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Brooklyn beckons if you want to shop, eat and drink like a star

The William Vale
View over New York from The William Vale Credit: Read McKendree

Longer nights mean twinkling lights and charming restaurants in the booming New York borough of Brooklyn. Check out the chic city villages called home by the likes of Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz, Ethan Hawke, Patrick Stewart and many more. 

Greenpoint and Williamsburg

Feel like a student again or just dress like one when you visit these urbane neighbourhoods dotted with cool vintage stores.

To Brooklynise your look, shop for tweed overcoats, denim jackets and oversize woollen knits or the odd beaten-up men’s leather jacket at Urban Jungle.

For more ladylike attire try Awoke Vintage, perhaps Brooklyn’s most sought-after second-hand store. For new Brooklyn looks, try Bird Brooklyn which carries new and sustainably driven designers, plus shoes by favourite local, Rachel Comey.

One more note for music fans, Record stores are dotted throughout Williamsburg and Greenpoint too. The Thing at 1001 Manhattan Ave is the most fun, packed with lost musical gems and only very loosely organised, so pop in and get lost. 

The Hoxton, Williamsburg Credit: Emily Andrews

To experience Brooklyn décor from a post-industrial, concrete and steel perspective, any one of three recently opened hotels, The Wythe, The William Vale or The Hoxton will deliver. Set in deepest Williamsburg, each offers a buzzy atmosphere and engaging scene for drinks or dinner with rooftop options, just check for seasonal opening times. 

Fancy Food beckons all over the borough and three different Michelin starred restaurants offer something special in their own neighborhoods, too. Williamsburg’s Four Horsemen attracts the local in-crowd and booking is essential. Michelin awarded the owners a valuable star for their upscale American pub food including new takes on sausages, scallops and shrimp. Each dish is guaranteed to contain at least one previously unheard of ingredient. 

Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene

Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene are some of the longest-settled residential areas with established creative communities. Find hand-crafted goods with heart at the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange at 55 Pierrepoint Street. The store has been selling female-forged goods for 160 years, featuring in countless books, movies and more.

Feminist baby products available at The Brooklyn Women's Exchange

Find the best views down the street at Brooklyn Heights Promenade, inspiring a Who’s Who of former residents and great American writers including Truman Capote, Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer and Walt Whitman.  

Local foodies join celebrity guests at Boerum Hill’s, Brooklyn Fare, the only restaurant in the borough with three Michelin stars. The timetabled tasting menu, costs approximately $160.00 per person without drinks and consists of around 9 courses. Yours truly has not tried this so cannot attest personally to the culinary splendor but all reviews are raves. Advance bookings a must. 

Over in Fort Greene, for more casual fare stop at Brooklyn’s first zero-waste wine bar, the recently opened Rhodora. ‘Natural wine’ is all the rage across the world’s hippest borough, which essentially means wines that are unable to be labelled organic but which are still as preservative-free as possible.

Although Rhodora’s goal total-sustainability goal can’t be guaranteed,  cheers to them for choosing such wines and employing versatile staff who work front and backstage. Bites are tasty but small and you will need to take your napkin with you when you leave. 

Jill Lindsey at her shop in Tribeca 

For coffee and a browse around the kind of urban treasure store such neighborhoods are made for, stop at Jill Lindsey on shoppable Myrtle Ave. Lindsey’s handsome leather pieces and arty printed fabrics are definitely more hip than hippy. Lindsey has cleverly created a local, go-to experience retail planners and shoppers alike seek out, despite the draws of digital. 

Carroll Gardens, Prospect Park

Begin a ramble through these family-friendly neighborhoods at Shen Beauty in Cobble Hill. Former fashion stylist and Brooklyn mum Jessica Richards’ store is famous for her curation of the most efficacious and deliciously scented natural beauty brands. Heretic perfume’s Holiwater is the perfect gift for a lover with a dark side, by the way. 

An off-duty, professional-in-Brooklyn look can be acquired in these neighborhoods. Join the local conscious creators, influencers and mommies and shop for easy well-made pieces at O.N.A in Prospect Heights. The ever-changing roster of local and early adopted designer pieces in mainly sustainably-sourced fabrics make for the ultimate Brooklyn purchase.

Fluke, sour onion and nigella at Oxalis

For men, Fig in Park Slope embodies this look, too with plain, well-made clothing in tailored, traditional fabrics plus too-chic hats and accessories.

From here, head off across Prospect Park for culture at the brilliant Brooklyn Museum. While we of course, recommend visiting for the exhibits, don’t miss the museum’s store.

Surely someone you know would love a punching bag by artist Nick Cave or the museum’s signature canvas tote? Fine diners might want to finish off a day with diner at Oxalis, close by the museum and newly awarded it’s first Michelin star. 

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