In the past several years, Bushwick has become a hip place for people of all ages to hang out and explore. The creativity and artistic expression of the area is evident through the numerous open art museums, graffiti parks, and eateries. So whether you’re visiting, moving to the area or planning a local trip, be sure to hop on the L train and check out these six places.
While there are numerous outdoor art galleries in Bushwick, The Bushwick Collective is arguably the most renowned. Owner Joe Ficalora founded the space, inspired by the abundance of steel factories and industrial culture in Bushwick.
Today, you can walk through artists’ open studios, participate in block parties, or check out art runs. They have frequent pop-up exhibitions and art fairs, and no matter where you look, there’s large-scale graffiti art displayed.
Maria Hernandez Park
Near the L train’s Jefferson Street station is the 6.87 acres of Maria Hernandez Park. Named after a woman who fought to evict drug dealers in the neighborhood, the park is now home to a dog park and artfully decorated concrete.
Formerly known as Knickerbocker Park, The City of Brooklyn purchased the land from PT Barnum and transformed it into a popular neighborhood recreation area. After renaming the park for Hernandez, the park saw an intensive clean-up and repair.
Today, you can venture to the park for fresh produce at the weekly Farmer’s Market, see a plethora of families relaxing in the green spaces and watch local skateboarders try out new tricks around the park.
Better Than Jam
If the artistic nature of Bushwick charms you, you’ll be able to find plenty of trinkets and souvenirs at Better Than Jam. Named after the phrase, “better than jam on toast,” Karin Persan created her textile design in 2006 then created the store and studio years later.
The store now sells handmade gifts and clothing. It also offers an outlet for local artists to promote and sell their work. If you like what you see, you can rent out spaces to create your art.
The location also offers workshops to teach locals unique skills. Workshops range from dying techniques and silkscreen printing to metal-etching and book-binding.
Shops at The Loom
Almost everyone purchases gifts or souvenirs for friends and family, and the Shops at The Loom offers an eclectic mix of perfect creations. Artists and musicians have flocked to the area to put their business dreams to the test.
Capitalizing on the features of the renovated textile mill, the shops feature a 4,000-square-foot courtyard as a meeting place for those in the community. While the shops vary in size and shape, they each feature innovative layouts for the businesses within.
- Brooklyn Vintage — A showroom-style space featuring sought out and restored vintage furniture
- Brooklyn Yarn Caf — A yarn shop selling homemade pastries, Fair Trade yarns, international fabrics and yarn benefitting nonprofits
- Loom Studios — A wooded studio offering small yoga and belly-dancing sessions
- Tomahawk Salon — A store featuring haircuts and styling by Kristin Jackson (stylist for Katy Perry’s “California Gurls”) and upcycled, sustainable fabrics
- Deli and General Store — Grocery store meets deli with options for a quick lunch or small-batch supplies like local salsa
- Belel — Minimalist jewelry that is inexpensive yet stunning
- The Index — Innovative and unique home decor featured in magazines like Hercules and VMAN
- And 13 more stores!
Known for its wood oven cooked pizzas, Roberta’s has drawn countless people to Bushwick. Today, the restaurant now has its garden, event space, and takeout option. The rooftop garden supplies the ingredients for the pizza toppings. This joint is so localized; they even house an independent radio station on site.
In fact, USA Today claims it’s one of the top 15 pizzerias in the entire country. Although many in Bushwick haven’t even gotten a chance to eat there. The location usually has a line that can take up to three hours to get through. On the plus side, they’re open until midnight, so you’re sure to at least get a bite or two.
Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos
In a delivery dock, this tortilla factory can be smelled a mile away. The fresh-made corn tortillas entice the hungry, and as is often difficult to find in New York City, the food is simultaneously delicious and inexpensive. Most well-known for their chorizo and carnitas, everything is homemade.
Choose from carnitas, enchilada, beefsteak, cecina, chorizo, chicken or veggie, then pick your medium — taco, taquito, torta or tostada. Just mentioning the location to a local is enough to illicit a smile, as they tell you that between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. you can get the tortillas fresh from the oven.