This is a very special page, on my first home place in NYC. A strange mix-up of old suburban streets, modern buildings, precious brownstones, shady warehouses and frail wooden dwellings, the whole of North Williamsburg is shaken and stirred with the greatest choice of bars, restaurants, cafes, vintage stores, weird ateliers and touched up with a crowd aesthetically challenging the entire history of fashion.

Williamsburg frontside

Across the East river lies Midtown, but here is another world. At night, it might be colder; bars are not cheaper but more cheerful; most streets are calm, as main traffic is diverted to the south and north, on the big city expressways. It looks a bit like the Village, but more subversive and mixed-up: cute wooden buildings flank weird warehouses and strange concert halls. Some of these buildings look completely abandoned but can actually be bustling with life inside.

Check the façade of Academy records and the nearby loft building on North 6th, or the corner of Berry and North 5th. Definitely a unique atmosphere. NB, Academy records moved away, a sign that mainstream is swallowing the place?

Academy records

North 5th and Berry

Il y a des années, ce quartier était un peu coupe-gorge. Aujourd’hui, il n’en reste que les vestiges, qui en font une gallerie à ciel ouvert, très prisée de blogueurs et photographes de tout genre…

Alors oui, j’ai triché sur celles-là, avec quelques filtres inévitables. Mais j’ai bien l’impression qu’il n’y a plus de photos publiées aujourd’hui sans cette petite révision. Comme un maquillage de rigueur, les photos ne sortent plus aujourd’hui sans.

En tout cas, c’est très étrange, les quais mêmes de l’East River, avec une vue magique sur Manhattan, sont les endroits les moins chic. Une erreur urbanistique que bon nombre d’entrepreneurs s’empressent de corriger.

Voici quelques joyaux trash qui subsistent encore a Northside:

South 5th street

River street

Dans ce grand entrepôt sont organisés festivals et concerts; en attendant que les prix de l’immobilier ne grimpent encore un peu pour le transformer en apparts de luxe.

North 5th street

Williamsburg reste une zone industrielle, et des vues comme celle-ci depuis l’East River sont très fréquentes.

Domino sugar factory

Some very fine buildings can be found in the neighborhood, but they are constantly under the threat of greedy building entrepreneurs who don’t build for people but obviously only for profit. The contrasts are striking.

North 7th house


And some addresses, to see and be seen:

Café Colette: small, cozy, pricey but delicious; the best café in the neighborhood, but also a great place for dîner en tête à tête, around cute little tables and decent wines from France and beyond.

Sweetwater: the chef is French but then the rest is not; cute retro dinner with a gifted barmaid both in cocktails and music; a rare place that gets quickly filled at evenings.


Zabloski: a long and dark bar with the cheapest lager of the area, tattooed barman who also serves Guinness, good rock music, dimmed lights, pools in the back, and a place for everyone.


Juliette: another sweet little French bistro, all in red and with decent amount of true café decorations, serving simple and good food. The round bar is a place to be when you wait for your late date.


Toby’s estate: the morning after, you deserve a weirdly good coffee, Toby’s the place for it. The espressos are slightly better than the dripped by a beard-and-woolen-hat hipster preparing your beverage in a religious reverence. Bring your Mac so you don’t have to speak to anyone, like the rest of the customers.


Radagast beer hall: as it name says, it is a cult place for beer. Almost exclusively German, and on tap. Feels like Prague, one century ago. Wood, chandeliers, drunk merry people, live swing..



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