Unless you were a student at Pratt, it used to be that a movie at BAM or a quickie spin through Target on Flatbush Avenue were the top draws for luring folks to Brooklyn's Fort Greene area. But since the explosion that is the Brooklyn Flea Market along with a host of other cool boutiques and exceptional little eateries, the artsy area that hasn't quite surrendered to full-on gentrification (and that's how we like it!) has emerged as one of Brooklyn's most inviting neighborhoods. Here's where we shop when we get off the G train.
Saffron, 31 Hanson Place (between St. Felix St and Fort Greene Place)
Just across the street from the Atlantic Terminal is vintage clothing store and florist Saffron, which features an eclectically bizarre mix of prepster looks from Woolrich and Pendleton rubbing shoulders with ancient kimonos. Bonus points for traditional Japanese Ikebana floral bouquets and the rotating monthly artists' gallery. Prices range from $5 for vintage post-cards to $400 for one-of-a-kind Japanese haoris.
Indie fashion spot Cloth lays claim to being Fort Greene's first venue for local fashionistas. This bold assertion is backed up by threads from Velvet, Park Vogel, American Vintage, and Stewart+Brown. Thrown into the mix are goodies from Brooklyn's handcrafted-soap-maker Saipua and, on our last visit, some adorable kid-sized galoshes. For $60 you can score knit tees from Velvet. 22k Diamond Briolette earrings by Margaret Solow will set you back $580.
Alec Stuart and Celeste Wright struck up a conversation about indie fashion on the G train. The result is the appropriately titled Stuart & Wright, a retro space that used to be a dry cleaners (the sign still remains). Local creative types shop for neighborhood lines from Mina Stone and Ariana Bohling, as well as Stuart & Wright's eponymous collection. Feed your Opening Ceremony and Vena Cava fix here too. Prices range from $50 for S2A tees and to $1000 for fine jewelry by Elisa Solomon.
Thistle and Clover, 221 Dekalb Avenue (between Clermont and Adelphi)
From spare looks by NYC downtown staples like Cloak and Dagger, Marais USA shoes, and Catbird baubles to its sleek vintage décor, simple femininity is the essence of Thistle and Clover. The store has become a community fixture with its "Tailor Event Night" trunk shows. Also worth checking out is the Nightwood Furniture line and the quarterly designer open calls for new talent. Get leggings for $30, or spend $385 for a dress by Cloak and Dagger.
A favorite for the Pratt hipsterati, Barking Brown pumps up the volume with thumping house music and jewelry from NYC's Erica Weiner, plus a wide array of hats from Goorin Brothers, Grace, and UK import Christy's. Across the street is its sister location, BYME, where you can shop for less: shoes, dresses and home décor are mostly under $100.
Stem, 112 South Oxford Street (between Lafayette and Fulton)
Stem, which blossomed last year, fills the neighborhood's much needed floral void. Get fresh cut bouquets and antiques in a space filled with reclaimed materials, such as floorboards made from wood salvaged from an upstate New York barn. Prices range from $2 for a stem tulip to $105 for handmade scarves.
You might mistake RePop for an old museum, with mannequins in period dress and mint-condition bric-a-brac all residing in a crazily colored recreation of a swinging '60s pad. There's definitely some exhibition-worthy finds like a cozy hat, a Mondrian looking Danish mosaic tile table, and some seriously cool vintage goose-neck lamps. New handcrafted costume gem jewelry from Miss Elli is thrown into the mix, hanging just above old doctor's bags. Vintage photos are a steal for a $1 while mid-century furniture can cost you up to $850.
Originally a twice-yearly fashion magazine called Dossier Journal, the idea overflowed to this pint-sized boutique, which reflects the changing taste of the editors. Art books jostle for space with vintage find from Market Publique, jewelry by Pamela Love, and limited edition totes from Zac Posen.
Plus a couple of spots to eat and drink:
Part BBQ shack, part skinny jean and Nike Dunk crowd hangout, The Smoke Joint feels likes the Fort Greene version of Cafe Gitane. Less models, more Baby Back Rib Sauce. Starters are $5, Spare Ribs start at $11.
Brought to you by the same people who did BillyBurg's Marlow & Sons, this brand new spot brings the same chillaxed vibe, just a little more grown up. Sicilian comfort food like house-made tortellini with chicory and pork or potato croquettes are served in an upscale bistro atmosphere. Get three courses for around $30.
Franks Cocktail Lounge 660 Fulton Street (at Lafayette)
Fort Greene's very own Cheers mixes it up with trustafarians, Pratt artists, and BAM regulars. $5 Heinekens go perfectly with the '80s style, killer R&B jukebox, and discarded packs of Marlboro Reds. Get here before the rest of Manhattan does.