John Barclay has spent much of the past decade orchestrating some of Brooklyn’s best and most beloved parties and DIY spaces—think 285 Kent, or Bushwick’s occasionally notorious “Trip House”—and last December opened up his first full-on bar, Bossa Nova Civic Club (also in Bushwick). Barclay himself, however, has stayed in Williamsburg, with his base of operations on the South Side for the past seven years (which, given the rapid turnover and development in the area, qualifies him as something of a neighborhood lifer). Last week, he let us take a look around his latest apartment in the neighborhood, and told us about the high-low food options nearby (abundant) and the opportunities for installing a pool on the building’s roof (less abundant).
How long have you lived in Brooklyn?
I’ve lived on the South Side of Williamsburg for a little over 7 years now.
Why’d you first move here?
My mom is from New York and we had always visited here pretty regularly while I was growing up. I had never lived in a real city before so it made my lil heart go pitty-pat.
What’s your favorite thing about this apartment?
I am particularly fond of the neighborhood. The South Side offers the best selection of pre and post gentrification delicacies: $1 empanadas, $3.75 gourmet cold-brewed iced coffee, Hasidic bakeries, bad contemporary fashion, heroin bodegas, etc.
What’s your least favorite thing about the apartment?
What are the first three inanimate things you would save in a fire?
I would rescue my baby pineapple and let everything else burn.
What’s your favorite room in the apartment and your favorite time of day?
My bedroom from about 5am-1pm, which is when I’m usually asleep.
If you suddenly received a windfall of cash, what changes would you make?
I would look into installing a pool on the roof.
If you could move the house/block/neighborhood or to another city, which one would it be and why?
Probably Berlin on account of its affordability and general appreciation of the Bohemian Lifestyle.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.