Williamsburg is arguably the most popular neighborhood in Brooklyn. Having built a reputation that stretches back to the 1980s, the burgeoning neighborhood across from New York City’s Williamsburg Bridge is home to creatives. With a notable live music scene, some of the best restaurants in the city, vintage stores, and an eclectic mix of boutiques, it’s the perfect neighborhood for those looking for the next wave in art, fashion, music, or culture. It’s truly unlike any other neighborhood in the borough.
One of Williamsburg’s biggest gifts is its access to more than 50 acres of East River waterfront that stretches to the Greenpoint neighborhood just north of Williamsburg as well as other greenspaces in the neighborhood. Whether you want to enjoy a scoop of ice cream by the river or a picnic in a park, getting outside may be the best way to meet your neighbors and make some new friends. Here are some places we recommend.
Formerly named the East River State Park, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo renamed the park in honor of Marsha P. Johnson, a LGBTQ civil rights and AIDS activist. Johnson, a Black transgender woman, was prominent figure in the Stonewall Uprising of 1969. The seven-acre park oversees the East River with views of the Manhattan skyline. On the way, drop in Artists & Fleas Williamsburg, an indoor market of goods from designers, collectors and creators in New York.
This park 35-acre park borders the Greenpoint neighborhood in Brooklyn and isn’t short on things to do. With a pool, courts, tracks, and fields, engaging in your favorite sports just requires recruiting enough people for a team. Have a picnic or secure a grill for a barbecue. There is ample greenspace to make the most of warm weather days.
Also known as Date Night Park, the former Domino Sugar Refinery site was transformed in 2018. Couples can be seen strolling Artifact Walk, an elevated catwalk that stretches over five blocks of the East River waterfront. The park was a finalist for a 2020 Urban Open Space Award by the Urban Land Institute for creating an outstanding vibrant public open spaces that have been instrumental in promoting healthy, sustainable, and equitable outcomes in communities. To help promote social distancing, the Domino Park drew white circles in the grass to help you give other visitors much needed space.
The newest exploration on the waterfront is shared with the Clinton Hill neighborhood just southwest of Williamsburg. The Brooklyn Navy Yard is a recent attraction that functions as an industrial plaza and a public space. The 300-acre site hosts exhibitions, installations, tours and has a growing list of food and beverage options including Russ & Daughters, Grandchamps, Transmitter Brewery and The Food Sermon.