After our Afternoon in Long Island City, we’re continuing along the path of the East River Ferry, and taking you to Greenpoint, where you’ll find some of Brooklyn’s best restaurants and bars. Next up, Williamsburg!
Urban Exploration: The Greenpoint Bathhouse [map]
A relic of the City Beautiful Movement of the early 20th century, the Greenpoint Bathhouse was built in 1903 to serve the working class population of Greenpoint at a time when indoor plumbing was a luxury. It was part of a city-wide public health initiative along with bathhouses all over the city. Brooklyn had five bathhouses, but this one on Huron Street was the most popular, with over 1,000 visitors per day at its peak. It was the last among them to close in 1960 when the need for public bathhouses became obsolete. In 1980 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and it is now a designated New York City Landmark.
Among the many Polish meat markets and restaurants, Karczma stands out for its delicious and inexpensive Polish food. For $30, you could enjoy a feast large enough to feed a family of four for several days. Decorated like a traditional farmhouse with old Polish folk music and waitresses dressed in traditional garb, Karczma will make you feel like you traveled back in time to the Old Country. They have happy hour on Thursdays with Polish beer for $3.50. And if you can’t get enough of the kielbasa, stop by one of the many Polish meat markets on your way home. We recommend Sikorski.
Coffee Break: Milk & Roses [map]
Relaxed and unpretentious, Milk & Roses is the perfect spot for an afternoon coffee or a glass of wine. With a little garden in the back, it’s a sweet hideaway that you might never want to leave. The menu comes handwritten on old airmail envelopes with blue and red striped edges that adds to the cozy, romantic ambiance of this cute cafÃ©. They also host book readings and live music.
Bars & Nightlife: Nights & Weekends [map]
Nights & Weekends on Bedford Ave. near McCarren Park comes highly recommended for its chill vibe and $10 margaritas. This place has a cool atmosphere with colored bottles lining the walls and vinyl records. They serve up a nice brunch too with organic eggs topped with chorizo, yuca or caramelized plantains, as well as other Latin American delicacies. But beware, it’s cash only.
The Great Outdoors: Transmitter Park [map]
After undergoing a $12 million renovation, Transmitter Park is arguably one of the nicest spots to lounge around and enjoy a picnic with all that Polish meat you just bought from the nearby delis. On your way over, stop at Dandelion Wine at 153 Franklin Street for a nice bottle (or two) of red and enjoy the sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline. You’ll undoubtedly spot some cute babies and even more adorable dogs. The park closes when it gets dark, so enjoy the sunset and then head over to one of the bars and restaurants listed above.
Stay tuned for our next “Afternoon In” guide with the East River Ferry: Williamsburg. Win a one month pass on the East River Ferry by hashtagging your photos #untappedny. More details here. Get in touch with the author @lauraitzkowitz.