– Illustration by Tuesday Bassen
Design*Sponge is one of our favorite sites to browse for design inspiration and home decor ideas. Their ‘design-city-guides’ were one of our go-to-places to check out before we planned a vacation for ourselves. The city guides usually have a list of unique design stores that we end up falling in love.
So, when we stumbled upon this article from Grace Bonney herself, about things to do in Williamsburg in 24 hours, we couldn’t stop us from reposting it for you guys.
Read on to see what Grace’s favorite spots are in Williamsburg and vicinity…[via Design*Sponge]
Brooklyn is far too big of a borough to see in 24 hours, so I’ve shared the places I actually go to on a regular basis. From the local dog park where I take Hope to the store where I pick up delicious ingredients for dinner, it’s all in here. So if you find yourself in Greenpoint or Williamsburg, I hope this guide will keep you well fueled (lattes at Five Leaves), well entertained (movies at Nighthawk) and well shopped (Moon River Chattel and Sprout Home, to name just a few). I hope to see you around the neighborhood! xo, grace
1. Five Leaves 18 Bedford Avenue (at the corner of Lorimer): I get coffee at Five Leaves every. single. morning. Hope and I go to off leash at the same time every morning and then swing by to pick up my soy latte and Julia’s cappuccino. When I’m feeling like a little extra, I get a chocolate croissant. Say hi to Carlos and Austin, the main guys behind the coffee machines. One of our favorite waitresses, Frederica, just left, but our other favorites, Jackie and Lisa, are always there. You can never go wrong with their LEGENDARY ricotta pancakes or the pavlova for dessert.
2. McCarren Park: I’ve always been that weirdo that hung around and watched dogs play in the park when I didn’t even have one yet. Now I look a little less weird walking around with an actual dog by my side. Every morning between 8am and 9am, the cutest crop of dogs come to play without their leashes on. If you’re visiting and on your way to meet someone for breakfast, swing by and enjoy the explosion of cuteness that is off leash. In non-dog-related news, you can also ice skate in the McCarren Park Pool in the winter and swim there in the summer. I prefer just lounging under the trees in the summer with a picnic. Also keep an eye out for summer concerts on the tennis courts!
3. Catbird 219 Bedford Ave: I wasn’t the first person to fall in love with this store and I certainly won’t be the last. I go here, without fail, for Christmas gifts every year and trust it for any jewelry or super-girly need I may have. Lovey-dovey initial rings? Check. Sweet smelling bath salts? Yup. These girls also pretty much created the trend in stacking rings. I love this store so much I even got my wedding ring here. Hooray for Catbird!
4. Moon River Chattel 62 Grand street: This trusted shop is my go-to for bedding, tabletop and hardware. Everything has a “country home” sort of feel and has just the right amount of rustic mixed in. You can buy great new art and design books here, as well as reproduction antique hooks and baskets. Across the street at their Annex you can buy great salvage pieces like barn doors, old desks and beams.
5. Sprout Home and Floral 44 Grand street: This is one of the few shops in my neighborhood (besides Five Leaves) where I’d truly consider myself a regular. I buy flowers here on almost a weekly basis and hit up the separate plant shop in the spring and summer for new potted plants. Sprout has the best and most interesting selection of cut flowers in Brooklyn, period.
6. Nightwood 111 Grand Street: Nadia and Myriah’s woodworking and textile design has the sort of traditional-meets-contemporary feel that Brooklyn is so known for right now. I love their indigo-dyed wooden furniture and Nadia’s wall weavings. Look for special pieces from local artists like brass lighting, too.
7. Smorgasburg (Williamsburg waterfront): I’ve come to prefer the food version of the Brooklyn Flea over the actual flea itself. The vendors are new, exciting and full of great ideas. I love coming here for lunch any time, but it’s especially fun in the spring and summer when you can hop a ride to the Smorgasburg on the East River Ferry. (Don’t miss the Lumpia Shack- that’s my fav)
8. Brook Farm General 75 S 6th S: Brook Farm feels a bit off the main drag in Williamsburg, but is worth the visit. I love their selection of high-quality bedding and towels and their simple but timeless tableware. It’s a great place to go for a housewarming gift or just a little New Year cleaning gift.
9. Nighthawk Cinema 136 Metropolitan Ave: Amy turned me on to Nighthawk, a cool art theater that serves you food and drinks while you watch the movie (often theme-appropriate for the film). Come early- it can be tough to get a seat together with friends or a loved one if you’re too close to start time.
10. East River Ferry (for rides to and from Dumbo): This is the best thing that ever happened to Greenpoint. The G Train is notoriously slow and unreliable, so when the weather is warm, I prefer (no, LOVE!) taking the ferry to spots like south Williamsburg and Dumbo. It’s a gorgeous ride down the East River and a fun way to see the city and get some (relatively) fresh air. You can also bring your bike and take the ferry to midtown and downtown Manhattan and ride on from there.