The Brooklyn Guide
At this point, Brooklyn is really a city unto itself. The transformation started with Williamsburg, which is what put Brooklyn on the map for this generation of New Yorkers, though each neighborhood has its own little personality and ecosystem—Cobble Hill and Park Slope are great residential neighborhoods for young families, Boerum Hill (which has some excellent shopping) offers beautiful walks among the brownstones, and Bushwick still has a plenty of reliable mom-and-pop type stores nestled in with the trendier businesses. Needless to say, this is a guide that will continue to evolve and expand, as new, exciting spots are popping up at lightning speed.
Bamford Haybarn Spa60 Furman St., Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn | 347.696.2530
Tucked inside the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, the Bamford Haybarn Spa is a 5,000-square-foot oasis marked by hand-carved doors and branch shelving. Here, in the nine treatment rooms, Lady Carole Bamford applies her "global wellness" approach to the menu of treatments which range from massages to facials—all of which are guided by Ayurvedic principles and use the brand's in-house line of skin care.
Brooklyn Yoga Club206 Vanderbilt Ave., Clinton Hill
Beloved yoga teacher Eddie Stern officially opened his new studio space, Brooklyn Yoga Club, in a cozy Clinton Hill townhouse on Vanderbilt Avenue. A studio and meditation space occupy the ground floor of the townhouse, where Stern leads a practice based on the teachings of Ashtanga master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. The primarily self-paced classes encourage independence and self-reliance; students work through each series at their own speed, closely observed by Stern. There’s also a heavy emphasis on meditation, breath, and detoxification. After class, students can hang out in the first-floor library, café, and the wide outdoor deck, where the studio builds community: The café serves coffee, tea, juice, and vegetarian food, the deck is home to a compost and garden, and the library shelves are stocked with books about yoga and self-discovery. The second floor of the townhouse is home to a co-working space with a few designated desks and a community table. That floor also has a kitchen, for vegetarian and Ayurvedic cooking classes and one-off workshops, like “How to Make Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar,” or “How To Make Your Own Kimchi.” Out-of-town visitors can stay on this level in a cozy bed and breakfast-style room—room rates for the B&B and rental rates for desk space both include yoga.
Brooklyn Herborium1301 Prospect Ave., Prospect Park, Brooklyn | 917.909.0569
This impossibly lovely, holistic spa-grocery-apothecary is serious about skin—and offers some of the most exquisite—and effective—complexion-perfecting treatments: The Integrative Therapy for Biome Rehabilitation balances the skin’s ecosystem with a probiotic mask, facial point stimulation, blue-light therapy, and more, while the Integrative Therapy for Reducing Redness and Reactivity incorporates infrared phototherapy and fascia lymphatic manipulation to soothe inflamed skin. If you’re not too blissfully relaxed post treatment, peruse the storefront, which stocks everything beautiful, organic, and small-batch you could ever want—local honey, health-supporting herbal teas (their chrysanthemum-infused Rest & Digest blend is next-level), the crispiest apples, and the brand’s own skincare line that’s hand-crafted in house. There's a second location in Red Hook.
Credo99 N 6th St, Williamsburg | 347.689.3564
Hands down, this one of our favorite natural beauty boutiques, which is why we're excited it's been branching out from it's original San Francisco location and opening up sister spots across the U.S., including Los Angeles, Manhattan, and Chicago. Staying true to its pure ethos, Credo stocks a wide range (more than 100) of the best non-toxic brands from around the globe, including top skincare and makeup products from de Mamiel, Ilia, Kjaer Weis, Kypris, RMS, Tammy Fender, and our very own goop by Juice Beauty.
CB I Hate Perfume318 Maujer St., 3rd Floor, Bushwick | 718.384.6890
A wide range of scents both comforting and strange are sold in this perfume gallery: "Cucumber Sandwich," "Wet Pavement," and "Dust" to name just a few. The nose behind this alchemist's shop is an ex-taxi driver, inspired to become a perfumer by his hatred for some of the horrid scents worn by women getting into his car in the evening.
Daya Yoga Studio360 Jefferson St., East Williamsburg | 718.406.7912
Many New York City yoga classes are as packed as a rush-hour subway car, but cramped quarters aren’t the norm at Daya. The studio’s two rooms are spacious and high-ceilinged, and the classes are transformative. They teach a variety of styles—including Kripalu, Kundalini, vinyasa, and prana—and offer special classes, like the Candlelit Lunar Flow with live music (it’s stupendous to listen as you go through your poses) and Women’s Rejuvenation Circle, a guided meditation and “emotional check-in,” as Daya instructors say. The first early-morning class of the day is Get Up and Flow, which really gets you moving. (Incentive to get up early: One instructor always brings her adorable fluffy dog to class.)
Hillery Sklar141 S. 5th St., Office East, Williamsburg | 917.834.3438
Hillery Sklar is a licensed aesthetician with a small studio by the Williamsburg Bridge. Her treatments, while simple, are extremely effective. And Hillery's own warmth and friendliness add another therapeutic dimension to each facial. She offers services for women and men, including "the bearded gentleman"; all cash only.
Maha Rose Center for Healing97 Green St., Suite G3, Greenpoint | 718.757.2758
Simply walking into the Maha Rose Center is de-stressing: The tall ceilings, white walls, and billowing curtains of the former box factory are instantly calming. Services range from breathwork and reiki, to sound baths and shamanic healing circles. The shop is stocked with amazing crystals, herbs and tonics, and more. They regularly host open houses to allow potential clients to check out the space for free—plus, Friday afternoon group acupuncture sessions.
Pickthorn92 St. Nicholas Ave., East Williamsburg | 718.928.7336
They take hair color very seriously at Pickthorn, where owner Chelsey Pickthorn has been known to mix twenty shades at a time to get the perfect flattering color. The salon specializes in impressively authentic highlights (imagine golden surfer hair and the sun-kissed flyaways of outdoorsy kids), which colorists paint on by hand, eschewing more traditional foil methods. The space is airy and sizable, but with only two chairs, the vibe is beautifully intimate. There’s no getting lost in the assembly line of blowouts that can be so frustrating at mega-salons, and the windows are hand-painted by local artists so that light streams through but pedestrians can’t peek in at the musicians and models who frequent the place—or witness your transformation, until you step outside.
Shen Beauty315 Court St., Carroll Gardens | 718.576.2679
Run by one of the most curious, energetic minds in the beauty business, this OG clean-beauty boutique is famous for sleuthing out next-big-thing brands, so shopping there is always a thrill. Everything here is super clean and nontoxic too, including goop‘s own line of clean skincare, and some of our favorites like May Lindstrom, Pai Skincare, and RMS Beauty. But the brilliant secret is the spa treatments: Ayurvedic massages, brow shaping, hair-removal, and the ultimate, a skin-transforming facial with Lara. The Signature treatment is an amazing and customizable detox with your choice of LED light, dermaplaning, peels, ZIIP current, and microdermabrasion. Add on the Revealing Eye Therapy, which uses icicles to soothe, smooth, and totally awaken your under-eye area.
Tigerlily Holistic Community Acupuncture360 Jefferson St., Bushwick | 646.979.0708
Acupuncture can be incredible for stress, physical pain, and many other conditions. Tigerlily Holistic offers group sessions to make their healing treatments more accessible and forge community connections (many people actually find communal acupuncture, versus private sessions, to be more revitalizing). Clients lay back on massage tables or zero gravity recliners as an acupuncturist tends to each person with filiform needles to remove blockages and stimulate the movement of chi in the body. If needed, there’s the option of adding on a therapy like tui na (Chinese massage), cupping, or gua sha (the Chinese practice of gently scraping skin with a massage tool to support circulation). And there are workshops and classes on therapies like Qi Gong, which uses breathwork, meditation, and martial arts-based movement to cultivate balance and emotional tenacity.