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Don't Hate on Hipsters - Williamsburg has its charms

Don't hate on one of Williamsburg's hipster havens

Eye On Real Estate

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Spinning is so yesteryear. In Williamsburg the hot new exercise class uses rowing machines.  

“It's an unbelievable workout,” said Josh Ozeri, co-owner of Brooklyn Crew, which he and business partner Robert Minucci opened on Broadway in May.

Cool stuff like this makes us love Williamsburg, however much bloggers beat up on it and drop the h-word (hipster) like it's the f-bomb when they write about the place.

They are right about a lot of the new apartment buildings, which are fugly. But Billyburg has owned a piece of our heart for well over a decade – since the first time we toured a residential conversion there.

Robert Minucci, co-owner of Brooklyn Crew, where rowing classes are a  new alternative to spinning en masse. Photo by Lore Croghan

The former sweater factory had wood floors that had been cushioned from wear by soft yarn fibers that had floated around the place for years. It was an oddly endearing detail.

Fast-forward to 2014. There's endearing food like Malaysian curry stew at vegan eatery Wild Ginger on Bedford Avenue and sinful napoleons at Northside Bakery on N. 8th Street, where workers and some patrons speak Polish. There's aged beef lead butcher Ben Frey carves with a saw at Marlow & Daughters on Broadway.

Vegan delights at Wild Ginger on Bedford Avenue - Photo by Lore Croghan

Ben Frey, lead butcher, at work at Marlow & Daughters. Photo by Lore Croghan

“We're really proud of what we do,” he said.

For fun, besides the bars and Brooklyn Bowl, there's events venue Villain on N. 3rd Street, with a balaclava-covered face that looks like a Pussy Riot band member (but isn't) painted on the facade. For shopping, down the street there are candy-colored purses and wallets at Baggu – and real candy being made at Mast Brothers chocolate factory.

Pussy Riot visits Billyburg? No, this face decorates the facade of event  space Villain. Photo by Lore Croghan

Candy-colored shoulder bags at Baggu in Williamsburg

For eye candy, heart-stopping views of the Chrysler Building and its mighty midtown neighbors can be seen from the benches of Bushwick Inlet Park.

For those who want to be eye candy, the workouts at Brooklyn Crew could be a step in the right direction. They burn more than 800 calories per session. So trips to Mast Brothers can be guilt-free.

Empire State of Mind – seen from Williamsburg. Photo by Lore Croghan

United States of Chocolate, at Mast Brothers' Williamsburg factory

 Waiting for summer in Williamsburg - Photo by Lore Croghan

February 27, 2014 - 2:00pm


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