotaward #Thecreatorclass #heatercentral #justgoshoot #createexplore #urbanromantix #watchthisinstagood #what_i_saw_in_nyc #justliving2016 #way2ill #igworldclub #createcommune #fatalframes #thecreative #streets_vision #instamagazine_ #hboutthere #menwithurban A photo posted by 🗽👁🇦🇱🕋 (@thousand.visions) on Sep 11, 2016 at 8:09pm PDT I never forget how brave NYC fireman and police officers were that day... . I never forget how many brave people volunteered to help... . We are strong.... And we will never forget.... . ============================ "Check Out" @mattpugs ============================ 9/11 memorial lights 2016 ============================ . . . . . . #splendid_shotz #arist_world #ig_dynamic #folkvibe#ig_great_shots_nyc #weekly_feature#igglobalclub #newyorkcity #nightshooters #sky_high_architecture #mycity_life #canon_photos #nationalgeographic #ig_great_shots #picture_to_keep #longexpoelite#rsa_streetview#igshotz#inspiring_photography_admired#ig_mood#fatalframes#earthpics#beautifuldestinations#instagramnyc#topnewyorkphoto#newyork_instagram#artofvisuals#awesome_earthpix#igpowerclub #instagram A photo posted by Craig's Beds (@craigsbeds) on Sep 11, 2016 at 6:31am PDT I can still feel you here. #Honor911 A photo posted by MISSHATTAN (@misshattan) on Sep 11, 2016 at 12:14pm PDT Never Forget. 🙏🏻9/11/01🙏🏻 =============================== ⚫️⚪️⚫️⚪️ It's Black and White Sunday time again ⚫️⚪️⚫️⚪️ Join the movement folks. Every Sunday post at least one Black and White photo and be sure to tag. #bnw_sundays for a chance to be featured. @bnw_sundays =============================== 🎞Shot info🎞 • Date: Sept 7th, 2016 • Location: NYC • Camera: Nikon D5500 • Lens: Nikkor 55 - 300mm f/ 4.5 -5.6 • Focal Length: 66mmmm • Shutter: 30 seconds • Aperture : f/9 • ISO: 100 • Shot: @mefototripods Roadtrip / Auto Mode • Shot in RAW • Edit: Lightroom / Photoshop / Instagram =============================== Big thank you to the pages who have featured my pics recently🙏🏻👊🏻🙏🏻 Your support is greatly appreciated @ =============================== Be sure to check out all my very talented friends I have tagged in the pic 💪🏼👍🏻💪🏼 =============================== #blackandwhitenyc #pocket_bnw #bnw_diamond #bnw_captures #rsa_bnw #icapture_nyc_bnw #bnw_life #love_bnw #blackandwhite #blancoynegro #bnw_magazine #bw_photooftheday #blackandwhitephoto #bw_society #superhubs #cbviews #ig_mood #ig_all_americas #igs_america #igglobalclub #inspiring_photography_admired #artofvisuals #globalcapture #master_shots #livetravelchannel #sky_high_architecture #awesomeglobe #exklusive_shot #ig_nightphotography A photo posted by Killian Moore (@killianmoore) on Sep 11, 2016 at 6:13am PDT Never forget! Tribute lights lit up in remembrance of 9/11 ========================= www.nadiablockphotography.com ========================= #SuperHubs #ig_today #igs_world #igmasters #citybestpics #lifeonourplanet #ig_captures #special_shots #travelnoire #ig_all_americas #weekly_feature #ig_mood #igrecommend #wildnewyork #hubs_united #icapture_nyc #what_i_saw_in_nyc #seeyourcity #gramoftheday #igs_NYC #instagramnyc #hot_shotz #aov #agameoftones #boss_properties #folkgood #incredible_masterpiece #amazingphotohunter #ig_exquisite #newyorklike A photo posted by NADIA BLOCK (@bklyn_block) on Sep 12, 2016 at 5:36am PDT Tonight was a truly incredible experience that I'll never forget. Flying over the #TributeInLight on the 15th anniversary of 9/11 🇺🇸. #NewYork has been my home for the last 7 years but seeing the city light up from this perspective brought me back to the excitement of the 1st day that I arrived. I couldn't be more proud to be associated and working with #NewYorkCity right now, this place really is the best city on earth 🙌🏽. Huge thank you to my friends at @flynyon and @nycgo for making this special experience possible 🚁🎥 #SeeYourCity 🗽. (🎶: "New York, New York" by Frank Sinatra, Jay Z Re-Mix) A video posted by TOM JAUNCEY (@tomjauncey) on Sep 12, 2016 at 1:37am PDT If you found other images that particularly moved you and you would like to share them with us, tag #newyorkpass and @newyorkpass on Instagram.
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Best Art Museums in New York City

Every year the world celebrates International Museum Day on May 18th. Art and knowledge lovers gather all over the world to celebrate museums and their invaluable contribution to the betterment of society and the development of communities. In New York City, we enjoy the presence of some of the most amazing art museums in the world. When visiting the Big Apple a trip to a museum or two (or twelve) is an essential itinerary item. Metropolitan Museum of Art The Met The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the United States and one of the most visited museums in the entire world. The Met boasts with an impressive collection of art across all periods, ranging from ancient Egyptian artifacts to the most avante-garde contemporary pieces. The Met consists of three separate museum spaces, The Metropolitan Museum of Art on 5th Avenue, The Met Cloisters, a stunning space dedicated to medieval Euorpean art and architecture located in Fort Tryon Park in Harlem and the brand new Met Breuer, space dedicated to modern and contemporary art, located in the Marcel Breuer-designed building on Madison Avenue. The Met Fifth Avenue: 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028 The Met Breuer: 945 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10021 The Met Cloisters: 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, New York, NY 10040 MoMA (photo by mikeoregon via Flickr) Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) This famous museum in Midtown Manhattan boasts with one of the most impressive collections of Modern Art in the world. The museum is full of recognizable pieces by artists such as Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Paul Cezanne or Salvador Dali, as well as many pieces and exhibitions from lesser-known modern and contemporary artists. Visit the museum to see the current Edgar Degas: A Strange Beauty exhibit and explore the lesser-known print pieces by the French Impressionist artist known for his whimsical exploration of movement and perspective. Visit MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens for a bigger dose of contemporary art. MoMA: 11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019-5497 MoMA PS1: 22-25 Jackson Ave. at the intersection of 46th Ave.Long Island City, NY 11101 The Whitney by Timothy Schenck Whitney Museum of American Art Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns and many other American artists have found their home at the Whitney. This cool, Meatpacking District museum attracts visitors to its brand new, ultra-modern building, as well as its location in one of the hippest neighborhoods in Manhattan. The Whitney is located at the tail end of the High Line, one of the most popular and innovative urban parks in the world. The permanent collections is full of recognizable pieces by American artists, and the temporary exhibits are always fresh and though-provoking. The layout of the new building flows very well and the rooftop offers great views. Address: 99 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014 Panorama of the City of New York The Queens Museum Located in the magnificent Flushing Meadows Park, Queens Museum is one of the most popular attractions in the borough. The museum is home to many famous pieces of art from a wide variety of artists, but perhaps the most notable is the Panorama of the City of New York (pictured above). Flushing Meadows Park has been a sight for many important events in New York City history, including the 1939 and 1964 World's Fair. The New York State Pavilion located in the park served as a setting in the 1997 film, Men in Black. Address: New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY 11368 The Guggenheim (photo by F11 Photo) The Guggenheim Named the World's Most Photographed Attraction, The Solomon R Guggenheim Museum is truly one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. The Upper East Side staple was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and attracts millions of visitors annually. Its signature rotunda is a piece of art in an of itself and photographs beautifully from every angle. The museum hosts a permanent collection of modern and contemporary art as well as provocative temporary exhibits. Address: 1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128 Brooklyn Museum (photo by Mark Lennihan/AP) Brooklyn Museum Brooklyn Museum is located in the heart of Brooklyn in the cross section of different residential neighborhoods in the borough, close to other Brooklyn attractions such as Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Prospect Park and Grand Army Plaza. The French-inspired Beaux-Arts building is majestic and impressive and hosts the third largest museum in New York City. The permanent collection is diverse, with works from classical Europe as well as contemporary America. The temporary exhibits celebrate the diversity of the borough. Address: 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11238 You can visit all of these (and many more) museums for free with your New York Pass.
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