A wildly popular hipster enclave and live music center, Williamsburg's meteoric rise to fame has been dizzying, leaving many to wonder how much of a good thing is too much? Covering a large swath of northern Brooklyn, the Williamsburg border jogs north along the East River, zigzags over McCarren Park before heading south on Bushwick Avenue, west on Flushing Avenue to Kent Avenue.
The irony of Williamsburg's recent evolution is that many of the changes existing residents embrace have a pesky downside. Williamsburg is safer than it was, but it's quite busy at all hours now. The influx of new people is exciting, but everything is so crowded now. The new food and entertainment options are amazing, but everything is so expensive now. And so on.
Though long-standing families and ethnically diverse communities still exist in the neighborhood, and young families have joined the mass migration of the recently graduated, in today's Williamsburg, the vibe is decidedly young, uber-hip and electric. The complexion is also increasingly affluent, thanks to a non-stop onslaught of ultra-luxury new construction condo buildings that has drawn the ire of long-time residents. Also drawing anger, and more than a little fear, is the scheduled 2019 L-train shutdown that will remove one of the two Manhattan-bound subway lines serving this vast neighborhood for 18 months. While stepped up bus and ferry service is poised to pick up the slack, only time will tell how the shutdown will impact the neighborhood, and its impressive prices.
Set between Williamsburg and Greenpoint, McCarren Park is a bustling 35 acres of outdoor recreation, including a popular swimming pool and summer movies.
East River State Park and Buswick Inlet Park offer spectacular views and amenities along the Williamsburg waterfront.
Live music abounds in Williamsburg with a number of large concert halls and smaller intimate venues dotting the landscape.
When it opened in 1996, Brooklyn Brewery was one of the first businesses in industrial Williamsburg and played a pioneering role in transforming the area.