Break out your Hipster Shields, people: Brooklyn’s Williamsburg is the place to be right now. The trendy neighborhood just across from Manhattan’s Lower East Side (not to be confused with the grandmotherly tourist trap in Virginia) has, until fairly recently, been more of a day-tripper favorite, but the über-hip Hotel Williamsburg, set to open this month, is a good reason to go soon and make a whole weekend of it.
How hip are we talking? Well, when you’re not auditioning your complimentary vinyl collection on the in-room record player, you’ll be sipping superstar barmaster Toby Maloney’s punch bowls at the rooftop bar, and thereafter recuperating with locally roasted organic coffee and 24-hour room service.
Outside the confines of the borough’s first “urban resort boutique hotel,” you’ll begin thinking: Maybe these kids really are onto something. The crazy-popular Brooklyn Bowl is just a block away, sporting 16 lanes, New York’s best fried chicken (seriously), and a concert venue where our very own ?uestlove DJs on Thursdays. If you’re up for kickball, there are near-constant pickup games in McCarren Park, adjacent to the hotel—though you can also opt for chess or Scrabble, or just watch the Hasidim play softball.
The real gem of the neighborhood is the Brooklyn Flea, an open-air artisan-and-vintage-dealer market on the waterfront in East River State Park on Sundays. Plus, on Saturdays through November, the park hosts Smorgasburg, a gathering of more than 100 New York eateries and food purveyors offering everything from small-batch ketchup to hand-pulled mozzarella to banh mi. Should you require a taste of more classic New York comfort, though, the esteemed Peter Luger steakhouse is just a few blocks away. Now about that Philadelphia inferiority complex …