Once a place Upper East Siders dare not go, Brooklyn is now New York's creative hub. Space, nature, and affordability make the burrow attractive for young artists and major corporations alike. As we dream of getting to know the area better, we spoke with some residents (past and present) of the Big Apple, and experts in the low waste, natural, and vegan movements, on their favorite spots in Manhattan's airy cousin.
A Green(er) Guide: Brooklyn
Anima Mundi / cc Beauty Independent
The Mecca of secondhand shopping lives in Brooklyn. Imagine the first day of a sample sale with all of your favorite designers taking place in a warehouse. Unbeatable prices on gently used pieces - everyone from The Attico and Mother of Pearl to Prada and Thom Browne. Now, imagine it's all secondhand, and a sustainable choice for enhancing your wardrobe. That's the beauty of Beacon's Closet. Be careful though... 11 am turns to 6 pm very quickly in the confines of those four walls on Guernsey Street.
Interested in harnessing the power of adaptogens? Want to understand what the heck an adaptogen is and what kind of “power” can be “harnessed”? Anima Mundi is the premier brand of medicinal botanicals and herbs - sold around the world at stores like Erewhon, Goop, and CAP Beauty. Their apothecary (which doubles as their laboratory) is nestled in a pocket of Brooklyn that teems with relaxing vibrations. Café attendants are knowledgable, kind, and tres Brooklyn (aka super cool). A must visit destination.
Brooklyn Botanical Garden / cc ILoveNY.com
Little Choc Apothecary
“Love Little Choc for their teas, tea lattes, juices, and their incredible gluten free vegan crepes. I’m obsessed with the “Room for Mushrooms” crepe,” Amity Murray, aesthetician
“Credo has a great selection of makeup, and I like to see what is out there in the green beauty space,” A.M.
“Champs in BK is the best vegan restaurant ever. They have a few locations in Brooklyn, and it’s one of those places I would accept a 45 minute breakfast wait just to have their Chik’n Waffles,” Erin Starkweather, Marketing & Events at Saie
“Maison Premiere was my go-to for oysters while living in NYC for five years. My perfect Saturday plan was having oysters and delicious wine at MP and then dancing to Brazilian beats at Miss Favela,” Chris Gentilini, Three Muses Consulting
Brooklyn Botanical Garden
“The BBG is a really chill spot. You won't find a better place to relax in New York,” Eleanor Turner, Matthew Kenney Cuisine
“Modern Love is the yummiest, most comforting vegan food I have ever had,” A.M.
“A great date spot in Gowanus. The interiors are so well done, the crowd is fun, and the menu is totally plant based! I haven’t been there during the day, but people love it for coffee too,” E.S.
“Celebrated my 40th at Black Flamingo. Delicious vegan tacos and downstairs turns into a club some nights,” A.M.
Prospect Park, Brooklyn / cc Trip Savvy
Brooklyn is a green getaway from Manhattan's concrete jungle, which is made for the clicks and clacks of stilettos and kitten heels. Kick your sneakers off at Prospect Park. Take in new life during Spring, the natural energy of Summer, nature's majesty in Fall, and the stillness of snow during wintertime. It's hard to get tired of trees when they're surrounded by babbling brooks and 19th century architecture, which means you can visit Prospect Park over, and over... and over again.
Package Free Shop
On the quest to reduce our footprints, Package Free is an oasis in a seemingly barren desert. Started by Lauren Singer, a widely renowned leader in the zero-waste movement (see her IG @TrashIsForTossers for some awesome guidance towards a low-waste life), Package Free Shop sells the beauty, home, and kitchen goods you need to decrease your impact tenfold in 2020. And, don’t fret if you can’t make it to Brooklyn - their website PackageFreeShop.com ships worldwide!
The Brooklyn Museum / cc New York Magazine
Culture thrives in every pocket of New York City, especially Brooklyn. A visit to the Brooklyn Museum is intellectually stimulating as it is cool. Any given visit could lead to an expansion in your historic, artistic, and designer lexicons. For example, were you to pop into New York's third largest museum tomorrow, you could learn about African art, feminism in America, public works, and Studio 54's glory years. A once (or twice, or thrice and so on) must visit for any creatively inclined individual.
Airbnb in Carroll Gardens
Every Brooklyn neighborhood has it's charm... there's just something about Carroll Gardens! Its peace, its greenery, its charm, and its space make it the perfect place to Airbnb if you want to get away and relax without leaving the city. If you want a more uptempo place, or somewhere in the middle of it all, try Airbnbs in Clinton Hill or Dumbo.
Words: James Francis Kelley