There’s no denying that New York City is the fashion capital of the U.S.; so naturally, for those of us who dream of working in the industry, it’s the end-all, be-all place to end up post-grad. What no one tells you is how absolutely impossible it is for anyone to live there on an entry-level salary. Not only is rent shockingly pricey, but so is everything else. Basically, every after-work activity that we 20-somethings enjoy doing is outside of our price range. So where do us normal people live and hang out when you work in NYC but don’t have a six-figure salary—or a salary at all (shout out to all the unpaid interns out there)? Help us, we’re poor.
Living in Brooklyn is moving its way up the where-to-live totem pole for Millennials and Gen-Zers stationed in New York. Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and Fort Greene have all the cute photo-op spots, coffee shops, and under-the-radar vintage boutiques that the city has, all at a fraction of the price. While I’m aware that the occasional trip to Manhattan is a must, there’s plenty to keep you busy on the other side of the East River. Below, I’m spotlighting the best and brightest of Brooklyn, NYC It-Girl approved.
Not into sifting through racks and racks of junk just to find one or two good finds at Goodwill or Unique? The Break offers a highly-curated collection of vintage pieces ranging from ’50s dresses to ’90s band T-shirts, all at a reasonable price. Check out their Instagram for updates on sales and special events.
Where: 82 Dobbins St. in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
This massive restaurant-bar-outdoor escape is located a short walk from the Brooklyn Bridge and can satisfy every single one of your cravings whether you need a Sunday brunch spot, a quick coffee-croissant combo, or an after-work cocktail. Make sure to check out Freehold’s website to stay in the know on their daily deals.
Where: 45 S. 3rd St. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
If you’re in need of a new brunch spot, you’ve found the right place. Sit out back on the outdoor patio or inside to enjoy the staff’s impressive music selection. Need another reason to check out Blessings Café? They host a Record Night every Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m.
Where: 663 Flatbush Ave. in Prospect Park, Brooklyn
For those of you who crave the knowledge that you found something first—whether it be a trend, a designer, or even a new store (!!), Swords-Smith is for you. Founders Briana Swords and R Smith moved into Williamsburg long before it was the “it” place to live and wanted to create a space that held onto the Brooklyn they know and love. The inventory is ever-changing, but expect to see a range of designer rags from Samuji to MM6 Maison Margiela. Can’t make it to the store, check out their online website.
Where: 98 S 4th St. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Greenpoint has its fair share of vintage shops, but Mirth is at the front of the herd. Whether you’re looking for a fitted vintage suit for the office or the perfect pair of vintage jeans, I guarantee that Mirth should be one of your first stops. Coming from Manhattan? Take the ferry – the view is to die for.
Where: 606 Manhattan Ave. in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Dobbin St. Vintage Co-Op
After buying way too much (in the best way) vintage from The Break, head around the corner to Dobbin St. Vintage Co-Op for even more. While the store also has vintage clothing, the real finds here are furniture. Say you’re looking to recreate Don and Megan Draper’s mod apartment or live in a Wes Anderson flick, Dobbin St. has something, somewhere that you’ll fall in love with.
Where: 37 Norman Ave. in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Not really an IMAX person? Check out Syndicated for a unique movie theatre experience. Whether your parents cut you off their HBO account and you need a place to watch Game of Thrones on Sunday or just want to see your favorite old-school flick somewhere other than your couch, Syndicated is the place to go. Keep up with their Instagram for what’s on the agenda.
Where: 40 Bogart St. in Bushwick, Brooklyn
Carthage Must Be Destroyed
Be “in the know” and go to Carthage Must Be Destroyed, which despite its rather intense nomenclature is actually very pink and very aesthetically pleasing. If you’re looking for a place to go on a Saturday for a morning yoga class and post-sweat brunch, this is the place for you. Just downstairs is an equally lovely yoga studio, Like a Prayer Yoga. Basically, this is the place to be.
Where: 222 Bogart St. in Bushwick, Brooklyn
Any other must-sees in Brooklyn? Let us know in the comments below!