The top shops east of the East River.
Soon, it's going to be overshadowed by the looming Atlantic Yards stadium project, but for now, the Atlantic Avenue stop in Brooklyn means just one thing: a super-shot of suburbia in the midst of the city. Rather than go through another themed entry for our last Shopping in Brooklyn post, we had to give a shout-out to our favorite capitalist hot-spot east of Manhattan.
More than just a cluster of chain stores, Atlantic Terminal Mall is like walking through a virtual yearbook highlighting Brooklyn's population diversity. A group of high school-aged boys fresh out of basketball practice scarfs down Pizza Hut at the Target dining area; gaggles of Hasidic Jewish teenage girls buy long-sleeve shirts at Old Navy; over-caffeinated little kids run amok in Circuit City, wearing out their welcome at the PS3 demo kiosk. Oh, and, behind the chaos, there are stores, too.
Brooklyn's winter nights offer the perfect excuse to stay inside and relax--or get pretty. Though New York offers beauty mega-stores like Sephora, Brooklyn's neighborhoods boast a variety of smaller stores that appeal to niche shoppers.
Staying inside doesn't have to mean curling up with a book; make it a bit narcissistic with our picks for the borough's best bath and body stores.
Though the area is now dominated by Middle Eastern and Chinese populations, Brooklyn's Bay Ridge neighborhood once housed thousands of northern Europeans. During the late-19th century influx of immigrants, Scandinavians arrived in New York's ports side-by-side with eastern Europeans and Italians and settled southwest of Prospect Park.
Norwegians, Swedes, Finns and Danes, however, have since almost vanished from the area. Writing for the site Forgotten New York, blogger Kevin Walsh recalls Bay Ridge's past:
My family and I went to a restaurant called the Scandia, bought bread at Lund's Bakery, our super was Norwegian, Nordisk Tidende (Norway Times) was on every newsstand and I was regularly bullied by guys named Bergstol and Hedberg.
Even though their numbers have dwindled, Bay Ridge still has a few shops, a park and even a parade commemorating its Nordic roots. In Brooklyn, the adage holds true: There are two ways to do things, the right way or Norway.
Though Kings County has its fair share of Salvation Army and other charity shops, the borough's hipster population means the stores are often picked over. Unless you want a pit-stained, size-XL Tweety Bird shirt, we recommend checking out some of Brooklyn's boutique vintage stores.
Though most are concentrated in Williamsburg, Park Slope also hosts some overlooked shops worth a trip. Whether it's a '60s pillbox hat or seasons-old designer dresses, Brooklyn puts most Manhattan vintage shops to shame.
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New York's special spot in booze history (birthplace of Schaefer and Rheingold, and home to more than 100,000 speakeasies during Prohibition), combined with a young population willing to spend a big chunk of their income on booze, has led to Brooklyn's vibrant and varied brew-and-spirits scene. From brewery tours to affordable wine shops, Kings County can cater to both connoisseurs and novices alike.
In addition to bars, boutiques, and overall snootiness, hipsters also bring independent record stores to their 'hoods. And since Brooklyn still reigns supreme as the place to live for twentysomethings, the borough is teeming with shops slinging everything from classical music on vinyl to CDs by up-and-coming bands guaranteed to boost your indie cred.
Though Manhattan has its fair share of worthwhile shops, Brooklyn's less chaotic atmosphere makes for a much more pleasant shopping trip. So, hop on the L train and skip Circuit City for your music fix.
Go straight to the Shopping in Brooklyn Map
Gentrification and Brooklyn go hand-in-hand today, and Ditmas Park has become the latest front in the professional family's jihad against high priced real estate. With new boutiques, restaurants and coffeeshops popping up all the time, Brooklyn's fast becoming a destination apart from tourist-packed Manhattan. (And with the borough's first boutique hotel now open, you don't even have to sleep on the other side of the East River.)
For an afternoon of shopping Ditmas Park, there's only one place to go: Cortelyou Road. Close enough to the subway--the Q train from Manhattan--the road's primary hot spots are clustered close together for easy shopping.