A Thousand Picnics (171 South 4th Street, Williamsburg, 347-606-8715) offers up two local jewelry labels—Phoebe Sung’s and Peter Buer’s Cold Picnic and Erica Bradbury’s Species by the Thousands—in one space. But the upside to opening a collaborative boutique applies to more than just shoppers; as Buer puts it, “We wanted a place where we could show our work in the best, most fitting context. None of us have proper studios so we wanted a combination workspace, showroom, and office for our brands…sort of like a walk-in lookbook or catalog!”
The South Williamsburg shop, which opened just this past winter, has already become a neighborhood fixture thanks to its eclectic range of pieces, from macramé plant holders to brass cast rings. In many ways, it was the location that pushed them into opening A Thousand Picnics in the first place. “It was something we’d been talking about for a few months, with all of us assuming it would happen a lot further into the future than it did. Then, suddenly, this space became available, and it was the right location and price, so we jumped on it,” says Buer. Needless to say, they’ve come to know the area quite well themselves (Bradbury has lived in Greenpoint and Williamsburg for about 10 years, while Sung and Bauer have been in South Williamsburg since moving from Boston a few years ago). Here, Bauer shares with us his North Brooklyn cheat sheet.
Best Coffee: Oslo (328 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, 718-782-0332), because they’re one of the few places that has cream for coffee.
Best Pizza: Erica discovered Tuttobene’s in Greenpoint (230 Calyer Street, 347-384-2918), which is equidistant between our apartments, and has amazing pizza (especially Sicilian style with pepperoni and extra cheese).
Best Place to Get a Stiff Drink: Our neighbors, Dram (177 South 4th Street, Williamsburg, 718-486-3726), have a great drink list.
Best Spot for a Late-Night Snack: Snacky (187 Grand Street, Williamsburg, 718-486-4848). Erica’s been going for 10 years—it’s an original Williamsburg establishment.
Best Place to Take a Brooklyn First-Timer: Pies ‘n’ Thighs (166 South 4th Street, Williamsburg, 347-529-6090), of course. It’s the one place we always take friends from out of town.
Best Hair Salon: Erica goes to High Horse (103 Havemeyer Street, Williamsburg, 718-388-7703), I have Phoebe cut my hair, and Phoebe goes to a girl named Esther who runs a salon out of her apartment in Park Slope.
Best Shop to Get Dressed for a Party: Bird (203 Grand Street, Williamsburg, 718-388-1655) always has beautiful stuff. Minimarket (218 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, 718-218-7849) is good too.
Best Place to Buy a Last-Minute Gift: A Thousand Picnics, of course! Actually it seems like half our customers lately have been on their way to birthday parties without presents.
Favorite Brooklyn Store (That Isn’t A Thousand Picnics): Bedford Cheese Shop (229 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, 718-599-7588)! They have the best cheeses and pates, and also the best window displays.