What up and how are ya, Internet? We are just overjoyed that all your life choices have arrived you here on this webpage to meet us, Jackson and Graham of The Brothers Buoy. We recently joined forces with the super powered team at The Brooklyn Bicycle Company to bring you a suite of guides to our favorite neighborhoods in the borough we call home: Brooklyn.
These guides aren’t just any old string of recommendations for you to pick and choose from. These are step by step instructions, forged out of years of experience, scientifically proven to be the best possible way to see a neighborhood with a bike. So, read on, dear ones, and if you ever do try one of these days out for yourself, go tell us about it on Instagram at @thebrothersbuoy. Now on to the guide!
Our inaugural day plan takes you on a wonderful trip around the neighborhood where you can see our faces the most (cause we live here), Greenpoint, BK. We love Greenpoint because it has all the perks of Williamsburg (on the water, great restaurants and bars, nightlife, parks, etc), but none of the downsides (unreasonable rent, massive tourism, overcrowded trains, chain stores, etc). The neighborhood was once one of the biggest ship building hubs in the country; over 50% percent of its residents worked in the industry at one time. The neighborhood also maintains a quiet, homey vibe, and the people who live here genuinely care about it.
Now obviously, we can’t make you do anything. We don’t know you, and we certainly don’t know your life. But what you are about to read is designed to be done in a single day, in this order, for the maximum amount of enjoyment. We will even go so far as to tell you that to experience everything this guide has to offer, it must be done on a Sunday. But if you’re up for it (and we bet you are, despite not knowing your life) we can guarantee you an awesome day. Some grab your wheels, it’s time to take a ride around Greenpoint.
And your day begins! Your first stop is at the stunningly beautiful, Monsignor McGolrick Park on the eastern side of Greenpoint. This park features several monuments honoring pieces of Greenpoint’s history, a breathtaking canopy of trees, and even a local farmer's market on Sundays in the summer/fall. PS: If you ever get the chance to hit up that farmer’s market, Mom and Icepops is the jazz notes.
Our very favorite little coffee shop in all of Greenpoint, Variety Coffee ( @varietycoffee) is a real brass tacks kind of establishment. There is no need to have all the bells and whistles when you make excellent coffee, in a well branded cup. Grab yourself a cold brew to shake out the cobwebs and let’s keep going.
Peter Pan Donuts ( @peterpandonut) A true Greenpoint institution. People will come from miles away to get their hands on one of these famous donuts, which have been around for 62 years. Pro tip: there will be a line at this place, but a lot of the time you can just grab a seat at the counter and skip the wait. We highly recommend this move since you still have a whole day ahead of you. Oh, and make sure to order a classic Honey Dip and a Blueberry Buttermilk donut before you bounce.
Ahh, you have finally made it to brunch. You can relax, because alcohol is on the way. Esme ( @esmebk) is absolutely at the top of our list when it comes to a rock-solid brunch in Greenpoint. With a creative and constantly changing cocktail list, great food and a light, airy interior, it’s really the only choice for a laid-back brunch after a morning of riding. We highly recommend the burger, chicken sandwich or the big salad. Also, their French fries are low-key amazing.
Now that your stomach is full of deliciousness, you’re ready to head somewhere for a little photo op (everyone looks great after a meal, what are you talking about). Now, you gotta trust us on this one, because this place might seem a little out of the way and extremely strange, but it’s worth it for the views, and the story. The whole park showcases plants from all over the country, educates about Greenpoint history and even gets into some prehistoric facts─all wrapped up in a park that’s tucked in between the Time Warner (now Spectrum, but who cares) truck dispatch, the waste treatment facility and a creek that is dirtier than your worst nightmares. We promise it’s worth it.
Time to shake off the weird of that park and lose a couple hours playing pool. The neon glazed black walls of No. 7 North ( @no7north) welcome a fabulous place to escape the mid-day heat with a Taiwan beer and a quick snack. The brilliant restaurateur Tyler Kord conjured up a menu of mad scientist combinations of flavors that must be tried to be believed. We require a sampling of the Broccoli Tacos, a Taco Bell inspired vegetarian experience that is not to be missed.
As we move into the early evening, and the sun has stopped punching you in both eyes, it’s time to mosey on over to one of our favorite back yards: Troost ( @troostnyc). The thing to highlight here – Negronis on tap. This is a great place to mingle with the locals, as the crowd this bar draws is lively and friendly. And if you’re somehow still peckish, they have some charcuterie plates that will satiate you until dinner.
This place is near and dear to our heart. A bar that we were going to even before we lived in Greenpoint, Alameda ( @alamedagreenpoint) is truly a special place. With a 270º stone bar-top, deco lighting and an open kitchen, it is a place that transports you to a breezy California coastline. The cocktails here are the highlight, but they also have an incredible seasonal seafood-focused menu that is sure to impress any Bumble date you can convince to come out to Greenpoint. And though a bit pricey, their burger is one of our favorites of all time. But don’t get too distracted by food. Get yourself a Spruce Goose cocktail, and if Ewan is working, just have him make you his favorite thing at the moment.
A benchmark of New York City’s baked goods scene, Ovenly’s ( @ovenly) headquarters are a small outpost right near the water in Greenpoint. Their cookies and brownies are jaw-droppingly delicious, and you should just be able to grab one right before they close on your way to the next place on this list. The peanut butter cookie is an absolute must, and if you’re allergic, may God have mercy on your soul.
We consider ourselves lucky to have two of New York’s most beautiful parks located in our neighborhood. While much smaller than the waterfront park in Williamsburg, Transmitter Park is more breathtaking than its southern counterpart. The views of the Manhattan skyline from this park are one of a kind. Take a walk all the way out to the end of the pier to get a nearly 360º view of Brooklyn at your back and the Empire State Building at your front. Just take a minute to bask in it. Dinner can wait until the sun goes down.
Congratulations! You made it to the very end of the day! And what an ending we have in store. 21 Greenpoint ( @21Greenpoint) is possibly our favorite restaurant in the neighborhood right now. Its unbeatable menu of pizzas, fish and creative vegetable dishes change all the time, so it is a place worth coming back to again and again. Not to mention, you deserve to explore their stellar bar program after a long day of riding. But if you came on Sunday, the real treat we saved for last, because that is the only night you can experience the magic that is the 21 Sunday. For $21, you get to indulge in a one of a kind 5-6 course meal created out of the food that hadn’t yet been used for the week. It is an exercise in reduction of food waste, culinary innovation and community building all wrapped up in an unforgettable experience that we can’t recommend more highly. Go there with a group if possible, as watching each mystery dish come to the table is simply more fun with an audience.
So that’s it guys. If you followed along step by step, you should be quaking with rapture at what a great day you just had. And if you cherry picked, that’s fine too. Because the truth is, there is no wrong way to experience this great neighborhood. With all sorts of shops, restaurants and parks to discover, it is a great way to lose a day riding around and exploring. We hope you make it out to Greenpoint, and if you see us pedaling around, be sure to say what up.