Much of the for-sale property in Williamsburg comes in the form of new construction — condo buildings that offer high ceilings, huge glass windows, sleek chef’s kitchens, and perks like pools and in-house gyms. Though this one-time Jewish and German enclave became an industrial center in the 20th Century, many of its older buildings are being either converted into residences or replaced by newer structures. Some of the older buildings that remain can deliver great value for the budget-conscious buyer.
Transit from Williamsburg into Manhattan is handled by the L train, which travels into Manhattan (along 14th Street) in around 15 minutes. The G subway takes riders north to Queens or south to Downtown Brooklyn, and the J and M trains also stop on the southeastern corner of the neighborhood, giving residents easy routes to Lower Manhattan and Midtown. Taxis and Ubers abound in this lively neighborhood, and the Williamsburg bridge simplifies car and bike trips into the city.
Williamsburg’s public school parents and students are fortunate to dwell in a district in which there are no wait lists for any of its schools, whether artistic magnets like P.S. 84 José De Diego (at Berry and Grand streets) or highly regarded newer campuses like the PS 414 Brooklyn Arbor school on South 3rd and Rodney streets. The private Williamsburg Northside school also offers an excellent option for students from kindergarten through Fifth Grade.
Williamsburg is blessed with a spate of gorgeous parks, from the spacious fields, playgrounds, and picnic spaces of McCarren Park, on the north side of the neighborhood, to the more compact William Sheridan Playground on Wythe Avenue and Grand Street. Small parks dot the southerly reaches of Williamsburg, too, meaning dogs and children are never far from a comfortable place to run around.
Restaurants and Bars
Williamsburg is one of the hottest eating and drinking destinations in New York City, with a selection of restaurants that runs from low-key and funky to high-end, with innovation at all levels. A neighborhood classic is Peter Luger Steak House, an institution founded in 1950 and celebrated all over New York for its perfect slabs of beef. Critics also love the innovative pastas at Lilia, the Americana classics at Delaware and Hudson, and the Neapolitan pizzas at Motorino. And for the hours after a good meal, Williamsburg provides some of the city’s best nightlife, whether the indie rock shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg, cocktails at Fresh Kills Bar, or pints of ale in the cozy environs of Sugarburg.
Boutiques aplenty line the streets of Williamsburg, offering vintage jewelry and charms, artisanal chocolate, comic books, records and books, and pretty much anything else you could want that’s cute, cool, or delicious. Groceries and other necessities can be found at bigger emporiums like Food Town and Urban Market.
Landmarks and Culture
Williamsburg is a center of culture in New York, with live music venues (Rough Trade, Baby’s All Right, etc.), movie theaters (Williamsburg Cinemas, Nitehawk Cinema), art galleries, and much more. And the rest of Brooklyn offers major attractions of its own, like the fabulous art collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the train-ride-through-history that is the New York Transit Museum, and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum — the nation’s first designed to cater to younger guests. Living in Williamsburg means you won’t have to go into Manhattan to find something amazing to do.
Williamsburg is generally divided into several sub-neighborhoods. The area north of Broadway and west of Union Street has changed the most over the last decade and a half, and those homes near the L stop at Bedford Avenue and the historic waterfront usually sell for the highest prices. South of Broadway is an area of Williamsburg long home to a Hasidic Jewish community, although gentrification is taking root there as well. East of Union Avenue and north of Flushing Avenue lies East Williamsburg, a more industrial area bordering Bushwick that has seen the arrival of many newer, younger residents in recent years as prices in central Williamsburg have risen.