Living In Williamsburg: Is It the Right Move?

If you’re thinking of living in Williamsburg, you were probably seduced by the hype surrounding a section of Brooklyn that has achieved near mythical status. Before you set foot in the area, read on to find out if the move would be the right one for you.

If you’re thinking of living in Williamsburg, you were probably seduced by the hype surrounding a section of Brooklyn that has achieved near mythical status. Hip clothing boutiques, cool restaurants, and trendy clubs nestled amid tony hi-rises and funky lofts; Williamsburg apartment seekers are the people moving to Brooklyn who aren’t looking for the classic brownstone experience. Younger apartment seekers may be looking for a less gritty Girls in Bushwick experience, while older, more established apartment seekers could be looking for the chance to live out their never-realized urban-dweller dreams. Whatever your reasons for considering the neighborhood, keep the following in mind.

The L Train’s Troubles

Anyone thinking of living in Williamsburg needs to be aware of upcoming train issues. The L train, the subway line that serves the neighborhood, sustained a huge amount damage from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy. To prevent the line from sinking into the earth and disappearing forever, the MTA has decided that it will need to shut down the entire L train line for 18 months starting in January 2019 — meaning that residents who have a daily commute are going to be impacted in ways that haven’t been worked out yet. The train is also one of the most crowded train lines in the system, making the idea of the impending shutdown even more nerve-wracking. Alternate route solutions are being considered, including adding more cars to the adjacent G train line, and that long-wished-for gondola is gaining traction.

Williamsburg Has Three Faces

Outsiders paint Williamsburg with one broad brush, but it’s got its sections — although those sections’ lines are blurring as time goes on and development continues to explode throughout the borough. When people head to Williamsburg, they head to the north, the south, or the east section of the neighborhood.

Per the New York Times, North Williamsburg is considered the more tony section, filled with expensive high rises, while South Williamsburg has traditionally been considered the more “authentic” and less affluent section filled with lo-rises and Hispanic and Orthodox Jewish families. The Times went further by claiming that there was a virtual Mason–Dixon Line that divided the two sections, with some declaring Grand Street as the marker while others stating that the BQE and Broadway create the metaphorical “other side of the tracks.” Prices for apartments have traditionally been lower on the south side, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for a space. The third area is the east, and, relatively speaking, it’s the grittiest of the three sections of Williamsburg. The area blends into Bushwick and Greenpoint and is home to a mix of longtime residents and talented yet struggling creatives and artists.

Williamsburg Can Touristy

On weekends, Williamsburg is full to overflowing with people from other boroughs who descend on the neighborhood to take advantage of the area’s awesome restaurants like Cafe Mogador, bars like Donna and Black Flamingo, and clubs like The Woods. For someone who prefers peace and quiet on the weekends, this could be a major issue. Visit the area yourself at different times of the day and evening so that you can determine if the “Billyburg” lifestyle is one you want to live every day or one that, like the constant stream of tourists that descend on the area, you only visit on weekends.

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