Travel

Greenpoint

Establishment neighborhood
Brother Vellies
71 Franklin St., Greenpoint
We have long been obsessed with Brooklynite Aurora James’s personal style. While traveling around Nigeria, South Africa, and Morocco, James fell in love with the traditional shoes and sandals handmade by local artisans. Then when she was back home in Brooklyn, Brother Vellies was born (“Vellie” is local speak for veldskoene, South African leather walking shoes). Stepping across the threshold is like walking into another world: There are plants and greenery everywhere, speckled with insanely cool merch. Mexican huarache sandals, feathered pumps, Kenyan-made slides, and butter-soft knee-high boots mingle with embossed leather handbags and woven clutches. Each piece is crafted by artisans from across the globe. In a continued effort to both assemble a treasure trove of gorgeous things and support unique makers, James has introduced a new “something special” vertical on the Brother Vellies site. Expect Oaxacan mugs, the coziest ruffled socks, and…well, see for yourself.
Dandelion Wines
153 Franklin St., Greenpoint
Greenpoint’s Dandelion Wines, helmed by Lily Peachin, revels in sourcing the weirdest small-batch female-produced wines from around the globe. Pre-COVID, this hole-in-the-wall neighborhood store was a treasured spot to stop by, browse a few unusual-looking bottles, and have a couple of sips. Now that experience has gone virtual with online tastings and gorgeous curated six-packs of wine that change weekly. Order via the website (take a look around and pick up some accessibly written wine knowledge while you’re there) for delivery in the New York City area and shipping nationwide.
Beacon’s Closet
74 Guernsey St., Greenpoint
Ask any in-the-know New Yorker where you might score the best vintage in the city and you’ll likely get this answer: Beacon’s Closet. A goldmine of sorts, Carrie Peterson’s legendary consignment store has a little bit of everything—from au courant pieces by Proenza Schouler, Isabel Marant, and Acne to one-of-a-kind finds that walked straight out of 1970 (where do you think all those epic Hawaiian shirts Zoë Kravitz wears in High Fidelity came from?). Now with four locations (Greenpoint, Park Slope, Bushwick, and Greenwich Village), this vintage mecca continues to reign supreme. (Also see: the recent mass upcycling following the Kondo craze). Give yourself ample time to dig around—who knows what you might end up walking away with. Images courtesy of Carly Rabalais.
Bellocq Tea Atelier
104 West St., Greenpoint
An industrial swath of Greenpoint isn’t the first place you’d think to find this charming curiosity shop dedicated to specialty teas, but the hidden, unexpected location is part of the fun (ring the doorbell for entry). Once inside, you’ll find a quiet retreat, with plants hanging from the ceiling and large canisters lining the purple-painted walls, filled with whole-leaf organic teas from everywhere far away: China, Japan, India, Nepal, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Malawi. The staff is passionate and knowledgeable about any tea-related question, and aside from tea itself, there are a handful of accessories for sale—sticks of Japanese sandalwood incense, Bellocq’s own line of candles inspired by various tea blends, and all thing tea-related.
Mister Dips
111 N. 12th St., Greenpoint
Inside a 1970s Airstream trailer at the William Vale hotel, Andrew Carmellini (of Locanda Verde, the Dutch, and Lafayette fame) and team keep the vibe loose and delicious by churning out a simple menu of the ultimate comfort food. The burgers, wrapped in a wax paper sleeve, come with a mix of cheese and a special tangy-sweet sauce on a potato bun. (All the burgers are available as singles or doubles.) There's also a veggie burger, made of black beans and mushrooms, and waffle fries. Don't leave without a soft serve—especially the Berry Gibbs, with strawberry, Nilla wafer, and sweet cream, which lives up to all the hype. And yes, there’s a lot of hype.
Maha Rose Center for Healing
97 Green St., Ste. G3, Greenpoint
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.
Champion Coffee
142 Nassau Ave., Greenpoint
A goop staffer randomly happened upon this gem on Nassau Avenue when she was—appropriately—craving a coffee. Champion is a tiny, subway-tiled hole-in-the-wall that ticks all the boxes: They roast their own beans in Queens (which you can buy, packaged in retro tins for a non-exorbitant price), the counter holds a tempting selection of baked treats and bagels for sustenance, and best for last, you’ll find a decent selection of magazine titles to rifle through should you be caffeinating solo.
Five Leaves
18 Bedford Ave., Greenpoint
While Five Leaves is tucked into a particularly cute corner of Brooklyn, it mimics the café culture of Paris with really good results. The tables outside are packed, no matter how cold it is, with friends sipping wine or coffee and splitting orders of perfectly crispy fries. This is not a get-in, get-out kind of place—you’re here for the long run. Get the spicy coconut broth mussels and finish with the rose water Pavlova. We also like to drop in alone for an affogato at the bar—the most perfectly creamy caffeinated snack to tide you over until dinner.
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