Over the past decade, the gayborhood has morphed into what’s often termed a “post-gay” neighborhood. At many LGBT-owned businesses, you’re apt to bump into plenty of straight folks as well — and vice versa. And it’s a good bet that the formerly explicitly gay neighborhoods will continue to become steadily more diverse — including the influx of the dreaded “hipster”. But if you can get beyond the sometimes precious conceits of these trendy urban districts, you’ll discover some of the best businesses and restaurants in the country.
Every day for the next two weeks, we’ll be taking a look at a dozen of the most dynamic and interesting post-gay neighborhoods in the United States and Canada. These aren’t necessarily the biggest or the most popular — just a good sampling of especially notable ones.
To see all the articles in this series, click here.
Few neighborhoods in the country are more hipster-identified than Williamsburg, which sits handily across the East River from Manhattan’s East Village and Lower East Side (two diverse, gay-popular, but more expensive neighborhoods in their own right). Much of the best café culture and shopping is centered upon the several blocks surrounding the Bedford Avenue (L Train) subway stop, especially along Berry Street and Bedford Avenue, but as the neighborhood’s rents have risen, creative sorts have moved increasingly eastward along Grand Street and across the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway toward East Williamsburg and even Bushwick.
Nightspots like the loveably dive-y Abbey Bar and Metropolitan (known for its Dragnet and Metro-Sensual parties) rank among the favorite gay hangouts in the five boroughs, while the intimate Woods Bar, which is home to a great patio, has a weekly queer party on Wednesdays.
Other good bets for a fun stroll through Williamsburg include the artisan chocolatier Mast Brothers, the small-batch coffee roaster Toby’s Estate, and the definitive weekend bruncheries Pies-n-Thighs (for decadent Southern fare) and Okonomi Japanese kitchen.
This article is one in a series about post-gayborhoods.
(Featured image via Guian Bolisay/Flickr)