1. North 7th and Regular



    Well, if Williamsburg wasn’t already “over” it certainly is now.

    I remember making a phone call to my mother on August 1, 2003 sitting on the step of Northside Pharmacy. I called to tell her I had found an apartment I loved on Bedford Avenue in… Brooklyn. And that yeah, it seemed safe, enough.

    Much has changed in those magical ten years — for me and for Williamsburg.

    Having just returned from my old neighborhood, which I often still describe as my first true love, I can comfortably say that it was “over” well before the worst coffee in America opened doors at its epicenter.

    I recall distinctly a 2010 summer afternoon when I ran into the ever-expressive, Williamsburg OG, Patrick, who, after observing the circus of 22 year-old idiots parading down Bedford Avenue as we sat on a stoop drinking non-Dunkin Donut coffee, nearly screamed, “This place is a joke! And I can’t have all these jokes in my face!”

    I moved that fall. But in truth, my heart does still linger there.

     



  2. I miss summer. And biking. Biking in the wrong direction on Wythe late one afternoon, screaming with AE, “I’m afraid to love!” while laughing hysterically.

    Clearly, we were not afraid to love afterall.

     

  3. Halloween or Williamsburg



    “Hey.”
    “Hey.”
    “What are you supposed to be?”
    “Oh, I’m a Rubik’s cube grandma. You?”
    “This isn’t a costume. I just sell antique trash.”

    Genius and timely Tumblr, Halloween or Williamsburg, celebrates (or mocks) my old ‘hood.

    What up South First and Bedford, 2003.

     

  4. Pies ‘n’ Thighs After-Party



    It’s tradition to sop up a 111 dance party with something fried, pulled, smothered and buttered. The chicken and biscuit sandwich with honey butter and hot sauce was an indulgent cherry on the top of a most deliciously-fantastic farewell.

     

  5. One More Dip

    While the very special summers of the McCarren Pool Parties are but a jewel of our memory, the JellyNYC shows at the waterfront are still so solid. Cut Copy was not as good as I remember them from Terminal 5 last year, but you can’t beat an afternoon that feels like old-times with a gorgeous crowd of friends and familiar faces and a breeze off the river that tosses your hair.






    The lone Cannondale of Williamsburg


    KG and N


    Space Invaders get some golden light.

     

  6. Williamsburg is Kind of Dumb

    Lately, it’s been a toss up between Bedford Avenue and Murray Hill for the City’s most annoying neighborhood. This spray can poetry discovered on North 10th and Driggs shows Williamsburg in a slight lead over the East Thirties. (The last word is “children” - not that it really matters…)

     

  7. A Satmar Jew Looks Out at His World



    Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Navy Yard from South Williamsburg

     

  8. Why Sit in the Shade on a Day Like Today?

    JL and I sit on the stoop and catch some sun on Bedford. I run into PM walking along—he stops to say this about the never-ending parade of “like”-saying hipsters walking the avenue:

    "These people? Jokes. If you’re a joke, don’t talk to me. I don’t need a fucking joke in my face."

     

  9. Love Thy Neighboors

    When you live(d) in a neighborhood as colorful as Williamsburg, it’s hard to pick just one local who’s personality stands out about the rest. For seven years we’ve seen the same characters on Bedford, and while familiar faces are seen less and less, many of these fine folk, who welcomed me on my first day down the Avenue, are still wandering around.

    1. The John Lennon wannabe who practically lives at Verb, but despite all those baked-goods consumed, is still only 92 pounds

    2. The universally hot lesbian who sometimes works at Verb (hello, straight girls, you know which one I’m talking about)

    3. Mike, the Palestinian health food store owner with the kind eyes and calm voice, who loves to talk to me about motorcycles and Florida, and still asks about my old roommate

    4. My dear friend Klyde Taylor, the Trinidadian who has fixed every air conditioner on the Avenue and never hesitates to let me know when I’m looking a little “fat-tastic”

    5. Steven, former Reel Time Video clerk and my former IT guy, who never changes his hat or sweatshirt

    6. Pee-Wee (you might remember the aging raver, her pink bike and cupcakes)

    7. Seth Green on Meth

    8. The chain-smoking owner of the Mini-Mall, the first Hassid I ever met, Mayer Schwartz

    9. The Miss Havisham-esq lady selling (and wearing) costume jewelry

    10. Subaru Dude (Anthony Delia), the singer in the red Forrester with the Mets license plate — who is, by far, my all-time favorite person in Williamsburg. On the weekends he drives around, windows down, singing oldies at the top of his lungs — just for the hell of it. For years JL and I have tried unsuccessfully to hitch a ride.

     

  10. Sippin’ on Coke and Rum, I’m like “So What? I’m Drunk.”

    Life in New York can be total shit sometimes. But you stick out the frequent hardships for a magic moment like we experienced Saturday night, on the dance floor of a K&M “First Saturdays” party.

    In a sea of twenty-something, Midwestern-born Williamsburgers on the dance floor, an older, overweight, ruddy bearded Hassid danced his heart out to the mishmash of songs the MacBook DJ queued up. The Hassid’s moves were a delightful cross between fencing and Voguing, so full of passion that he commanded everyone’s attention—and quite frankly, our respect. Apparently, with Shabbot over, it was time for him to toss the rules, let his peyos down and boogie to everything from Mary Jane Girls to R. Kelly and (gasp!) Alice DJ.

    Finally a blond with a bowl cut challenged him to a dance-off to “Like a Virgin” and soon the two are battling it out, laughing and hugging. I live for this. Where else do two worlds overlap in a such a beautiful way?

    And a special thanks to the Soul Imperial DJs for playing Genesis’ “Invisible Touch" - quite possibly my favorite song at the age of eight when I snagged the tape from Aunt Liz and play it over, and over and over and over… I might not have heard it since 1989.