You’ve read about it in Vogue. You’ve seen it on GIRLS: Brooklyn is cool and Williamsburg is hot. But New York’s most populous borough wasn’t always a happening ’hood. From around 1970 until the mid ’90s, Brooklyn was basically synonymous with crime, drugs, and poverty. However, much like the size of our cell phones and the programming on MTV, a lot has changed since then.
Like it’s cheese.
Over the past twenty years or so, hipsterdom has infiltrated many of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods, and Williamsburg tops the list. In fact, Forbes previously named Williamsburg the third most hip neighborhood in the entire country. Coffee shops, independent bookstores, a thriving music scene, trendy restaurants, and upscale boutiques all come together to offer New Yorkers an ultra-hip alternative to the Manhattan grind.
And if you’re looking to buy some gourmet cheese or rent some friendly real estate, Brooklyn’s your space.
For a neighborhood so in tune with the wants and needs of its primary demographic, it only makes sense that an old-fashioned cheese shop opens up in town. It was a genius idea. I mean, who doesn’t like cheese? And I’m not talking about the bite sized curds you buy at the farmers’ market or even the expensive stuff you find in the fancy section at Whole Foods.
No. I’m talking about the creamy, savory, melt-in-your-mouth variety that can only come from a neighborhood shop that works directly with farms to offer its customers cheeses at their perfect peak. The Bedford Cheese Shop delivers all of this and more from its quaint corner location smack dab in the middle of Williamsburg.
Since the Bedford Cheese Shop opened its doors in 2003, the independently run business has spent more than 10 years establishing itself as a Williamsburg staple. The store’s small staff of knowledgeable cheese mongers ensures familiar faces are greeted by name while new patrons are romanced by the shop’s constantly evolving array of prime goodies. If that isn’t enough to keep you coming back for more, the Bedford Cheese Shop also offers cheese tasting and pairing classes.
I think I’m in love.
As slowly as Williamsburg transformed into a hipster haven for artists, writers, and musicians, gentrification began seeping into the neighborhood just as quickly. Home sale prices have increased 25 percent over the last five years. And, as of the beginning of October, the average list price of nearly $1.2 million in Williamsburg is 21 percent higher than that of Brooklyn overall. As far as renting goes, prices in Williamsburg are steeper than some downtown neighborhoods of Manhattan. As in, a two-bedroom apartment will set you back an average of $3,773 per month.
If you can foot the rent or mortgage, living in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg promises to deliver art, culture, and a cozy neighborhood vibe. Oh, and the best cheese on the planet. What more could you ask for?
Photo credit: Jeni Rodger