Recently we had a chance to head south to New York and stay in Brooklyn, connect with the team at Brooklyn Bicycle Co. and spend some time exploring the Brooklyn and New York city. The first thing we noticed when we got into Williamsburg - the area that is home the the Brooklyn Bicycle Co offices - is surprisingly, how green it is.
Bedford Ave - couldn't resist snapping a pic A full rack in front of Enids: great homestyle food
Similar to my first impressions of Ottawa and the downtown area (although architecturally vastly different) there's lots of mature trees and parks. The second thing that stood out is the sheer number of people on bikes.The bike racks at every corner are full, and there's a steady stream of people on all sorts of "city" bikes. After spending a week in New York City I can see why, Public Transit is convenient but time consuming and indirect; Driving may get you to your destination quickly (or not depending on traffic) but finding parking may take you further from your destination, and bridge tolls add up quickly! So given the alternatives, cycling is quicker, direct and the easiest way to get around.
Jose and Tadhg in front of Brownstones Bike lanes
A cyclist on Driggs Ave
The streets are lined with a variety of buildings, but amongst the old brick facades of the typical New York walk up is a sense of permanence, quality and history. It's clear to me why the people who live here have a deep sense of pride in their neighbourhood and are making the most of where they live. Williamsburg is littered with wonderful shops, quirky restaurants and traditional deli's and markets. Weekends are highlighted by great events like Shmorgasburg and Flea, people are friendly, engaging and passionate about their neighbourhood and what they have to offer. Much like areas of Ottawa that have undergone rejuvenations, areas that have been populated with new and innovative shops and restaurants.
a barber shop: cool products and good coffee
Tadhg at Schmorgasburg
The crowd at Schmorgasburg
Overall it was an amazing trip, the crew at Brooklyn Bicycle Co. was great and turned us on to a few of the hidden gems to check out in the neighbourhood - restaurants parks and other bike shops. Now that we're all back in Ottawa I'm already making a to do list for my next trip down.
Until next time Brooklyn....
local Williamsburg Bike Shops Silk Road and King Kog