New York City - Like a Local: The Best Independent Shops in Williamsburg by Christopher Kompanek. Published July 21, 2016.
Williamsburg offers some of the most unique and authentic shopping in all of New York. From the latest fashions, to vast collections of vintage clothing, books and more, you might find whatever you’re searching for or perhaps even something you didn’t even know you wanted.
Even with the rapid gentrification, Williamsburg (and neighboring Greenpoint) has one of the highest concentrations of independent stores of any area in the city. Here are seven you shouldn’t miss.
Vintage bling is the goal of this upscale shop that features Art Deco style brass diamond rings, raw quartz crystal necklaces and other “wears” to draw the gaze to you (in a completely understated way of course). The one-room shop features over 45 independent and local designers along with in house brands Becky Lee Jewelry and Sirius Clothing that are the respective creative outlets of owners Rebecca and Siri.
430 Graham Ave, Brooklyn
Abode New York
This design store walks a fine line between upscale and affordable with an array of furniture, accent objects and other house wares that would make it possible to furnish your whole apartment in an afternoon outing. Standouts include Duane Hosein’s limited edition art prints that meld people, animals and nature together with a whimsical flair; a wooden charcuterie board in the shape of Manhattan’s subway map and wall paper so trippy it might make you feel like you’ve fallen into another dimension.
179 Grand St, Brooklyn
New York is well-known as a fashion mecca with large outposts of every imaginable designer. But where do those pricey threads go when their owners swap them out for the latest trend? The answer is Beacon’s Closet, where cluttered racks often overflow with brands like Rag and Bone, Paul Smith and Timo Weiland.
74 Guernsey St, Brooklyn
Better Than Jam
This DIY boutique on the Williamsburg/Bushwick border sells handcrafted clothes and jewelry by local designers. They also offer a wide range of classes including “Sewing with Spandex” and a two-day screenprinting workshop along with studio space that can be rented for as little as $10 an hour. Select Sundays they host a byob “drink and draw” to hone your figurative art skills.
20 Grattan St, Brooklyn
Book Thug Nation
Founded by four independent booksellers who used to peddle their literary goods on the street, this cozy spot on the Northside features bins of $1 books and hosts an array of readings, screenings and lectures. While their focus is in literary fiction, film and philosophy, their real mission is to foster an intellectual discourse the way City Lights did more than a half-century ago in San Francisco.
100 N 3rd St, Brooklyn
What books would you take with you to a desert island? If your answer includes graphic novels and indie vintage comics, you might want to stop by this postage-sized spot tucked inside a former Sicilian bakery. The green-painted floor and colorful flourishes including a chandelier of handmade blue arrows surround an inclusive collection (any artist can sell their comic or zine here) that includes vintage Mad magazines and the shop’s own free quarterly comics anthology Smoke Signal. Other finds include lewd WWII era comic cards and novelty bumper stickers.
540 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn
While record stores have shuttered all over the country, the ones that remain have elevated routine shopping trips to immersive experiences. This cavernous space near the waterfront is no exception with a stage for live music, full bar, and of course a massive selection of LP’s and cds.
64 N 9th St, Brooklyn
When it comes to travel, what’s your pleasure? We make travel our business, so that you can take pleasure in discovering off-the grid destinations from around the globe. Our writers offer fresh, unique perspectives in travel essays that go beyond the usual fact-finding. Our in-depth articles paint a picture—the big picture—including culture, street life, food and fun. Our mission is to fuel your sense of adventure, trigger your imagination, and inspire you to daydream, while providing the information you need to make that dream a reality. All you have to do is pack your bags!