For decades, Williamsburg was best known for its community of Satmarer Hasidim, a strict orthodox Jewish sect originally from Hungary. Since the mid-1990s, however, the area has been home to a steadily growing enclave of young artists and professionals, attracted to the area by its once low rents and abandoned industrial spaces.
Most of the hipsterville newcomers live near Bedford Avenue, lined with a clutch of moderately priced restaurants, shops, bars, and clubs. As is the case with such cool new hotspots, things change quickly. A good website to access Williamsburg listings and happenings is www.freewilliamsburg.com. To reach the area from Manhattan, take the L train to Bedford Avenue.
Neighborhood galleries include Momenta Art (359 Bedford Ave., 718/218-8058) and Pierogi (177 N. 9th St., 718/599-2144). Tiny Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer St., between Frost and Richardson Sts., 718/302-3770) presents lots of local singer-songwriters and the occasional jazz band.
Warsaw (261 Driggs Ave., 718/387-0505), inside the Polish National Home, is an old dance hall that’s now a premier music venue.
Try Fette Sau (354 Metropolitan Ave., 718/963-3404, $25) with top barbecue in a converted auto-body repair shop, or appropriately named egg (135 N. 5th St., near Bedford Ave., 718/302-5151), open for breakfast and lunch and serving Southern-style breakfast foods.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition