The perfect summer Sunday in Bushwick with Marshall Thompson, owner of Braven Brewing

marshall braven

Last week, we gave you an exhaustive rundown of suggestions for how to spend every freaking day of summer 2015. But we also know that there are still gonna be those lazy summer Sundays where you just want to do something without doing much of anything. Enter Brokelyn’s newest profile series, Perfect Summer Sundays.

Each week, we bring you a local personality from the borough. They tell you how they like to spend a Sunday in their neighborhood. Then, you try it on for size. Tourists, too! Gone are the empty brags of having “been to Bushwick,” or the misguided attempts to hang out where the locals do. This way, you get a taste of what the neighborhood’s all about from someone who actually lives there, and you can leave satisfied.

This week we’re taking you to Bushwick with Marshall Thompson, owner of Braven Brewing Company. Braven was founded in Bushwick in 2013, and their soft, wheat-y white IPA has been gracing bar taps around the borough ever since. Best news: next month, they’re going retail! Keep your eyes peeled for Braven bottles, six-packs and cases at the bodega starting in July.

Thompson’s perfect summer Sunday in Bushwick starts off slow, with an iced coffee and a pastry from Variety Coffee (146 Wyckoff Avenue). Why it’s great: “They roast their own beans on a large, Space Age-looking machine in the back of the shop. There’s no need to add milk or sugar to the iced coffee—it’s perfect on its own.” That, and the long, eastern-facing windows at Variety let in just the right amount of morning light to nurse your hangover back to health.


A quiet, contemplative Sunday starts at Variety. via Facebook
A quiet, contemplative Sunday starts at Variety. via Facebook

Want something more filling to kickstart your morning? Thompson says variety’s the name of the game in Bushwick. “Last week, Braven participated in Taste of Bushwick, where all of our favorite restaurants convened to showcase some of their best dishes. It was spectacular to see (and taste) it all, and damn near impossible to choose just one.” Thompson’s must-try picks in the nabe: the burger at Fritzl’s Lunch Box (173 Irving Avenue), the chicken biscuit at Heavy Woods (50 Wyckoff Avenue), the cheesy grits at Montana’s Trail House (455 Troutman Street), and the waffled mac ‘n cheese at Arrogant Swine (173 Morgan Avenue).

The food selection may be heavenly, but it’s certainly not the only reason to take a train to Bushwick. After your greasy breakfast/brunch, put on your walking shoes and head out on a walking tour of the neighborhood’s fantastic street art.

“Bushwick has become synonymous with street art over the past three years,” Thompson tells us, “thanks to the efforts of Joe Ficalora, who founded the Bushwick Collective. He curates the walls that adorn the warehouses, factories, and other buildings around the neighborhood with pieces by artists who now fly here from all over the world just to have the privilege of painting huge murals in our neighborhood.”


Hand of Protest, by Dasic Fernandez. via flickr user Shawn Hoke
“Hand of Protest” at Wyckoff & Troutman, by Dasic Fernandez. Via flickr user Shawn Hoke

Since the art is constantly changing, your best bet is just to wander around for a few hours, getting lost among the myriad murals. But for those of you with more of an are-we-there-yet? mentality, Thompson points to the stretch of Troutman Street between Wyckoff Avenue and St. Nicholas Avenue. “It’s got the best concentration.”

For a rainy-day alternative, try Brooklyn Brush Studios (203 Harrison Place), says Thompson. “They always have a diverse range of talented artists using all matters of media. I think the neon art by Annesta Le is among my favorites.”


The Rookery: like an open-air pied-a-terre. Via Facebook
The Rookery: like an open air pied-à-terre. via Facebook

When happy hour hits on Sunday and it’s time to watch the sun set, Thompson goes for good craft and good company—on a back patio, of course. “I love sitting at The Rookery (425 Troutman Street) with a large pint of beer, some nice tunes, and great company. And beyond one of the best craft beer selections in the neighborhood, Left Hand Path (89 Wyckoff Avenue) has some of the friendliest bartenders you’ll ever meet.”

And for a last late-night snack before you go to bed and dream of a day well-spent in Bushwick, Thompson can’t get enough of the taco carts outside the Myrtle-Wyckoff L station. “They’re some of the best and most authentic in the neighborhood—and I’m pretty sure they’re available 24 hours a day. The chorizo quesadilla is great at 7 pm, but even better at 4 am.”

Got an idea for the perfect summer Sunday in your neighborhood? Write to us!

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