Bushwick is a popular haven for artists, hipsters and New Yorkers who enjoy good grub.
This industrial neighborhood is often characterized as gritty and ultra-urban. But for some, that’s the draw.
“Bushwick is not pristine. It can be dirty, grimy and industrial. Which is part of why I like it,” said artist and designer Erin Sweeney, 38, who moved to the neighborhood in 2013 and got studio space here last year. “I was drawn to the area: Latino culture meets industrial-vibe in a neighborhood with chill bars, good restaurants and a growing gallery scene.”
“There are those moments when I’m walking down the street and [I] am stopped in my tracks by a new mural or wall piece,” Sweeney said.
Even eateries here have art adorning their walls, such as Forrest Point on Flushing Avenue, which is decorated inside with murals.
Faro, which opened on Jefferson Street last year, differentiated itself by not hanging paintings, although local artisans made everything from its tables to its light bulbs.
“We like to say, ‘the art is on the table.’ It helps us stand out from all the rest of the places that have some sort of tiny gallery space in their [restaurant] space,” explained chef and owner Kevin Adey, who lives in Bushwick.
The graffiti in the neighborhood is renowned, thanks in part to the Bushwick Collective, which since 2012 has been connecting artists with business owners willing to lend their wall space.
But some locals say they miss the old neighborhood, before it was so popular.
“My favorite things about Bushwick no longer exist,” lamented a lifelong resident and street artist who goes by AC2. He has been doing graffiti since the ’80s and was an original artist with the Bushwick Collective.
“I miss seeing the elderly sitting outside in the front playing dominoes, listening to music, watching the kids playing outside in the water pump, playing Skelly, double Dutch, kick the can,” AC2 said. “Now we got Starbucks in our neighborhood and the rent is insane. It’s out of control.”
Still, the area is attractive to those with limited budgets.
“People are moving here for more affordable options from either Williamsburg or Manhattan,” Citi Habitats rental agent Jacob Henderson said.
According to data from the real estate listings site StreetEasy, the median rental price in Bushwick in 2015 was $2,565, compared to $3,150 in Williamsburg and $3,112 in Manhattan.
On the sales side, Citi Habitats agent Daniel Rash said people head to Bushwick for the square footage.
“We’re also seeing a trend in multi-family [sales] options now. So for just over $1 million, you can get a completely renovated, sprawling five-plus bedroom [and] 3,000 square feet,” he said. “When you compare that with Williamsburg, it’s a no-brainer.”
Bushwick is bordered to the north by Cypress Avenue and to the south by Broadway and Manhattan Avenue, according to StreetEasy. It is bound to the west by Johnson Avenue and to the east by Jackie Robinson Parkway.
Q&A with Adam Leonti, chef at Brooklyn Bread Lab
2015 Bushwick market data