North 12th Street
The last stretch of Bedford Avenue is distinguished by its relatively quiet atmosphere, especially compared to the bustling creative activity seen in the previous segment. The section holds a school, few residential buildings and McCarren Park, but the cafes and organic produce outlets that made the previous segment so “gentrified” are nowhere to be seen here. Given the lack of and their lack of gentrification trademarks such as cafes and boutiques, It seemed necessary to distinguish these few blocks as a separate segment from the previous ‘Hipster’ section.
The main feature of this section was McCarren Park, a public park that functions as a place for the people of Williamsburg to unwind and connect with their family and friends. Teenagers and kids play soccer, baseball and other sports enthusiastically. Parents spend quality time with their children and joggers crisscross the field at any given time of the day. McCarren Park adds a nice touch to the neighborhood and serves as a contrast to the desolate industrial buildings one usually finds scattered throughout Williamsburg. The park is remarkable in its place as one of the few areas of vegetation in all of Williamsburg.
Thoughts from the community:
We were able to speak with several people spending time at the park. All of them were young, however, we encountered a mixture of people who lived in the community and people who worked there. the consensus seemed to be that the area of WIlliamsburg, from Metropolitan Avenue and up to the end of Bedford, was a Hipster neighborhood, populated by young, creative people who could afford a relatively higher standard of living.
Interestingly, we discovered that most of the single women pushing the strollers in the mid-afternoon quiet of the park were babysitters and did not live in Williamsburg. One babysitter we spoke said she really enjoyed Williamsburg although she did not live there. In her opinion, the area surrounding the park was populated with Hipsters while, areas further south along Bedford Avenue were successively Puerto Rican, Mexican and Jewish, an observation that collaborated our own findings. She stated that a variety of people come to enjoy the park and that the people of the neighborhood are “nice and for the major part, young.”
The End of Bedford Avenue: Bedford Avenue comes to an end and merges into Manhattan Avenue at the end of McCarren Park. The intersection is busy with commercial buildings – restaurants, retail stores etc. Manhattan Avenue also connects the Williamsburg neighborhood to Greenpoint.
Image mosaic Bedford Avenue Segment 5