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The area of Bushwick in northern Brooklyn has developed into an artsy and vibrant neighborhood in the past decade. As one of the most energetic areas of New York, artists, businesses, restaurants, and nightlife venues have begun to flock here.
A Brief History
Bushwick was settled by the Dutch West India Company in the 1600’s, but was handled by the British shortly after that. By the beginning of the 1800’s, it was divided into four different villages: Green Point, Williamsburg, Bushwick Crossroads, and Bushwick Green. It has had quite a role in New York History, from the 18th and 19th century to the modern Big Apple.
In its early years, the area was used for agriculture and tobacco and was largely a place of industry. It eventually turned into a manufacturing center, and factories were built in rapid fashion as the economy of the greater city expanded. The area became a haven for beer and alcohol brewing.
While the original town was mostly Dutch, a large influx of Western European immigrants, especially Germans, arrived throughout the 19th century. Today, a large amount of the population is Puerto Rican and Dominican.
In post WWII New York, the area has had its ups and downs. In 1977, during a blackout in New York, there was looting and riots that resulted in heavy destruction to area businesses and it even extended to many nearby Broadway shops. The area became quite impoverished from the 1960’s until 2000. In the new millennium, the local city government has invested a lot of cash into bringing business back to the area. Focus also has been placed on an improvement of residences and a reduction in criminal activity. This has had success, but the area is still one of the most impoverished in New York City. It is a place with much promise, though.
Things to Do In Bushwick
Some of the best walking and biking in New York can be had on streets like Knickerbocker Avenue and in some of the town’s various parks. Stroll around the area or bike about if you so desire.
With some of the best bargain shopping in Brooklyn, coming to this area is a great idea for those who want to buy things at reasonable prices. The Shops at the Loom represents some of the most intriguing shopping in New York. Better Than Jam Handmade showcases a plethora of quality jewelry, clothes, and other stuff. And the Orphanage Moped Shop sports some pretty retro European bikes. Buy a Vespa if you so please.
While the most famous of New York parks aren’t here, there definitely are some nice ones. The Maria Hernandez Park is the most noteworthy. Located south of Irving Avenue and near central Knickerbocker Avenue, this beautiful park is filled with graffiti art and is named after the local hero, Maria Hernandez. For those visiting Bushwick, New York with a family, this park is great. There’s a basketball court, workout area, a small performance arena, a kid’s playground, and plenty of space for a picnic. Other local parks include the Irving Square Park and Green Central Knoll Park.
Bushwick is the artsy part of New York culture. Out here are some of the best and most creative New York art exhibits and performances. See some good New York theater and visual art at Norte Maar. This art center has everything from ballet performances to skits and drawing exhibits. If you like wood sculptures，go to English Kills on Forrest Street. And Vandevoort Place showcases some nice collage art. It’s rather psychedelic.
Places to Eat and Drink
Some of the best bang for your buck dining in New York can be had in Bushwick. From classic New York food to Asian cuisine, this area has it all. For some tasty Mexican, eat at the low priced L.A. Burrito on Wilson Avenue. This place is known for making burritos that pack a punch. Also on Wilson Avenue is Jimmy Pizza Shop, which has some great New York Style pizza. For a large, affordable sub, hit up Little Skip’s on Wiloughby Avenue. The Good Chinese Restaurant on Knickerbocker Avenue is a treat as well.
Some good nightlife in New York resides in Bushwick. The bar called Tandem on Troutman Street has become popular for its eclectic and intriguing mixed drinks. The artsy Wreck Room on Flushing Avenue is one of the more interesting New York dive bars. Near Maria Hernandez Park sits 280 Cafe & Lounge, where Lebanese food is served and the night scene is loud. Other places of note include Goodbye Blue Monday, a cutting-edge music bar, and Pearl’s Social and Billy Club, which displays a classic bar design.
Places to Sleep
The types of hotels in Bushwick and Brooklyn are varied. Chain hotels in New York like Super 8, Fairfield Inn and Suites, and Best Western are all here. There are also New York boutique hotels nearby. The King and Grove Hotel is a very popular boutique lodging.
Getting to Bushwick
Using New York transportation, you can take the subway to various stops within Bushwick. These include Jefferson Street, Wilson Avenue, Central Avenue, Knickerbocker Avenue, and more. Using the bus system, jump on line B26, B13, B54, B52, or B60. You can also drive there, but keep in mind that driving and parking in New York is difficult.