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THE NEIGHBORHOOD - short documentary on Williamsburg (Brooklyn, NYC) - by Qamile Sterna
THE NEIGHBORHOOD - short documentary on Williamsburg (Brooklyn, NYC) - by Qamile Sterna
::2011/12/23::
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Travel New York: Williamsburg
Travel New York: Williamsburg
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Alexa Chung On Williamsburg Brooklyn
Alexa Chung On Williamsburg Brooklyn
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Brooklyn Hipsters Talk About Urban Outfitters
Brooklyn Hipsters Talk About Urban Outfitters' New Williamsburg Store
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Ebola Ebowler Williamsburg Brooklyn Blues
Ebola Ebowler Williamsburg Brooklyn Blues
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Exploring Williamsburg [Brooklyn]
Exploring Williamsburg [Brooklyn]
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The Hipster Hunt
The Hipster Hunt
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Thrift Shopping in Williamsburg Brooklyn [NYC]
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WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN
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New York City - Williamsburg, Brooklyn: the coolest neighbourhood
New York City - Williamsburg, Brooklyn: the coolest neighbourhood
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^MuniNYC - Bedford Avenue & North 7th Street (Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211)
^MuniNYC - Bedford Avenue & North 7th Street (Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211)
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What the L? One Stop From Manhattan Is Trendy Williamsburg, Brooklyn
What the L? One Stop From Manhattan Is Trendy Williamsburg, Brooklyn
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Only in Williamsburg Brooklyn
Only in Williamsburg Brooklyn
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The Best Pizza in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC - Get Up and Ride Bike Tours
The Best Pizza in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC - Get Up and Ride Bike Tours
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Out N About Kim
Out N About Kim's Video Revisited and Williamsburg Brooklyn Tour
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GENTRIFICATION IN WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN NEW YORK
GENTRIFICATION IN WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN NEW YORK
::2007/02/10::
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Kapparot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn 2013
Kapparot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn 2013
::2013/09/16::
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Williamsburg, Brooklyn Restaurants
Williamsburg, Brooklyn Restaurants
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Williamsburg Brooklyn Apartment Rental- Richardson St. & Monitor St. 1 Bed Duplex
Williamsburg Brooklyn Apartment Rental- Richardson St. & Monitor St. 1 Bed Duplex
::2014/02/26::
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Street Art: Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Parte 2)
Street Art: Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Parte 2)
::2014/08/14::
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Williamsburg BK Street Style: The L Train w/ Daniella Pineda
Williamsburg BK Street Style: The L Train w/ Daniella Pineda
::2013/01/23::
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Arctic Monkeys live @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Oct 19, 2011
Arctic Monkeys live @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Oct 19, 2011
::2011/10/21::
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Morgantown East Williamsburg Brooklyn
Morgantown East Williamsburg Brooklyn
::2010/09/05::
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Pulaski Day Parade~NYC~2011~Williamsburg~NYCParadelife
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Quadcopter over Williamsburg Brooklyn
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Inside The Mind Of A Williamsburg Hipster [Comedy] | Elite Daily
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Motion City Soundtrack "Throwdown" (Live @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York)
Motion City Soundtrack "Throwdown" (Live @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York)
::2014/10/06::
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Video Tour of a Furnished Studio on Fillmore Pl. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
Video Tour of a Furnished Studio on Fillmore Pl. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
::2013/09/04::
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Dancing of the Giglio July 8, 2012 Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Dancing of the Giglio July 8, 2012 Williamsburg, Brooklyn
::2012/07/08::
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Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
::2007/10/23::
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Faith No More - FULL CONCERT - 7/5/2010 - Williamsburg Waterfront, Brooklyn, NY
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Lucky
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^MuniNYC - Marcy Avenue & Broadway (Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211)
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JD Samson - Williamsburg, Brooklyn
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Obama Victory Helicopter Williamsburg Brooklyn 2008
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Sweet South of Williamsburg, Brooklyn - New York Post
Sweet South of Williamsburg, Brooklyn - New York Post
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Hasidic Tensions in Williamsburg
Hasidic Tensions in Williamsburg
::2012/11/12::
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Williamsburg Brooklyn Giglio 2013 NYC
Williamsburg Brooklyn Giglio 2013 NYC
::2013/07/22::
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Inside the Domino Sugar Refinery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Inside the Domino Sugar Refinery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
::2013/08/05::
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Williamsburg, Brooklyn on my Ducati Monster 620
Williamsburg, Brooklyn on my Ducati Monster 620
::2014/07/03::
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Hipster Olympics
Hipster Olympics
::2007/08/22::
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Bobby Flay at Chimu Restaurant in Williamsburg Brooklyn
Bobby Flay at Chimu Restaurant in Williamsburg Brooklyn
::2010/07/04::
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House Fire in Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Devoe St. b/t Leonard & Lorimer
House Fire in Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Devoe St. b/t Leonard & Lorimer
::2010/07/02::
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Kanye "Slaves" Video in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Kanye "Slaves" Video in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
::2013/05/17::
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FIXIE Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NewYork
FIXIE Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NewYork
::2010/12/22::
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Dan Melchior Und Das Menace - Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Dan Melchior Und Das Menace - Williamsburg, Brooklyn
::2010/12/29::
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The Chew Chronicles @ Fette Sau in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
The Chew Chronicles @ Fette Sau in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
::2011/05/15::
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16/24 - Tegan
16/24 - Tegan's Valentine's Manicure Trauma @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York 2/15/10
::2010/02/17::
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Charlii English Reviews Viva Toro | Williamsburg Brooklyn NY
Charlii English Reviews Viva Toro | Williamsburg Brooklyn NY
::2010/11/09::
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RESULTS [51 .. 101]
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other places with the same name, see Williamsburg (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 40°42.8′N 73°57.2′W / 40.7133°N 73.9533°W / 40.7133; -73.9533

Williamsburg
Neighborhood of New York City
The Williamsburg Bridge connects the Brooklyn neighborhood with Manhattan's Lower East Side
The Williamsburg Bridge connects the Brooklyn neighborhood with Manhattan's Lower East Side
Country  United States
State  New York
City New York City
Borough Brooklyn
Area[1]
 • Total 5.64 km2 (2.179 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 127,398
 • Density 23,000/km2 (58,000/sq mi)
Ethnicity[2]
 • White 50.94%
 • Black 10.97%
 • Hispanic 27.0%
 • Asian 3.57%
 • Other 7.53%
ZIP codes 11249, 11237, 11206, 11211

Williamsburg is a neighborhood of 113,000 inhabitants[3] in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, bordering Greenpoint to the north; Bedford–Stuyvesant to the south; Bushwick, East Williamsburg, and Ridgewood, Queens to the east; and Fort Greene and the East River to the west. Part of Brooklyn Community Board 1, the neighborhood is served in the south by the NYPD's 90th Precinct[4] and in the north by the 94th Precinct.[5] In the City Council, the western and southern part of the neighborhood is represented by the 33rd District; and its eastern part, by the 34th District.[6][7]

Williamsburg is an influential hub of current indie rock, is attributed to be the place of origin of electroclash, and has a large local art community and hipster culture. Mistorically, many ethnic groups have based enclaves within the neighborhood, including African Americans, Italians, Jews, Puerto Ricans, and Dominicans. The area is rapidly going through gentrification.

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

In 1638 the Dutch West India Company first purchased the area's land from the local Native Americans. In 1661, the company chartered the Town of Boswijck, including land that would later become Williamsburg. After the English takeover of New Netherland in 1664, the town's name was anglicized to Bushwick. During colonial times, villagers called the area "Bushwick Shore." This name lasted for about 140 years. Bushwick Shore was cut off from the other villages in Bushwick by Bushwick Creek to the north and by Cripplebush, a region of thick, boggy shrub land which extended from Wallabout Creek to Newtown Creek, to the south and east. Bushwick residents called Bushwick Shore "the Strand."[8]

Farmers and gardeners from the other Bushwick villages sent their goods to Bushwick Shore to be ferried across the East River to New York City for sale via a market at present day Grand Street. Bushwick Shore's favorable location close to New York City led to the creation of several farming developments. In 1802, real estate speculator Richard M. Woodhull acquired 13 acres (53,000 m²) near what would become Metropolitan Avenue, then North 2nd Street. He had Colonel Jonathan Williams, a U.S. Engineer, survey the property, and named it Williamsburgh (with an h at the end) in his honor. Originally a 13-acre (53,000 m2) development within Bushwick Shore, Williamsburg rapidly expanded during the first half of the nineteenth century and eventually seceded from Bushwick and formed its own independent city.[8]

Incorporation of Williamsburgh[edit]

Map of the Village of Williamsburg (1827)
Map of the Village of Williamsburg (1845)
Brewers Row, North 11th Street

Williamsburg was incorporated as the Village of Williamsburgh within the Town of Bushwick in 1827. In two years it had a fire company, a post office and a population of over 1,000. The deep drafts along the East River encouraged industrialists, many from Germany, to build shipyards around Williamsburg. Raw material was shipped in, and finished products were sent out of factories straight to the docks. Several sugar barons built processing refineries. Now all are gone except the now-defunct Domino Sugar (formerly Havemeyer & Elder). Other important industries included shipbuilding and brewing.

On April 18, 1835, the Village of Williamsburgh annexed a portion of the Town of Bushwick. The Village then consisted of three districts. The first district was commonly called the "South Side"; the second district was called the "North Side", and the third district was called the "New Village".[9] The names "North Side" and "South Side" remain in common usage today, but the name for the Third District has changed often. The New Village became populated by Germans and for a time was known by the sobriquet of "Dutchtown".[9] In 1845 the population of Williamsburgh was 11,500.[10]

Reflecting its increasing urbanization, Williamsburgh separated from Bushwick as the Town of Williamsburgh in 1840. It became the City of Williamsburg (discarding the "h") in 1852, which was organized into three wards. The old First Ward roughly coincides with the South Side and the Second Ward with the North Side, with the modern boundary at Grand Street. The Third Ward was to the east of these, stretching from Union Avenue east to Bushwick Avenue beyond which is Bushwick (some of which is now called East Williamsburg).

Incorporation into the Eastern District[edit]

In 1855, the City of Williamsburg, along with the adjoining Town of Bushwick, were annexed into the City of Brooklyn as the so-called Eastern District. The First Ward of Williamsburg became Brooklyn's 13th Ward, the Second Ward Brooklyn's 14th Ward, and the Third Ward Brooklyn's 15th and 16th Wards.[11]

During its period as part of Brooklyn's Eastern District, the area achieved remarkable industrial, cultural, and economic growth, and local businesses thrived. Wealthy New Yorkers such as Cornelius Vanderbilt and railroad magnate Jubilee Jim Fisk built shore-side mansions. Charles Pratt and his family founded the Pratt Institute, the great school of art & architecture, and the Astral Oil Works, which later became part of Standard Oil. Corning Glass Works was founded here before moving upstate to Corning, New York. German immigrant, chemist Charles Pfizer founded Pfizer Pharmaceutical in Williamsburg, and the company maintained an industrial plant in the neighborhood through 2007, although its headquarters were moved to Manhattan in the 1960s.[12][13]

Brooklyn's Broadway, ending in the ferry to Manhattan, became the area's lifeline. The area became a popular location for condiment and household product manufacturers. Factories for Domino Sugar, Esquire Shoe Polish, Dutch Mustard and many others were established in the late 19th and early 20th century.[citation needed] Many of these factory buildings are in the process of being converted to cultural or residential buildings.

The population was heavily German but many Jews from the Lower East side of Manhattan came to the area when the Williamsburg Bridge was completed. Williamsburg was a financial hub rivaling Wall Street for a time, with its two major community banks: the Williamsburgh Savings Bank (chartered 1851, since absorbed by HSBC) and its rival the Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh (chartered 1864, now known as the DIME, has remained independent). The area around the Peter Luger Steak House, established in 1887, in the predominantly German neighborhood under the Williamsburg Bridge, was a major banking hub until the City of Brooklyn united with New York City.[14] One of the early high schools in Brooklyn, the Eastern District High School, opened here in 1894.

Incorporation into New York City[edit]

In 1898 Brooklyn itself became one of five boroughs within the City of Greater New York, and its Williamsburg neighborhood was opened to closer connections with the rest of the new city.

View of South Williamsburg (2012)

Just five years later, the opening of the Williamsburg Bridge in 1903 marked the real turning point in the area's history. The community was then opened up to thousands of upwardly mobile immigrants and second-generation Americans fleeing the overcrowded slum tenements of Manhattan's Lower East Side. Williamsburg itself soon became the most densely populated neighborhood in New York City, which in turn was the most densely populated city in the United States.[15] The novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn addresses a young girl growing up in the tenements of Williamsburg during this era.

Brooklyn Union Gas in the early 20th century consolidated its coal gas production to Williamsburg at 370 Vandervoort Avenue, closing the Gowanus Canal gasworks. In the late 1970s the 1970s energy crisis led the company to build a syngas factory. Late in the century, facilities were built to import liquefied natural gas from overseas. The intersection of Broadway, Flushing Avenue, and Graham Avenue was a cross-roads for many "interurbans", prior to World War I. These light rail trolleys ran from Long Island to Williamsburg.

After World War II, the economy sagged. Refugees from war-torn Europe began to stream into Brooklyn, including the Hasidim whose populations had been devastated in the Holocaust. The area south of Division Avenue is home to a large population of adherents to the Satmar Hasidic sect. Hispanics from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic also began to settle in Williamsburg. But with the decline of industry and the increase of population and poverty, crime and illegal drugs, Williamsburg became a cauldron of pent-up energies. Those who were able to move out did, and the area became known for its crime and other social ills.[16][17]

On February 3, 1971, at 10:42 p.m., police officer Frank Serpico was shot during a drug bust, during a stakeout at 778 Driggs Avenue. Serpico had been one of the driving forces in the creation of the Knapp Commission, which exposed widespread police corruption. His fellow officers failed to call for assistance, and he was rushed to Greenpoint Hospital only when an elderly neighbor called the police. The incident was later dramatized in the movie Serpico, starring Al Pacino in the title role.

Gentrification and 2005 rezoning[edit]

The Edge and Northside Piers developments on Kent Avenue, seen here from across the East River in Manhattan, includes some of the many high-rise condominium buildings constructed as a result of the 2005 rezoning.

Low rents were a major reason artists first started settling in the area, but that situation has drastically changed since the mid-1990s. Average rents in Williamsburg can range from approximately $1400 for a studio apartment to $1,600–2,400 for a one-bedroom and $2,600–4,000 for a two-bedroom. The price of land in Willamsburg has skyrocketed.[18] The North Side, above Grand Street, which separates the North Side from the South Side, is somewhat more expensive due to its proximity to the New York City Subway (specifically, the L train and G train on the BMT Canarsie Line and IND Crosstown Line, respectively). More recent gentrification and the route of the M train (whose route was modified to go from the downtown BMT Nassau Street Line to the midtown IND Sixth Avenue Line in 2010), however, have prompted increases in rent prices south of Grand Street as well. Higher rents have driven many priced-out bohemians and hipsters to find new creative communities further afield in areas like Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Cobble Hill, and Red Hook.[19][20][21]

On May 11, 2005, the New York City Council passed a large-scale rezoning of the North Side and Greenpoint waterfront.[22] Much of the waterfront district was rezoned to accommodate high density residential uses and mixed use with a set-aside (but no earmarked funding) for the creation of open waterfront park space, as well as strict building guidelines calling for developers to create a continuous two-mile-long string of waterfront esplanades. Local elected officials touted the rezoning as an economically beneficial way to address the decline of manufacturing along the North Brooklyn waterfront, which had resulted in a number of vacant and derelict warehouses in Williamsburg.

The rezoning represented a dramatic shift of scale in the ongoing process of gentrification in the area since the early 1990s. The waterfront neighborhoods, once characterized by active manufacturing and other light industry interspersed with smaller residential buildings, were rezoned primarily for residential use. Alongside the construction of new residential buildings, many warehouses were converted into residential loft buildings. Among the first was the Smith-Gray Building, a turn-of-the-century structure recognizable by its blue cast-iron facade. The conversion of the former Gretsch music instrument factory garnered significant attention and controversy in the New York press primarily because it heralded the arrival in Williamsburg of Tribeca-style lofts and attracted, as residents and investors, a number of celebrities.[23][24][25][26]

Officials championing the rezoning cited its supposed economic benefits, the new private waterfront promenades, and its inclusionary housing component – which offered developers large tax breaks in exchange for promises to rent about a third of the newly created housing units at "affordable" rates (which amount to upper-middle class pricing). Critics countered that similar set-asides for affordable housing have gone unfulfilled in previous large-scale developments, such as Battery Park City. The New York Times reported this proved to be the case in Williamsburg as well, as developers largely decided to forgo incentives to build affordable housing in inland areas.[27]

Landmarked buildings[edit]

Pentecostal church
Graham Avenue in East Williamsburg
The site of the former Domino Sugar refinery may be redeveloped for residential use

A Williamsburg landmark, The Kings County Savings Institution was chartered on April 10, 1860. It conducted business in a building called Washington Hall until it purchased the lot on the corner of Bedford Avenue and Broadway and erected its permanent home, the Kings County Savings Bank building. It is on the National Register of Historic Places (1980) and was the seventh building to be landmarked in New York City in 1966. "The Kings County Savings Bank is an outstanding example of French Second Empire architecture, displaying a wealth of ornament and diverse architectural elements. A business building of imposing grandeur, the Kings County Savings Bank "represents a period of conspicuous display in which it was not considered vulgar, at least by the people in power, to boast openly of one's wealth. From its scale and general character there is nothing, on the outside, that would distinguish the Kings County Savings Bank from a millionaires mansion.[28]

Continental Army Plaza with the statue of George Washington.
Roman Catholic Church of the Annunciation (1870, F. J. Berlenbach, Jr.),[29] North Side

The Williamsburg Houses were designated a landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission on June 24, 2003.[30] The 23.3-acre (94,000 m2) site was the first large-scale public housing in Brooklyn.

The modern architecture buildings were designed by William Lescaze, whose PSFS Building in Philadelphia was the first successful International Style building in the U.S. The project, first proposed in 1934, was a collaborative between the U.S. Public Works Administration and the newly established New York City Housing Authority. More than 25,000 New Yorkers applied for 1,622 apartments and most units were occupied by 1938. The twenty 4-story buildings are angled 15 degrees to the street grid for optimal sunlight. The structures have tan brick and exposed concrete accented by blue tile and stainless steel. The buildings were restored in the 1990s by the Housing Authority, in consultation with the Landmarks Preservation Commission.[31]

In 2007 three buildings of the Domino Sugar Refinery were also designated New York City Landmarks. The original refinery was built in 1856, and by 1870 it processed more than half of the sugar used in the United States. A fire in 1882 caused the plant to be completely rebuilt in brick and stone, and those buildings remain, albeit with alterations made over the years. The refinery stopped operating in 2004.[32] In 2010, a developer's plan to convert the site to residential use has received support in the New York City Council.[33]

Neighborhoods and lifestyles[edit]

Different sections of Williamsburg vary widely. "South Williamsburg" refers to the area which today is occupied mainly by the Yiddish-speaking Hasidim (predominantly Satmar Hasidim) and a considerable Puerto Rican population. North of this area (with Division Street or Broadway serving as a dividing line) is an area known as "South Side," occupied by Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. To the north of that is an area known as "North Side," traditionally Polish and Italian. East Williamsburg is home to many industrial spaces and forms the largely Italian American, African American, and Hispanic area between Williamsburg and Bushwick. South Williamsburg, the South Side, the North Side, Greenpoint and East Williamsburg all form Brooklyn Community Board 1. Its proximity to Manhattan has made it popular with recently arrived residents who are often referred to under the blanket term "hipster". Bedford Avenue and its subway station, as the first stop in the neighborhood on the BMT Canarsie Line (on the L train), have become synonymous with this new wave of residents.[34][35][36]

Hasidic Jews in Williamsburg[edit]

Williamsburg is inhabited by tens of thousands of Hasidic Jews of various sects, and contains the headquarters of one faction of the Satmar Hasidic group, known as the Zaloinim. Williamsburg's Satmar population is around 73,000.[37]

Hasidic Jews first moved to the neighborhood in the years prior to World War II, along with many other religious and non-religious Jews who sought to escape the difficult living conditions on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Beginning in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the area received a large concentration of Holocaust survivors, many of whom were Hasidic Jews from the areas of Hungary and Romania.[38] These people were led by several Hasidic leaders, among them the rebbes of Satmar, Klausenberg, Vien, Pupa, Tzehlem, and Skver. In addition, Williamsburg contained sizable numbers of religious, but non-Hasidic Jews. The rebbe of Satmar, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, ultimately exerted the most powerful influence over the community, causing many of the non-Satmars, especially the non-Hasidim, to leave the area. Teitelbaum was known for his fierce anti-Zionism and for his charismatic but abrasive style of leadership.[39]

In 1997 there were about 7,000 Hasid families in Williamsburg. About 33% took public assistance.[40] The Hasidic community of Williamsburg has one of the highest birthrates in the country, with an average of eight children per family. Each year the community celebrates between 800 and 900 weddings for young couples, who typically marry between the ages of 18 and 21. Because Hasidic men receive little secular education, and women tend to be homemakers, college degrees are rare, and economic opportunities lag far behind those of the rest of the population. In response to the almost 60% poverty rate in Jewish Williamsburg, the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, a beneficiary agency of the UJA-Federation of New York, partnered with Masbia in the opening of a 50-seat kosher soup kitchen on Lee Avenue in November 2009.[41]

In recent years, with the gentrification of North Williamsburg, Hasidim have fought to retain the character of their neighborhood and have characterized the influx of what they call the artisten as a "plague" and “a bitter decree from Heaven.”[42] Tensions have risen over housing costs, loud and boisterous nightlife events, and the introduction of bike lanes along Bedford Avenue.[43]

Racial and intercultural tensions[edit]

Prior to the influx of "posers", Williamsburg often saw tension between its Hasidic population and its black and Hispanic groups. In response to decades of crime in the area, the Hasidim created a volunteer patrol organization call "Shomrim" ("guardians" in Hebrew) to perform citizens' arrests and to keep an eye out for crime.[44] Over the years, the "Shomrim" have been accused of racism and brutality against blacks and Hispanics. In 2009, Yakov Horowitz, a member of "Shomrim," was charged with assault for striking a Latino adolescent on the nose with his Walkie Talkie.[45] In 2014, five members of the Hasidic community, at least two of whom were Shomrim members, were arrested in connection with the December 2013 "gang assault" of a black gay man.[46]

The mid-century tension between the Hasidic and Modern Orthodox Jewish communities in Williamsburg was depicted in Chaim Potok's novels The Chosen (1967), The Promise, and My Name Is Asher Lev. One contemporary female perspective on life among the Williamsburg Satmar is offered by Deborah Feldman's autobiographical Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots.[47]

Arts community[edit]

The first artists moved to Williamsburg in the 1970s, drawn by the low rents, large spaces available and convenient transportation, one subway stop from Manhattan. This continued through the 1980s and increased significantly in the 1990s as earlier destinations such as SoHo and the East Village became gentrified. The community was small at first, but by 1996 Williamsburg had accumulated an artist population of about 3,000.[48] Art galleries in the area include the Front Room Gallery. Williamsburg and Greenpoint are served by a monthly galleries listings magazine, wagmag. Theater is also represented by indie theater spaces such as The Brick Theater and The Charlie Pineapple Theater.

In September 2000, 11211 Magazine[49] launched a four color glossy circulating 10,000 copies in Brooklyn and Manhattan intent on promoting the area from a design firm in Manhattan. A year later the firm moved to Williamsburg and continued to galvanize the gentrification of the area.[citation needed] The content was richly focused on the historical and notable properties, arts and culture and real estate development of the 11211 ZIP code. The bi-monthly was apparently funded by advertisements from local businesses and founded by writer and designer, Breuk Iversen. Other publications attributed to 11211 Magazine: Fortnight, The Box Map (2002), Appetite, and 10003 Magazine for the East Village in New York City. The magazine had published 36 issues (548,000 copies) of 11211 over a six-year period and ceased circulation in 2006.

Music scene[edit]

Local bowling center also presents musical performances.

Williamsburg has become a notable home for live music and an incubator for new bands. Beginning in the late 1980s and through the late 1990s a number of unlicensed performance, theater and music venues operated in abandoned industrial buildings and other spaces in the streets.[50] A new culture has evolved in the area surrounding Bedford Avenue subway station.[51] The Bog, Keep Refrigerated, The Lizard's Tail, Quiet Life, Rubulad, Flux Factory, Mighty Robot, free103point9 and others attracted a mix of artists, musicians and urban underground for late night music, dance, and performance events, which were occasionally interrupted and the venues temporarily closed by the fire department.[52] These events eventually diminished in number as the rents rose in the area and regulations were enforced.[53][54]

There are a number of smaller, fleeting spaces,[55] including Todd P.,[56] Dot Dash,[57] Twisted Ones,[58] and Rubulad.[55] Many legitimate commercial music venues opened in the neighborhood including Pete's Candy Store, Union Pool, Music Hall of Williamsburg (formerly Northsix), Public Assembly (formerly Galapagos), Cameo Gallery, Muchmore's and Grand Victory. Several Manhattan-based venues also opened locations, including Bowery Presents (who bought Northsix and transformed it to Music Hall of Williamsburg), Luna Lounge, Knitting Factory, and Cake Shop. In the summers of 2006, 2007, and 2008, events including concerts, movies, and dance performances were staged at the previously abandoned pool at McCarren Park in Greenpoint. Starting 2009, these pool parties are now held at the Williamsburg waterfront. [59]

The neighborhood has also attracted a respectable funk, soul and worldbeat music scene spearheaded by labels such as Daptone and Truth & Soul Records – and fronted by acts such as the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Jazz and World Music has found a foothold, with classic jazz full-time at restaurant venues like Zebulon and Moto, and – on the more avant and noise side – at spots like the Lucky Cat, B.P.M., Monkeytown (closed in 2010),[60] and Eat Records. A Latin Jazz community continues amongst the Caribbean community in Southside and East Williamsburg, centered around the many social clubs in the neighborhood. The neighborhood was also the birthplace of electroclash. Friday and Saturday parties at Club Luxx (now Trash) introduced electronic musicians like W.I.T., A.R.E. Weapons, Fischerspooner, and Scissor Sisters.[61]

Italian-Americans and Our Lady of Mount Carmel[edit]

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Fair

A significant component of the Italian community on the North Side were immigrants from the city of Nola near Naples. Residents of Nola every summer celebrate the "Festa dei Gigli" (feast of lilies) in honor of St. Paulinus of Nola, who was bishop of Nola in the fifth century,[62] and the immigrants brought this tradition over with them. For two weeks every summer, the streets surrounding Our Lady of Mount Carmel church, located on Havemeyer and North 8th Streets, are dedicated to a celebration of Italian culture.[63]

The highlights of the feast are the "Giglio Sundays" when a 100-foot (30 m) tall statue, complete with band and a singer, is carried around the streets in honor of St. Paulinus and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Clips of this awe-inspiring sight are often featured on NYC news broadcasts. A significant number of Italian-Americans still reside in the area, although the numbers have decreased over the years. Despite the fact that descendants of the early Italian immigrants have moved away, many return each summer for the feast. The Giglio was the subject of a documentary, Heaven Touches Brooklyn in July, narrated by actors John Turturro and Michael Badalucco.[63]

Ferry pier

Recent gentrification[edit]

Low rents were a major reason artists first started settling in the area, but that situation has drastically changed since the mid-1990s. Average rents in Williamsburg can range from approximately $1400 for a studio apartment to $1,600–2,400 for a one-bedroom and $2,600–4,000 for a two-bedroom. The price of land in Willamsburg has skyrocketed.[64] The North Side, above Grand Street, which separates the North Side from the South Side, is somewhat more expensive due to its proximity to the New York City Subway (specifically, the L train and G train on the BMT Canarsie Line and IND Crosstown Line, respectively). More recent gentrification and the route of the M train (whose route was modified to go from the downtown BMT Nassau Street Line to the midtown IND Sixth Avenue Line in 2010), however, have prompted increases in rent prices south of Grand Street as well. Higher rents have driven many priced-out bohemians and hipsters to find new creative communities further afield in areas like Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Cobble Hill, and Red Hook.[65][66][67]

Williamsburg's recent gentrification is the subject of Princeton University film professor Su Friedrich's 2013 documentary Gut Renovation.[68]

Effect on borough's court system[edit]

In June 2014 it was reported that northwestern Brooklyn's change to a more wealthier, more Caucasian population, noted especially in Williamsburg, has had a negative effect for defendants in the criminal cases of the still largely minority borough, as well as led to reductions in awards in civil cases. Brooklyn defense lawyer Julie Clark said that these new jurors are "much more trusting of police." Another lawyer, Arthur Aidala said:

"Now, the grand juries have more law-and-order types in there.... People who can afford to live in Brooklyn now don’t have the experience of police officers throwing them against cars and searching them. A person who just moves here from Wisconsin or Wyoming, they can’t relate to [that]. It doesn’t sound credible to them.”[69]

Transportation[edit]

Trains entering and leaving Marcy Avenue station.

Williamsburg is served by 3 subway lines: the BMT Canarsie Line (L train) on the north, the BMT Jamaica Line (J M Z trains) on the south, and the IND Crosstown Line (G train) on the east. The Williamsburg Bridge crosses the East River to the Lower East Side. Williamsburg is also served by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Several bus routes, including the B24, B32, B39, B44, B44 SBS, B46, B60, and Q54 terminate at the Williamsburg Bridge/Washington Plaza. Other bus lines that run through the neighborhood are the B43, B48, B62, B67, and Q59.

As of June 13, 2011, North Williamsburg is served by the East River Ferry to 34th Street and the Wall Street area, leaving every 20 minutes during rush hour and every hour during the rest of the day.

Education[edit]

PS 18, at Leonard and Maujer Streets.

The New York City Department of Education operates public noncharter schools. It is covered by District 14. This includes

  • Brooklyn Latin School
  • PS 17 Henry D. Woodworth
  • IS 318 Eugenio Maria De Hostos
  • PS 132 Conselyea School
  • The Harry Van Arsdale Educational Complex houses three small high schools that offer solid academics, and do a good job with their special needs populations.
  • The Young Women's Leadership School of Brooklyn aims to instill qualities of leadership in girls.
  • PS 84 Jose De Diego, a popular Spanish/English program
  • PS 110 The Monitor school, offering French/English
  • Juan Morel Campos Secondary School, with Yiddish/English

Other schools:

Environmental concerns[edit]

The Greenpoint oil spill of the late 1970s is one of the largest oil spills in history. It is believed that the oil oozing from the ground at the Roebling Oil Field at North 11th and Roebling Streets in Williamsburg emanated from a ruptured tank nearby.

El Puente, a local community development group, called Williamsburg "the most toxic place to live in America" in the documentary Toxic Brooklyn produced by Vice Magazine.[when?][74] Other rare cancer clusters in Willamsburg have been reported by the New York Post.[75]

Notable residents[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

Literature[edit]

Film, television, and theater[edit]

  • The Chosen (1981) takes place in Williamsburg in the 1940s.
  • Once Upon a Time in America (1984) includes scenes shot in Williamsburg, albeit the focus of the story was Manhattan's Lower East Side in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1960s.
  • The 1988 movie Coming to America was primarily filmed on South 5th Street in Williamsburg despite being set in Queens.
  • In the 1996 film Sleepers, starring Robert De Niro, the Catholic Church that appears in many scenes is Most Holy Trinity on 140 Montrose Avenue
  • Williamsburg! The Musical debuted at the New York Fringe Festival in 2007. It was created by Nicola Barber, Will Brumley, Brooke Fox and Kurt Gellersted.
  • Season 8 of the television espionage drama 24 features Williamsburg as the setting of a shootout with terrorists.[citation needed]
  • The episode "Walk Like a Man" of The Sopranos features a scene shot in Williamsburg.[87]
  • The sitcom 2 Broke Girl$ (2011–present) is set in Williamsburg.

Music[edit]

  • New Jersey emo band Armor For Sleep's third album Smile for Them featured the single "Williamsburg", which mocks the hipsters that call the neighborhood home.
  • German rock musician Marius Müller-Westernhagen titled his 2009 album Williamsburg.
  • Latin Grammy winner Kany García filmed her music video for her song "Feliz" in Williamsburg.
  • In London native Greg Holden's song "You're Scaring Me [New York]," he asks "How will I ever get to Williamsburg if I don't know where to start?"
  • The music video for Avril Lavigne's "My Happy Ending" was filmed in Williamsburg and in the now torn down movie theater, The Commodore.[citation needed]
  • In Bloc Party's song "Mercury", Williamsburg is mentioned with the lyrics "...from Silver Lake to Williamsburg...".
  • The Matt & Kim album Grand is named after Grand Street in Williamsburg.[citation needed]
  • Dan Melchior wrote a song called "Williamsburg, Brooklyn", featured in his album "Thankyou very much", issued in 2009. Lyrics are especially contemptuous about the neighborhood's new fashion: "All these painters who don't paint any pictures, all these musicians who don't write any songs; let's relocate them to ghettos in the city, the Starbucks will pop out before long.", "Oh you old-time tenant, pack your bags: the rents are gonna rise too high for you".

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

New York City Government websites:

Photos:

Other websites:

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