I am not a fan of vandalism, graffiti included. Nothing aggravates me off more than idiots who scratch up Etruscan catacombs in Rome, Chinese tourists who scratchiti their names into Egyptian Tombs, American imbeciles who break fingers off 600-year-old sculptures, or feel they are entitled to touch artwork with their grubby disgusting fingers. I’ve been known to use my angry cheerleader voice in museums throughout the world to yell at irresponsible parents who let their kids run around like museums are playgrounds, jerks who don’t realize that their fingers have oils that will ruin paintings and tapestries, as well as people who don’t pick up after their dogs. I am that person. I see something, I say something. Why do I bring any of this up? Because I am thrilled that I no longer need to be angry at street art (at least all the time). I am excited that I can hear the word graffiti and not think of unsightly tagging on NYC subways or people like those mentioned above. Street Art has become incredibly sophisticated. Williamsburg Street Art is some of the finest in the USA and the world.
Williamsburg Street Art
I love the street art in Williamsburg. It seems to be an amalgam of childhood fashion collages and Koch-Era graffiti. I felt the street art I saw in Williamsburg reflected the neighborhood’s gritty history and current (and ongoing) gentrification. The art is young, vibrant, playful, and impudent. Most pieces have great composition and color theory applied to them. The art of Brooklyn’s streets is not there to shock but to awe and impress. When you hit up Williamsburg, expect to see a mix of paste-ups, stencils, murals, stickers, left objects, graffiti, and combinations of all these art forms. Most importantly, expect to love them.
How to get to Williamsburg
Planes: Fly to either JFK or La Guardia.
- From JFK – Take a taxi, seriously, the subways are not worth it here. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could take the Air Train to Howard Beach, then hop on the A train towards Manhattan (which will take an hour), then get off at 14th Street and get on the L train (another 20 minutes) and get off at Bedford & N 7th Street (or a Street closer to where you are staying).
- From La Guardia – Just take a taxi.
- J/M/Z trains to Marcy Avenue for south Williamsburg
- L to Bedford Avenue for north Williamsburg.
- East River Ferry stops in both North and South Williamsburg.
Where to Stay in Williamsburg
- AirBnb: My first choice. I stayed at a lovely loft apartment with an awesome kitchen for just $325 per night. It was also pet friendly, so I was able to bring my dog, Petey, with me.
- Whythe Hotel: I’ve never stayed here, but I’ve heard great things. Worth checking out. Rooms are about $400 per night
- King & Grove: They have an amazing pool. On a good note, if you don’t want to stay in a hotel, you can buy a day pass that will give you access to the pool. Not bad at all. Rooms here are also about $400 per night.