10 AM If you spent the night at the hostel, it’s probably time for breakfast. You’re in luck because right around the corner is the famous Life Café (983 Flushing Ave., 718-386-1133). The Bushwick branch opened in 2002, 20 years after the original East Village location, which was home to bohemians like the playwright Jonathan Larson who was so inspired that he gave Life a major role in his Pulitzer Prize winning play, RENT. At Life, devour huevos rancheros or the vegan equivalent, eggless rancheros.
11 AM If you’re a late riser, skip breakfast and grab a coffee at the Archive Café and Independent Video Store (49 Bogart St., 718 381-1944), just up Bogart toward the Morgan L stop. Located in the hub of artists-loft Bushwick, the bench outside is a great people watching spot.
Noon Head over to Knickerbocker Street and check out Urban Jungle Vintage (118 Knickerbocker St.), or one of the other vintage-thrift-resale stores on the street. We’re fond of Urban Jungle because the huge shop is filled with great stuff at reasonable prices, and is pretty well organized. We’ve rarely left empty-handed and once scored a pair of never-worn Pumas for $10.
1 PM Hungry yet? Or maybe you just had coffee and are ready to skip straight to lunch. Bushwick is home to a large Hispanic population with residents from all over Latin America. Guacuco (44 Irving Ave.), a new Venezuelan restaurant (the name is in reference to a popular Venezualan shellfish, similar to an oyster), sells arepas and a perfect tamarind tea. Located just a block from Bushwick Park, to get to Guacuco, head west on Flushing from Knickerbocker and make a right on Irving Avenue, two blocks and you’re there.
2 PM Head back up to Flushing and stop in at Better Than Jam (1095 Flushing Ave.), a handmade clothing shop that makes and screenprints all the items they sell. The co-op sells jewelry and accessories from local artists and also offers classes. Or, head north into East Williamsburg for the 3rd Ward’s third annual pig roast. The design and studio center hosts a hoedown with pork, bands and booze each year and especially if you’re on bike, it’s worth a side trip.
3 PM Brooklyn Fireproof (119 Ingraham St., 718-456-7570) is the new home of Sunday Best, which used to go down at The now-closed Yard in Gowanus. Stop by if you’re in the mood for some dancing in the sun. Have a cool drink, take in the scene. Or for a more sober alternative, check out Boswyck Farms, a hydroponic farm located inside a loft at Dekalb and Wyckoff Avenues. Stop in for a visit, but set it up first by sending an email to email@example.com.
4 PM Head over to Bushwick Avenue, which is home to many classic mansions and brownstone row houses. Taking a stroll down this historic lane will almost make you forget where you are. The most impressive is Cook Mansion, (also known as the William Ulmer mansion) at Bushwick and Willoughby Avenues. Once the estate of Frederick Cook (above), the mansion has seen good and bad times. A few years ago the building was all boarded up, but today it’s divided into three apartments and is well cared for.
5 PM Two quirky watering holes can be found on Broadway, Bushwick’s commercial hub and the main path of the J and M trains. Stop in for happy hour and enjoy the 1950s style décor, a martini, and maybe a manicure at the Brooklyn outpost of Manhattan’s popular Beauty Bar (921 Broadway, 347-529-0370). For the oddball in you, continue on a few more blocks to Goodbye Blue Monday (1087 Broadway, 718-453-6343), a bar-cum-performance space-cum-relic warehouse. Inside you’ll be surrounded by books, records and radios and anything from stand-up comedy to psychedelic noise could take center stage. Oh, and did we mention the $3 PBR tallboys? In the back is a welding shop and an outdoor performance space.
7 PM A new coffee shop opened just under about three months ago at Willoughby and Myrtle Avenues. Little Skips (941 Willoughby Ave., 718-484-0980) is a welcome caffeine fueling station in an underserved area. Stop in post-Broadway bar crawl for a coffee, snack or Italian soda.
8 PM A visit to Bushwick wouldn’t be complete without stopping into the Brooklyn Wreck Room (940 Flushing Ave., 718-418-6347). The quintessential neighborhood bar, the Wreck Room is decked out in car-related ephemera–hood ornaments on the walls, car seats instead of wooden benches. The large bar is dark and dive-y, drinks are cheap and and they have standard and vegan bar food, like buffalo wings (vegan or regular), BBQ seitan sandwich and plenty of burgers. Play a round of pool, if you can get your name in.
Text and photos by Georgia Kral, sent by Annaliese.