Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bedford Avenue

A weekend afternoon in Williamsburg, apparently rain or shine (since I experienced both, many times over in a few hours), is an experience of variety, cuisine, shopping, strolling and the best people-watching this side of the Meatpacking District.  Locals and visitors from across the river abound and will be duly entertained for the price of a short subway ride (or two) from Manhattan.  Plus, there are the wonderful views of Manhattan. 

I recommend first a long stroll up and down Bedford Avenue, where the "L" train stop will bring you above ground.  Glancing down the side streets along the way offers temptations, too, for diversions from the main avenue.  Just one example - I found a lovely, rustic bakery on one of the side streets called Bakeri, which has a tiny and charming back garden (as I noticed many of the neighborhood cafés, restaurants and bars did), complete with bubbling fountain, in which to enjoy my salad (bread was out of the question as it was still Passover, but I would have had a very hard time selecting just one item if I'd been able to do so).
Continuing up Bedford Avenue will eventually lead to McCarren Park, fascinating home to the famed hipsters of Williamsburg on a sunny Sunday, where I found many small groups of them covering every bare patch of grassy ground, picnicing, playing music or just deep in conversation.  

When it began to rain, I headed back to a public bench on the corner of Bedford and N. 6th Street that was protected by an awning, and I watched the passers-by and drew a few (not exactly scientific) conclusions (if you are from Williamsburg, please do not hate me - I loved my visit, and I plan to go back often, if you'll let me).  I noticed more of these things than I usually see from a random street corner in Manhattan:

boots with bare legs and short shorts
little dogs
hair of every length, color, shape and head location
red lips
flannel clothes
bubble tea
coffee houses and walking coffee cups
muscle t-shirts
back gardens
open air bars and cafés
places called "The ____"
"Where's Waldo?" caps (in 75 degrees)
people between the ages of 20-30
"ironic" clothes and accessories (like Hello Kitty pink luggage, being carried - seriously - by an adult)
foreign languages spoken
did I say bicycles?
couples holding hands
too many tattoos per square inch of human skin

Things there were NOT much of:

people in business clothes
scowling people (it was a Sunday, after all)
small frame eye glasses
old people
kids (OK, a few, and they were VERY hip)

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