Taking you beyond the guidebook

Inspiring you to live your best life through travel

Why You Need To Add Bushwick To Your NYC Itinerary

off the beaten path nyc

Why You Need To Add Bushwick To Your NYC Itinerary

Read any New York City guidebook and you’ll likely see the same recommendations: the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and Top of the Rock. And while I do believe these places are worthwhile — heck, my grandparents came through Ellis Island from Italy, so sites like this mean a lot — I do think there’s a lot more to explore in terms of off the beaten path NYC.

Growing up on Long Island I was seen as an oddball being a creative without a 9-to-5 job. On weekends however, when I’d head to Bushwick for warehouse parties and barbecues, I fit right in with the plethora of artists, photographers, designers and poets. While my friends signed leases in the West Village and Midtown, I didn’t look beyond Brooklyn.

off the beaten path nyc

Authentic Mexican tortilla from a local tortilla factory in Bushwick, anyone?

Two Worlds Collide

Fast forward four years and I’m still in that same apartment. I’ve seen the neighborhood change drastically as it’s currently experiencing gentrification, with indie coffee shops, holistic spaces, street art and funky restaurants-slash-art studios-slash-circus performance clubs. Moreover, a rich Latin culture has been present since after World War II when Puerto Ricans began settling in Brooklyn, forming enclaves such as what we see today in Bushwick and Sunset Park. Wander the streets of Bushwick on a Saturday and you’ll hear salsa blasting while you peruse tables lined with flowers, balloons and incense and carts selling arroz con pollo, bags of mango and lemon ices.

While gentrification is certainly a hot button issue in Bushwick, it is interesting to experience two very different worlds collide. For instance, NYC’s largest street gallery envelops one of the city’s best Mexican tortilla factories. Moreover, you can find historic Latin bakeries near craft beer-serving art galleries, and even a hip Venezuelan eatery crafting farm-to-fork arepas in a modern space.

When visiting #NYC, make sure you leave #Manhattan for the outer boroughs, too! Click To Tweet
off the beaten path nyc

This cake is from a Mexican bakery open since 1998. In NYC that’s considered old!

Touring Bushwick

Since I’ve been there for awhile and am a licensed tour guide, I’ve had many readers asking me to show them the neighborhood, curious about this mysterious place but also nervous to visit on their own or just unsure of exactly where to go. After planning numerous custom itineraries, I created a walking tour that combined promotion of local businesses with historic knowledge, cultural immersion and, my favorite pastime, photography.

off the beaten path nyc

Did you know Bushwick makes its own rum?

My tour brand is NYC Photo Journeys, and along with private, custom photo tours offering walks based on your interests with unlimited high resolution images of your group, I also created a public tour: a Bushwick Beer Bites & Street Art #InstaWalk.

The experience shows you off the beaten path NYC in this colorful, quirky neighborhood, weaving in and out of history and present. You’ll gain a better understanding of the local arts and culinary scene, how the neighborhood has changed and why, and Bushwick’s wealthy German brewing foundation. In fact, did you know 1 in 10 beers drank in the USA before Prohibition was from Bushwick? The hood was truly founded on German beer wealth.

The Little Town In The Woods

Bushwick comes from the word “Boswijk,” or “Little Town in the Woods.” This is the name given to the area by the Dutch who settled it in the 17th century.

The quirkiest place in #NYC is undoubtedly #Bushwick, which is why you should visit! #travel Click To Tweet
off the beaten path nyc

Guests posing with the street art in Bushwick

Yes, Bushwick was once a town full of woodland. Hard to believe now, though there are certainly trees dangling teddy bears, Barbie’s and beer cans like ornaments (we visit one on the tour!).

Other highlights:

  • Learning how to make your own cappuccino
  • Helping to create a piece of local artwork
  • Savoring a craft beer and meat pairing (made vegan upon request)
  • Chowing down tacos at an authentic Mexican tortilla factory
  • Tasting your way through local raw chocolate and dips
  • Photographing NYC’s largest outdoor art gallery

Well also talk about some of the local characters and frequent long standing businesses that have helped make Bushwick what it is today.


Thank you to Nikki Vargas from The Pin The Map Project for making the above video of the tour!

What’s An #InstaWalk?

Oh, you’re probably wondering what makes it an #InstaWalk. Along with myself taking unlimited photos of my groups, you’ll be provided with local business Instagram handles and tips along the way. This is my effort to promote the neighborhood and local business, as well as connect with visitors through photo taking and social media.

In #NYC, photos are always included on this tour! #travel Click To Tweet

NYC Tours & Photo Safaris + Responsible Tourism

NYC Tours & Photo Safaris is a member of the Travel+SocialGood NYC Business Coalition, a network of responsible tourism-focused local businesses. Moreover, the company founder, myself, is the co-founder of the Travel+SocialGood Media Network and the Responsible Tourism + Travel Collective.

What are some other unique things to do in NYC? Any favorite Bushwick experiences? Please share in the comments below! 

Recommended:

NYC Encounters: What My Bodega Guy Taught Me About Love [Blog Inspiration]

Brooklyn: A Novel [Great Reads]

Get 10% Off Priority Pass [Travel Deals]

Jessie Festa standing in front of grafitti wall

Hi, I’m Jessie on a journey!

I take you beyond the guidebook to inspire you to live your best life through travel. Come join me!

travel funsheets

Want to live your best life through travel?

Subscribe for FREE access to my library of fun blogging worksheets and learn how to get paid to travel more!

Leave a Comment





map

THE NEW STRATEGY FOR PROFITABLE TRAVEL BLOGGING

Short on time but eager to learn how to REALLY grow your blogging business? This FREE 5-day email course was made for you.

Join my email list to grab a seat in my FREE 5-day e-course

TURN YOUR TRAVEL BLOG INTO A PROFITABLE BUSINESS 

I've helped thousands of bloggers turn the world into their office.

I'd love to help you, too. 

Yes, send me the FREE e-course!

close-link
travel funsheets

Sign up for my email list and get FREE access to my library of fun blogging worksheets and learn how to get paid to travel more!

Success! You'll be receiving your resource library login information soon.

free email course

Short on time but eager to learn how to REALLY grow your blogging business? Sign up for my email list and get this FREE 5-day email course was made for you.

You have successfully subscribed! Check your inbox for your course welcome email. Make sure to add jessie@jessieonajourney.com to your contacts so it doesn't go to spam.

free email course

You DON’T need a partner to explore the globe. Learn how to feel confident while mastering the art of traveling by yourself by signing up for my email list and getting this FREE e-mail course.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

travel funsheets

Sign up for my email list and get FREE access to my library of fun blogging worksheets and learn how to get paid to travel more!

Success! You'll be receiving your resource library login information soon.

free email course

Short on time but eager to learn how to REALLY grow your blogging business? Sign up for my email list and get this FREE 5-day email course was made for you.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

multi-season packing list

Want to add more travel to your life? Sign up for my email list and get these resources to help you plan your trip smart, pack light and go beyond your guidebook.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

free email course

You DON’T need a partner to explore the globe. Learn how to feel confident while mastering the art of traveling by signing up for my email list and getting this FREE e-mail course.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Explore NYC travel guidebook

I'm a native New Yorker, licensed sightseeing guide and curious explorer. Sign up for my email list and get my FREE Explore NYC Like A Local Guide and I promise to take you beyond the Empire State Building.

You have successfully subscribed! Check your inbox for the FREE Explore NYC Like A Local Guide. If you don't see it in the next few minutes, check your spam folder for a message from jessie@jessieonajourney.com. Hint: Replying to the welcome email you'll receive helps ensure my emails to you go to your inbox, and not to spam! :)

Read previous post:
14 Essential Tips For Backpacking South America

Backpacking South America is a worthwhile adventure that I believe everyone should experience. Before I arrived on the continent, I was...

Close