Image from Williamsburg
Image courtesy of Rasmus Zwickson. Used by permission under CC BY 2.0. License Info Photo has been cropped.
Image from Williamsburg
Image courtesy of Rasmus Zwickson. Used by permission under CC BY 2.0. License Info Photo has been cropped.

Living In: Williamsburg

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Few neighborhoods in all of New York City have undergone such rapid change in the past decade and a half than Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY once a largely ignored community of ethnic enclaves; today one of the city's most coveted and dynamic areas in which to live. As recently as the early 1990s, apartments in Williamsburg were almost irresistibly inexpensive, and artists, musicians and other creative types began moving in droves… followed, as is always the case in stories of gentrification, with young people of means who loved the energy of the place. Cheap apartments became more scarce, especially near the Bedford Avenue and Lorimer Street stations of the L train, an express subway line to the happening Manhattan communities of the East Village and Union Square, a proximity that has helped define the "new" Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY both as a cultural and commercial influence and as scenes to strive to be hipper than. Contrary to popular belief, Williamsburg covers a rather large area, with a population of some 125,000. The nabe is bordered to the north by North 14th Street and Nassau Avenue (and the neighborhood of Greenpoint); to the east by McGuiness Boulevard and Bushwick Avenue (and Bushwick); to the south by Flushing Avenue (and Bedford-Stuyvesant); and to the east by Kent Avenue and the East River. The main commercial strip for residents of Williamsburg remains Bedford Avenue, but Berry Street to the east and Driggs Avenue to the west also have a large number of appealing bars, stores, coffee shops, and restaurants, as do any number of the streets radiating from Bedford. This is the area commonly thought of as Williamsburg, as it has become the center of activity. However, when ad for an apartment says that it is in Williamsburg, don't automatically assume that it's in this tiny, 5 square block area. The opening of the Williamsburg Bridge in 1903 marked the turning point in the area’s history. An influx of thousands of upwardly mobile immigrants and second-generation Americans fleeing Manhattan settled in apartment housing in Williamsburg in the early 1900’s. Williamsburg boasts many landmark buildings such as the Domino Sugar Refinery which may be converted to apartments for residential use. Other landmarks include The Kings County Savings Institution, an example of ornamental French Empire architecture, the Willamsburg Savings Bank, and The Williamsburg Houses, a group of 20 four-story buildings angled 15 degrees to the street grid for optimal sunlight. The latter three are on the list of NYC Designated Landmarks. If you are fortunate enough to make your home in Williamsburg you will eventually discover the summer celebration called the “Festa dei Gigli” (feast of lilies) in honor of St. Paulinus of Nola, a city near Naples, Italy, a highlight being the 100 foot tall statue carried around with its entourage of musicians and singers filling the air with Neopolitan melodies. In the past decade, gentrification and its proximity to Manhattan has made Williamsburg popular with recently arrived “hipsters”, giving rise to the many musicians and artists in the area, plus small art galleries and venues giving live music a platform. Large-scale rezoning in 2005 resulted in a dramatic shift in the Williamsburg neighborhoods, once characterized by immigrant enclaves and manufacturing and light industry, notably Domino Sugar. This change brought new residential buildings and converted warehouses with their blue cast-iron facades to the attention of developers and investors. Luxury rental apartments and condominiums have been opening, bringi with them young professionals and young families.

Neighborhood Information



Subway Lines

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  • Automotive Hs
  • El Puente Acad For Peace & Jus
  • Harry Van Arsdale Hs
  • Hs Of Enterprise,business & Te
  • Hs Of Legal Studies
  • Is 318 E.m. Dehostos Is
  • Is 49 W.j. Gaynor Is
  • Is 71 Juan Morel Campos Is
  • Jhs 126 J. Ericsson Jhs
  • Jhs 50 J.d. Wells Jhs
  • Progress Hs
  • Ps 132 The Conselyea
  • Ps 147 Issac Remsen Es
  • Ps 16 Leonard Dunkly School
  • Ps 17 Woodworth Es
  • Ps 18 Edward Bush School
  • Ps 196 The Ten Eyck School
  • Ps 19 Roberto Clemente School
  • Ps 23 Carter G. Woodson Schoo
  • Ps 250 George Lindsey School
  • Ps 257 John F. Hylan School
  • Ps 319
  • Ps 333
  • Ps 368
  • Ps 380 John Wayne School
  • Ps 45 Horace E. Greene School
  • Ps 84 Jose De Diego School


  • Badame Sessa Triangle
  • Bartlett Playground
  • Bedford Playground
  • Berry Playground
  • Berry Street Garden
  • Bushwick Inlet Park
  • Bushwick Playground
  • Classon Playground
  • Classon Triangle
  • Cohn Triangle
  • Continental Army Plaza
  • Cooper Park
  • De Hostos Playground
  • Earth Spirit Garden
  • Epiphany Playground
  • Ericsson Playground
  • Father Giorgio Triangle
  • Frost Playground
  • Garden
  • Garden
  • Gilbert Ramirez Park
  • Harmony Triangle
  • Jacob's Ladder Playground
  • Jaime Campiz Playground
  • La Guardia Playground
  • La Guardia Playground
  • Lentol Garden
  • Lindsay Triangle
  • Lithuania Square
  • Lot
  • Macri Triangle
  • Marcy Green Center
  • Marcy Green North
  • Marcy Green South
  • Marcy Park South
  • Martinez Playground
  • Mccarren Park
  • Memorial Gore
  • Metropolitan Recreation Center
  • Middleton Playground
  • Mt. Carmel Triangle
  • North 5Th Street Pier
  • Orient Grove
  • Penn Triangle
  • Project Roots
  • Pvt. Sonsire Triangle
  • Red Shed Garden
  • Roberto Clemente Ballfield
  • Rodney Park Center
  • Rodney Park North
  • Rodney Park South
  • Rodney Playground Center
  • Rodney Playground North
  • Rodney Playground South
  • Roebling Playground
  • Sgt. William Dougherty Playground
  • Sobel Playground
  • Sternberg Park
  • St. Nicholas - Olive St. Garden
  • St. Nicholas - Powers St. Garden
  • Sunshine Community Garden
  • Ten Eych Houses Hdfc
  • Ten Eyck Playground
  • Ten Eyck Plaza
  • William Sheridan Playground

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