Time for some northern exposure!
The second you step off the East River Ferry at its North Williamsburg stop, you will find yourself in the shade of a controversial blue-tinted luxury condo building. And while locals might complain that tower blocks their views, the romantic jetty that ferry-goers use offers one of the city’s most breathtaking East River views. At night, the stone-throw-away lights of the Big Apple glitter like jewels — but for things to do, we suggest you sail here on a weekend morning.
In East River State Park, immediately to your left, every Saturday is Smorgasburg! Attracting foodies from all over New York City, this trendy open-air food market features stalls from more than 100 vendors, with offerings that include spaghetti donuts, ramen burgers, Italian ices, and spicy mangos on sticks. Just pick your favorite and grab a bench in the park. Fair warning: it can get crowded!
After your brunch in the sun, walk inland along N. Seventh Street, where you will soon find the Artists and Fleas Market (70 N. Seventh St. between Kent and Wythe avenues), a dainty and Instagram-tastic hotspot for independent fashion, jewelry, home goods, vintage oddities, and all things design, happening each Saturday and Sunday from 11 am–7 pm.
Continue walking on N. Seventh for two more blocks until you reach Bedford Avenue. Some complain this avenue has become a symbol of Williamsburg’s gentrification, but between the new Apple Store and the shiny Whole Foods Market you can still find impossibly charming independent cafès and stalls selling all manners of curious goodies.
When you reach N. Third Street, double back towards the water to discover the architectural surprise that is Radegast Hall and Biergarten (113 N. Third Street at Berry Street) a German beer hall in the middle of Brooklyn. The selection of ales is exquisite and the grill is hot and sizzling.
As the day turns to evening, stagger south to Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Ave. between Wythe Avenue and Berry Street). The movie theater screens indie films — including “The Big Sick” and “A Ghost Story” this weekend — as well as nostalgia nights that celebrate old classics and midnight cult films, such as this Saturday’s “Zombie Bloodbath.” The best part: each reclining seat has its own little table and waiters will bring your dinner to you mid-film. The menu is always changing, and the cocktails are adventurous.
New York City Ferry at North Williamsburg (N. Sixth Street at Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, www.ferry.nyc). $2.75 per trip.