“When We Were Ancient:” The Williamsburg Hipsters of Yore

Old Dutch Mustard Factory, 1994

  • Mara Catalan, All Rights Reserved
  • Old Dutch Mustard Factory, 1994

Whether you like it, hate it, or are avidly indifferent, Williamsburg has changed pretty radically in the past few decades. We can all agree on this, right?

While some of us were still nothing more than a mere, gentrifying twinkle in our father’s eye, people were, you know, already moving here and doing cool stuff. It’s in celebration of this pioneering spirit (and their 25th year in business) that neighborhood stalwart Teddy’s Bar and Grill decided to host “When We Were Ancient,” a show of local photos, zines, posters, and art from the pre-condo era.

We spoke with show curator Ethan Pettit (owner of the eponymous Bushwick gallery) about his early days in the neighborhood, Williamsburg’s early arts community, and the inevitable move to Bushwick.


  1. yes and then no… more was not less and then some. radically it sucked big time everyone running for cheap space. making it more when it was so less…. like nothing else us guys trying some new culture up yours.

  2. Dear editors. There seems to be a glitch with my photograph “Smashed cop car underneath the Williamsburg Bridge, 1988: EVA SCHICKER, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED”. When I’m accessing the “When We Were Ancient” story on my i-Phone device, a different image appears. That different image is not my image, and I do not own any rights to it. It is ok on this thread on my laptop, but as I mentioned, on the mobile device, there appears to be a hacking issue. I wanted to bring this to your attention, so that you can look into it, and avoid any confusion in the future. Many thanks. Eva Schicker, eschicker@earthlink.net.


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