Bushwick is one of New York’s hottest neighborhoods. A former working-class, industrial district in northeast Brooklyn, Bushwick has evolved into a bohemian enclave – home to experimental art, avant-garde performance, affordable craft cocktails and sustainable eats. The neighborhood’s relaxed “go local” philosophy makes it easy to immerse yourself in Bushwick’s abundant culture.
To help plan your visit, here are some great things to do in Bushwick.
Subway: Take the L Train to the Morgan Avenue stop. The J, M and Z lines also serve the neighborhood. For information about these subway lines, maps and schedules, see the MTA’s website.
Expert Tip: Before heading out, check The Bushwick Daily for listings of events, happenings and parties in the hood.
Visit a Chocolate Factory: Located on 288 Seigel Street near the Morgan L stop, Fine & Raw Chocolate offers the chance to savor free samples of their sustainably-made chocolate bars and see the interesting production facility. The name of the brand comes from their production process that uses low heat in order to preserve the cacao’s raw flavors and characteristics. And in true Bushwick hipster fashion, all ingredients are natural and organic, packaging is recycled and inks are vegetable-based. For many, visiting Fine & Raw Chocolate is an eye-opening experience into the world of real chocolate, and staff can help guide you through a sensual tasting experience. Try the Bonbon Bar stuffed with a bonbon truffle, smokey Mesquite Bar, and Cacao & Coconut Chunky Bar with coconut butter and blue agave. Hours for the factory and shop are Monday through Friday from 10am to 6pm; Saturday from noon to 6pm; and closed on Sundays.
If you’ve still got a sweet tooth, walk about five minutes to Bushwick’s Living Room and order their decadent Molten Cake topped with dulce de leche and strawberry compote. Delicious!
- Go On A DIY Craft Cocktail Crawl: For craft cocktail lovers, Bushwick is heaven. The up-and-coming neighborhood seems to have a new hipster bar opening every week, most putting modern, artisanal spins on cocktail classics. While Bizarre Bar specializes in sex-themed and absinthe cocktails — like their “Absinthe No. 5” made with Piedra Azul Blanco Tequila, absinthe, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and muddle rosemary — The Narrows offers one of NYC’s most affordable craft cocktail menus, with many thoughtful drinks less than $10. At Miles they serve classic-style drinks like the “Dark & Stormy,” “White Negroni” and the “Juan Collins,” as well as completely modern libations including the “One Night in Bangkok” featuring house-made saffron gin, Dolin Dry Vermouth, fresh lemon juice, jasmine syrup and Thai bitters. These are just a few of the numerous craft cocktail options in Bushwick.
- Peruse Art Galleries Galore: Bushwick is known for its experimental art. In fact, many galleries have begun moving from Williamsburg and other artsy enclaves to currently-happening Bushwick. Many of these thought-provoking galleries are clustered around the Morgan L subway stop, like English Kills, Momenta Art and Luhring Augustine. For an interactive experience, Bat Haus offers drink-and-draw classes on Wednesdays from 8-10:30pm. For $10, you can sip unlimited beer and try your luck at sketching a nude model.
Immerse Yourself In Street Art: Along with galleries and studios, Bushwick is chock full of amazing street art, much of which is organized by The Bushwick Collective. Wander down Bogart Street near the Morgan L stop and explore its side streets for a colorful heaven of imaginative works. Another treat (particularly for street photographers) is strolling down Troutman Street between Wycoff and St. Nicholas through an immersive outdoor gallery…street art literally everywhere you turn.
- See A Show: Whether you’re looking for a performance or live music, Bushwick has a lot to offer. The above-mentioned Bizarre Bar hosts Coney Island-style freak shows, burlesque, singer-songwriter showcases, open mic nights and much more. The eccentrically-decorated Goodbye Blue Monday — a former junk store — offers local musicians every night. The Bushwick Starr hosts experimental and avant-garde theater acts that are well worth crossing the bridge.
This is a guest post by Jessica Festa, a writer, NYC tour guide, and devoted resident of Bushwick. Jessica is Author and Editor of websites Jessie On a Journey and Epicure & Culture, and a contributor to many publications including Huffington Post, Sherman’s Travel, Gadling, and AOL Travel.
Have you explored Bushwick? If so, what’s your favorite Bushwick experience or haunt? Tell us in the comments below.