In Brooklyn, photographers tend beehives on rooftops, musicians handcraft raw-milk cheeses, artists tend urban gardens and somewhere it all became the definition of hipster cool.

Not so long ago the East River that separates Manhattan and Brooklyn might
as well have been the Atlantic so distant were the fortunes of the former
twin cities of New York. As steadily as fortress Manhattan rose, its one
time rival fell from its status as the workshop of America to New York’s
convenient back office. It is often said that one in every seven Americans
can trace their roots back to the sprawling shipping yards, factories and
brownstone tenements of Brooklyn. Immigration shaped the city into a
collection of diverse, blue-collar neighborhoods made up of shop fronts,
family businesses and workshops filled with craftspeople. Its second
generation packed their tools and departed Brooklyn for opportunities across
the river or further afield, leaving the borough abandoned. Brooklyn
languished in a downward spiral until fifteen years ago when an unholy
trinity of sky rocketing rent, Rudy Guiliani and Sex and the City bus tours
began to force Manhattan’s artists and artisans to consider the unthinkable
and take refuge on the other side of the River. That first trickle has
quickly become an exodus as former factories are retooled as breweries,
warehouses transformed into design studios and the foyer of the city’s once
almighty bank converted into a flea market. It is too simple to put the
Brooklyn revival down to a textbook case of gentrification as its bearded,
pickle making and bicycle riding standard bearers will attest. Beyond that
the new Brooklynites have embraced the boroughs craftsman heritage and out
of that embrace has sprung a counter culture food and design movement that
is in its infancy and has made Brooklyn the American byword for cool.

With the L-train one stop from the East Village it was Williamsburg that
experienced the first wave of the hip convergence on Brooklyn. A decade on,
it is home to destination eateries and the city’s best design stores and
underground music venues. The legend goes that in 1998 when Andrew Tarlow
and Mark Firth opened Diner its original patrons were the artists,
photographers and musicians who squatted in the opposite Gretsch drum
factory. After they purchased the original 1920’s diner they went about
stripping back bad renovations (and inches of frying grease) to reveal a new
standard for this classic American concept. At Diner a distinctly
Williamsburg-style clientele slide their vintage clad bodies into booths in
the dim and narrow room as waiters deliver local beers and then scrawl the
daily changing menu onto the table. Like almost all of the significant
eateries and food destinations in Brooklyn, Diner is at the vanguard of the
philosophy that the food served should be seasonal, simple and sustainable.
The creativity of Brooklyn restaurants is inspired by what is available
throughout the year and the results are rarely short of spectacular, if not
surprising for their ingenuity. The youthful energy, purist approach and
dedication to traditional methods have ensured that Brooklyn is front and
centre of a food revolution rapidly gaining momentum in the United States.
Adjacent to Diner is Marlowe and Sons, an extension of the Tarlow/Firth
empire, a grocery store by day stocking local artisan produce and by night a
dark wood paneled bar/eating house that perfectly represents the one foot in
the 19th C, the other in the 21st C aesthetic that prevails in the city.
Two blocks away is Marlowe and Daughters a whole animal, open-plan butcher
that has helped to elevate the humble butcher from hidden away tradesman to
semi-rock star. Where celebrity chefs dominate in Manhattan, in Brooklyn it
is the artisan food producers that claim the column inches and command the
queues. No better examples are Rick and Michael Mast of Mast Brothers
Chocolate, New York’s only bean to bar chocolate producers. Like their
Brooklynite contemporaries they are a throw back to another time devoting
themselves to the quality not quantity of their product despite their
burgeoning celebrity status. From their ‘factory’ made from recycled
materials you can glimpse Wall Street across the expanse of water and the
juxtaposition of values is never starker.

The craftsmanship of Brooklyn’s food producers also extends to a revitalized
design industry that has flourished amongst the cheap rent and creative
atmosphere in the borough. In Red Hook, the abandoned shipping port,
designers have converted every available space into creative workshops and
showrooms that are powering a resurgent American furniture design industry.
At The Future Perfect, a design concept store, Brooklyn designers are
represented in equal parts with the best of Salone del Mobile in a
thoughtfully edited selection. Similarly at Voos, arguably the premier
high-end showroom for furniture designed in New York City, nearly everything
on the floor was designed and built in Brooklyn. Another iconic American
concept gets a reinvention in Brooklyn at Lite Brite Neon housed in the Old
American Can Factory in Gowanus. These neon artists fashion bespoke
installations like an iridescent chandelier or a chosen slogan that are at
the same time the height of retro and modernity.
Brooklyn is overwhelming in its scale and diversity, to take its pulse, a
snapshot of its style and to obtain a sense of all of its disparate parts a
visit to its market is essential. Brooklyn Flea, housed in winter in the
art-deco foyer of the iconic One Hanson Place, is likely America’s most
carefully curated market. On the main floor a selection of vintage clothes,
mid-century utilitarian furniture, taxidermy, dessert boots, plaid and
cufflinks fashioned from typewriter keys are to be found. Downstairs in
the former vault, beyond the metre thick iron doors, young artisans sell
handmade pickles, cheese, chocolate and beer. At the Flea Brooklyn’s finest
is on display and it represents the arrival of a new generation of American

Brooklyn Guide



85 Broadway

Brooklyn, NY 11211

(718) 486 3077



378 Metropolitan Ave

Brooklyn, NY 11211

(718) 387 4777



295 Flatbush Avenue

Brooklyn NY 11217

(718) 230 0221



261 Moore St

Brooklyn, NY 11206

(718) 417 1118



150 Wythe Ave

Brooklyn, NY 11211

(718) 388 8037



135 N 5th St

Brooklyn, NY 11211

(718) 302 5151


Vinegar Hill House

2 Hudson Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11201

(718) 522 1018


Prime Meat

465 Court Street

Brooklyn, NY 11231

(718) 254 0327


Marlowe and Sons

Marlow and Sons

81 Broadway

Williamsburg Brooklyn 11211

(718) 384 1441


Vinegar Hill House

72 Hudson Avenue

Brooklyn, New York 11201

(718) 522 1018




Hollander and Luxor

358 Atlantic Avenue

Brooklyn NY 11217

(718) 797 9190



369 Atlantic Ave

Brooklyn NY 11217

(718) 797 9733


Brooklyn Flea


Spuyten Duyvil Grocery

218 Bedford Ave

Brooklyn, NY 11211

(718) 384 1520


Spoonbill & Sugartown Books

218 Bedford Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11211-3234, United States

(718) 387 7322


The Meat Hook

100 Frost St

Brooklyn, NY 11211

(718) 349 5033


Marlowe and Daughters

95 Broadway

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211 ·

(718) 388 5700


Brooklyn Brine Co.


The Future Perfect

115 N. 6th Street

Brooklyn, NY

(718) 599 6278


City Foundry

365 Atlantic Avenue,

Brooklyn, NY

(718) 923 1786



103A North Third Street

Brooklyn, NY

(718) 218 8666


Brooklyn Collective

196 Columbia Street,


(718) 596 6231


Six Point Craft Ales

40 Van Dyke St

Brooklyn, NY 11231

(917) 696-0438


Mast Brothers Chocolate

105A North 3rd Street

Brooklyn, NY 11211

(718) 388 2625


Brooklyn Collective

196 Columbia Street,

Brooklyn NY

(718) 596 6231


Lite Brite Neon

The Old American Can Factory

232 Third Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215

(718) 855 6082




© Vogue Living, May 2010, Photography Credit: Jonny Valiant


Copyright 2012 Prior. Site by Merge Digital