CGT Society Member, Margo, and I have put together a small list of must see's while in New York. Some of the places I got from MizMargo, I bribed her and staff at Obscura Antiques and Oddities with vegan treats and simple kindness. For the record, they were all VERY kind and helpful. I purchased a cute, Victorian pin-cushion bunny while there. We didn't have much time, so use the list below for more places.
To begin, I recommend starting in the Bushwick neighborhood in Brooklyn. Although a little "hipster", I found the people to be down to earth, real and very helpful. I did some research, and yes, there are a few haters of the hood, but honestly everyone claims to hate hipsters, even the hipsters. It is getting old. So before I get started, let's get this over with - here's a round of applause to all those truly unique and special non-hipsters.
Here we go...
Think of this as a list from Rick Steves's evil niece - take notes!
1) NEIGHBORHOOD TO VISIT: BUSHWICK
Bushwick is a bit more middle class, edgy, and art focused. Here you see more locally owned stores and shops that have personality. As a CGT rule I focus on small, locally owned businesses. Sorry Starbucks, not this time. When you are in Bushwick I recommend browsing SHOPS AT THE LOOM. You will find a bunch of cool things there, such as (I kid you not) a KITTEN ADOPTION (WTF) and a Blood Ceremony fan - perfection.
ADDRESS: 184 Noll Street, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Say hello to the amazingly talented and creative Marina Heintze, owner of MEATTT INC.! I loved her and the shop so much that I got a beautiful, lime-green cicada tattooed on my left thigh. Her name, MEATTT INC., plays off of the meat packing district theme and the word "ink" (if you didn't already pick up on that). Marina's shop was also featured in NYLON magazine and she has the cutest dog ever! (Note: Her dog was NOT in the shop; Marina is very strict about cleanliness.) You can follow her and her dog on Instagram @marinaheintze to see all of her quirky sketches of legs in toilet bowls and bugs. Words she uses to describe her shop are: weird, funky and strange. I can live with that.
Tell her Margo and Allison say HELLO and that you are with the CGT Society.
1045 Flushing Ave. in Brooklyn Open 7 days a week until midnight!
After getting a tattoo you will need some food. Marina recommended this place, right across the street. It was loud, packed, energetic and filed with all walks of life. The music was not my bag (90's pop); however, the fun menu with drinks did not disappoint. From green curry noodles, a banana flower salad and coconut rice bowls to crispy lemongrass wings, I had a hard time choosing. I would ask the waiter for a recommendation or what the special is.
I feel like Adam Sandler and Chris Farley right now...ugH.
Record store on 184 Noll Street, next door to MEATTT INC. Open 12-8 everyday. Punk, industrial, experimental & tapes.
I wouldn't say that the collection of metal was as large Paris's Music Fear Satan; however, there was enough of the good stuff and great conversation with the employees to know they are metal fans. Adam and Henry also talked to us about metal festivals coming up and their travels to Japan. They said there is a satanic shop in Japan that is pretty bizarre called Territory in Osaka. Also in the shop, there are local flyers for shows along with zines, jazz, hip-hop, electronica/ dance and punk records.
Leaving Bushwick, there were a few places I was not able to visit:
- "Catland is Brooklyn’s premier metaphysical boutique and event space. We aim to serve the local community of Occultists, Yogis, Pagans, Mystics, Thelemites, Witches, Chaotes, and anyone interested in the enhancement of his or her spiritual self." -catlandbooks.com
Any fan of Jodorowsky, is worth my time...sold. Someone please go for me and report back.
Heading over the bridge...
38 Washington Street, Lower Level
Brooklyn, NY 11201 Open 11-7 and Closed Mondays
Owner of Shibui, Dane Owen, is an expert in Japanese culture and the macabre. He collects pretty much everything under the sun. When Margo and I first walked down the steps into the shop we were greeted by a little dog and amazing architecture lined with antiques and old floor joists. However, if you look a little closer and ask the right questions, you will open up the holy grail of Dane's knowledge on Japan. If you mention Creepy Girl Travels, he may share with you his personal collection of antiques.
Art, food, dirt and bizarre fashion converge in this area. It's as if a pinup model gave birth to a trust-fund, crust punk. It's weird and I dug it. If you go around the afternoon, you can wander into art galleries, eat random food and get drunk all at once.
75 A Orchard Street Tuesday, Wednesday 1pm-12am, Thursday-Saturday 1pm-2am, Sunday 1:30-8pm
This store was me in a nutshell: creepy jewelry, drinks, film projected on the wall, vintage clothing in the basement AND local designers on the main floor. They also host clothing swaps! We were there for pride, so there was A LOT of crazy going on here! I recommend a dirty martini and vampire teeth necklaces!
9) MUSEUM: MORBID ANATOMY MUSEUM
424 Third Ave, in Brooklyn, at the corner of 7th Street.
The exhibition space & library are open from 12:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. every day except Tuesday.
Admission to the exhibition & library is $5. Seniors and students are $3, and children 12 and under are free.
Our store is open from 12:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 12:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.
The cafe is open from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.
First make sure you can go when there is a flea market. Then buy a membership online so you can get in front!
10) COFFEE AND CEMETERIES: BLACK GOLD RECORDS & GREENWOOD CEMETERY
Grab a coffee at Black Gold Records then browse the bizarre taxidermy and vinyl. Eat a cardamom scone while sipping on some awesome cold brew. Note: you can cannot get a macchiato here. They are caffeine purists and only have straight-up coffee. Now start walking! 2.9 Miles to Green-Wood Cemetery. It is a hike but a fun walk. You can also detour and try to get into the Quaker cemetery.