Holiday Goddess Handbag Guide editor and stylist Lily Evans has insider advice on Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York.

Williamsburg is fast becoming the new SoHo of New York. This means old charm is being replaced by new high rises and hotels but it also means that Brooklyn is no longer wrongly synonymous with gangland shootings, on the contrary Williamsburg is know as being a hive for the hip.

If you are a coffee lover start your day at Blue Bottle. The cost and cue are worth the prize of a cappuccino like nothing you’ve ever tasted before. On a hot day there is nothing better their “New Orleans” ice coffee and snickerdoodle cookies (dipped into your coffee). The coffee is velvety smooth, it seems to almost stroke your mouth, and holds the kind of caffeine that makes you invincible, which you need for everyday living in New York. The cookies are fresh baked and a little gooey in the middle. They also have smores, gourmet biscuit sandwiches and service with a smile.

Book Thug Nation is a small independent bookstore that you can get lost in, or at least spend a few hours in. They have beautiful old copies of every important book. The guys running the store are like literary encyclopedias, wonderful at helping you out if you’re looking for something and suggesting other titles to your taste. Arranged in themes, it’s easy to find unusual books to suit everyone and when you’ve read your purchases, you can bring them and the store will buy the books back from you. Brilliant.

Later, head to The Spectacle Theater a tiny art house cinema with a great taste for underrated or unheard of films. Run by a group of film enthusiast volunteers, the showings cost just $5. Popcorn comes with parmesan and chilli toppings and beer and sake are also served. You’ll often get a few sentences as a forward to the film, sometimes a clip of the director’s influence or a trailer from a similar genre and time period.

For more from Lily Evans, visit her website



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