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SVA Guide to NYC 2017: Williamsburg

The neighborhood that ushered in a changing Brooklyn in the aughts, Williamsburg's rich industrial history helped make it a favorite among artists, designers and other creative types, and is now an established center for creative and cultural life.

10 Things to Do in Williamsburg:

Shop local at the Williamsburg Mini Mall – 218 Bedford Avenue

"Tons of small shops, including a candy store, jewelry stores and a vintage clothing store," says Ashley Sepulveda (BFA 2016 Design).

Enjoy dinner and a movie at Nitehawk Cinema – 136 Metropolitan Avenue

Since opening in 2011, Nitehawk’s dine-in theater model has become a favorite. "Movies and food service. What could be better?" says Chris Miller (BFA 2016 Design).

Watch the weird at Spectacle – 124 South 3rd Street

If obscuro, oddball and B-movies are more your flavor, then look no further than Spectacle. The 30-seat theater is staffed entirely by volunteers and screenings are only $5. For those who prefer documentaries, check out Union Docs (322 Union Avenue).

See a show at Baby's All Right – 146 Broadway

One of several music venues in the neighborhood (along with Pete’s Candy Store, Union Pool and Music Hall of Williamsburg, to name a few more), Baby's helps fill the void left by the dearly departed Glasslands, 285 Kent and Death by Audio.

Learn local history at The City Reliquary museum – 370 Metropolitan Avenue

With a permanent collection that includes items such as Statue of Liberty postcards, terra cotta fragments of landmark buildings, subway tokens and paint chips from the L train platform, The City Reliquary is a snapshot of local history and culture.

Bowl a strike at The Gutter – 200 North 14th Street

A throwback-style bowling alley, whose Spare Room hosts live music and movie screenings. Or, you could always go to Brooklyn Bowl, which is around the corner (61 Wythe Avenue).

See artists at work at The Sketchbook Project – 28 Frost Street

Part of the Brooklyn Art Library, The Sketchbook Project is a readable collection of tens of thousands of sketchbooks created by artists from all over the world.

Meet the makers at Artists & Fleas – 70 North 7th Street

For over 10 years, Artists & Fleas has provided artists, makers, designers and entrepreneurs a space for showcasing their handcrafted wares.

Get stranded at Desert Island – 540 Metropolitan Avenue

Stocking zines, comics, art books, graphic novels and Smoke Signal, the store’s free newspaper, Desert Island is a must-see for comics lovers.

Take in the view from the Williamsburg Bridge

Whether you are coming or going, walking across the Williamsburg Bridge provides thrilling views of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Five Local Eats:

Pies n Thighs – 166 South 4th Street

"The ultimate fried chicken and Southern cuisine spot. My rule is to always get a biscuit and always have room for dessert," says Alli Golden (BFA 2016 Visual & Critical Studies).

Blue Bottle Coffee – 160 Berry Street

The first New York outpost of the Oakland, California-based company, Blue Bottle is for true coffee connoisseurs, with what may just be the best iced coffee in the city.

Oasis – 161 North 7th Street

Speaking of bests, Oasis serves what is arguably the best falafel in New York, along with other first-rate Middle Eastern sandwiches and pastries.

Fette Sau – 354 Metropolitan Avenue

German for "fat pig," Fette Sau is a carnivore's delight, with a barbecue style that it calls "one part central Texas and one part New York deli."

Handsome Dan's – 218 Bedford Avenue

Mentioned above as part of the Williamsburg Mall, this candy shop deserves singling out because it serves hand-spun cotton candy, snow cones in a variety of flavors and a near endless selection of chocolates and confections.

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