We spent Sunday of my girls’ weekend in New York in Brooklyn. The friend I was visiting lives in Brooklyn, so she planned our day. After our Sunday exploring, I see why Brooklyn was the birthplace of hipster culture—everywhere we went was cool-without-trying. During our day in Manhattan I had a vague idea of where we were, but, unfortunately, I totally lost track of which neighborhoods we visited in Brooklyn.
But First, Coffee
We started the day at my friend’s apartment in lower Brooklyn. I walked around the corner to a tiny coffee and ice cream shop to get a latte while she responded to some work emails. The coffee shop was charming, of course, and I even remembered the apartment number to buzz back in to the building. For our second day of exploring, I wore a light printed dress with the same sneakers and pink crossbody bag from the day before.
Our first stop was Bushwick, a neighborhood in Brooklyn where the buildings are covered in street art. We had to take the subway into Manhattan and then back out to Brooklyn to get to Bushwick from Lower Brooklyn, which seems weirdly inconvenient but set us up for another SO NEW YORK moment—we were running lines for my friend’s comedy show as the subway crossed the river and we got a great view of the Manhattan skyline. I practically shrieked, “Is that the Brooklyn Bridge?” as everyone around us acted normal and untouristy.
We ambled around Bushwick, looking at street art and ducking into vintage stores that sold everything from crinolines to VCRs. My friend had been on a street art tour of Bushwick a few weeks before, and she recounted what she remembered to me. The street art is always changing, and there’s a group called the Bushwick Collective that determines which artists get to paint over what’s already there. The art is all sizes—some of the paintings cover whole buildings and some are the size of a keyhole. For lunch we went to a tortilla factory for the freshest, most delicious tacos I’ve ever eaten, with hot sauce made from scratch.
After Bushwick, we explored another equally cool Brooklyn neighborhood (unfortunately I have no idea where we were). We checked out vintage stores and got coffee at the cutest coffee shop. We had to be back in Manhattan that afternoon, so we took the subway back to my friend’s apartment to pick up my backpack and weekender. I was expecting another normal subway ride, but a group of subway dancers started playing music and breakdancing as we were going back across the river. I was so enthralled by the stunts and flips I didn’t even get out my phone to add it to my Snap story!
Back to Manhattan
I picked up my luggage at my friend’s apartment in Brooklyn and we headed back into Manhattan for her sketch comedy group rehearsal. She apologized for dragging me along, but I had such a fun time! I met a ton of her friends that she had talked about, and watching them practice assuaged my guilt for never making it up to New York for one of their actual shows. Post-rehearsal, she dropped me off Penn Station, where I changed back into the outfit I wore for the ride there and then zoned out with a book until it was time to board the train.
This was an amazing girls’ weekend, and I feel like I saw the real New York as opposed to just tourist spots. I have a few sartorial regrets, like not bringing pants to wear on the train, but I was comfortable without looking like a total tourist both days.
What would you wear for a day exploring New York City? Do you prefer Manhattan or Brooklyn? Let me know in the comments!