Clothing with a conscience.
The bewhiskered look that made Williamsburg gentrifiers the poster children for hipster scum everywhere has also migrated south—albeit with a more thoughtful M.O. To wit: Lisa Joseph’s Eco Closet (16) (230 Grand St., nr. Driggs Ave.; 718-360-4587), a green boutique bursting with faux-silk dresses, açai-berry necklaces, and recycled SmartGlass bangles. Next door: Leanne Mai-Ly Hilgart’s Vaute Here (17) (234 Grand St., nr. Driggs Ave.; 718-717-2193), devoted to her vegan clothing line Vaute Couture. The designers behind jewelry lines Cold Picnic and Species by the Thousands stock their brick-and-mortar A Thousand Picnics (18) (171 S. 4th St., nr. Driggs Ave.; no phone) with skeleton cuffs, brass bolo ties, and dream catchers. The analogously free-spirited Beautiful Dreamers (19) (326 Wythe Ave., at S. 1st St.; 718-388-4884) carries diaphanous maxi-dresses and Spanish avarca sandals. Hilary Park Jewelry (20) (94 S. 1st St., nr. Berry St.; 718-387-7076), the first shop for this ex–Wall Street trader, showcases astrology- and nature-inspired pieces. Then there’s Joinery (21) (263 S. 1st St., nr. Havemeyer St.; 347-889-6164), “a shop where all kinds of good things come together,” including vegetable-dyed straw mats from Brazil and mobiles from artist Kim Baise. Hickoree’s Floor Two (22) (109 S. 6th St., nr. Bedford Ave., second fl.; 347-294-0005) answers the call for urban frontiersmen, trading in sturdy Thorogood boots, Ursa Major shaving cream, and Silly Putty, among other backwoods necessities. On the aesthetic flip: Fred Perry Surplus (23) (306 Grand St., nr. Havemeyer St.; 347-689-2096), the first outlet for the streetwise British sportswear label. Heaps of piqué cotton polos and patterned trousers are priced to move at up to 70 percent off. And natty little Brooklyn Tailors (24) (358 Grand St., nr. Marcy Ave.; 347-799-1646), situated in the shadow of the BQE, is the go-to for bespoke menswear, though it also stocks ready-to-wear suits, shirts, and ties.
Aerial, tattooing, and otherwise.
When the apartment above Marlow & Sons became available last year, Andrew Tarlow snapped up the lease so that Anna Dunn—Diner bartender and editor-in-chief of Diner Journal, which documents goings-on in the Diner universe—could make a gallery out of it. This Must Be the Place (25) (81 Broadway, nr. Berry St., third fl.; thismustbetheplace.org) raised a year’s worth of Kickstarter funding in March and is already booked up with art shows, Pilates classes, and poetry readings. Production studio Picture Farm (26) (338 Wythe Ave., nr. S. 1st St.; 718-218-8001) opened its doors to gallery exhibitions last summer, allowing “homeless” creatives like Kayrock Screenprinting and Ugly Art Room to set up shop for a few weeks at a time. At illustrator Tara McPherson’s gallery Cotton Candy Machine (27) (235 S. 1st St., nr. Roebling St.; 718-387-3844), the art rotates monthly, and there’s always a hand-selected surprise for sale—like rock posters plucked from McPherson’s personal collection. The just-opened Bird River Studios (28) (343 Grand St., nr. Marcy Ave.; birdriverstudios.com) offers after-school programs in ceramics and stop-motion animation for kids ages 3 to 12, plus workshops for adults. Acrobatics and trapeze classes are de rigueur at the Muse Brooklyn (29) (32D S. 1st St., at Kent Ave.; 347-868-7369), but the warehouse also has a packed lineup of aerial dance shows, should you wish to leave the bungee-dangling to the pros. Those who prefer more cutaneous art lauded the landing of Joe Truck’s Magic Cobra Tattoo Society (30) (775 Driggs Ave., nr. S. 3rd St.; 718-782-8287). Truck opened the first legal tattoo parlor in New York in 1997, then split for California. Now he’s back with a new shop and a slew of reputable inkers, plus Anna Monoxide in the piercer’s chair. Business is booming, so book ahead.
Cafés and bagelrias galore.
When its North Bedford rent skyrocketed last year, neighborhood mainstay the Bagel Store (31) (349 Bedford Ave., at S. 4th St.; 718-218-7220) decamped to a more southerly location. The no-frills menu includes “Brooklyn Mexican” breakfast sandwiches and six varieties of tofu cream cheese (it’s still Williamsburg, after all). The retro-styled Bedford Baking Studio (32) (347 Bedford Ave., nr. S. 4th St.; 347-278-4548) serves Crop to Cup coffee and Turkish pastries like rosewater-soaked güllaç. At much-lauded Whirlybird (33) (254 S. 2nd St., nr. Havemeyer St.; 718-384-1928), an album-cover-adorned coffee shop with tree-stump sidewalk seating, there are just two types of breakfast taco: one with chorizo, the other veg, and both fried up on a sizzling griddle. Black Brick Coffee (34) (300 Bedford Ave., nr. S. 1st St.; 718-384-0075) is the haven of choice for stay-all-day freelancers. Dust Bowl–era furnishings and a ceiling shellacked with old packing crates recall simpler times, an illusion belied only by the carefully brewed Stumptown and sea of Mac laptops.