A long time ago, in a blog post so far away, we published a story about a Maspeth resident who visits Bushwick and was surprised to find what felt like an alternative universe. For our friendly readers who don’t know, Maspeth is a Queens neighborhood that borders Ridgewood, Greenpoint, and what I suppose, is technically considered East Williamsburg on Metropolitan Avenue and Maspeth Creek.
Now, New York is full of ton’s of amazing neighborhoods and Bushwick is only one of them. So we decided we should visit our neighbors and set out to Maspeth to enjoy some of their local attractions. Afterall, it’s only right up the road. As it turns out a lot of what we loved about Maspeth is what we love about Bushwick: Pizza, beer, baked goods, murals and outgoing locals. Check it out.
#1 Glendale Bakery, 6925 Grand Ave, Maspeth
vs. Gaby’s Bakery, 238 Knickerbocker Ave, Bushwick
Gaby’s bakery on Knickerbocker Ave. is one of my favorite bakeries ever, mostly because of how ridiculously cheap it is. Seriously, some of their baked goods are 50 cents. 50 cents, people! Glendale in Maspeth also offered reasonable prices on things with iced coffee only being $1.95. It was a bit frothy on the top but otherwise it was nice and cold, and just strong enough. Their cheesecakes looked super tempting too. But seeing how it was only 11 in the morning, I somehow channeled strength from somewhere deep in my soul and resisted.
The outside of Glendale Bakery is very reminiscent of old-New York.
#2 Queens Ledger, Maspeth
vs. Bushwick Daily, Bushwick
Queens Ledger is a weekly community newspaper serving all of Queens. They too, are concerned with the raising cost of rent, citing that when an estimated average of 30% of income is spent on housing, “it draws a unique causal relationship between housing and school performance. A mother who works three jobs to pay a high rent may not be able to check homework as much.” Sigh, everyone everywhere agrees: THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH! #makeitstop
#3 The Ceili House, 6956 Grand Ave, Maspeth
vs. Cain’s Tavern, 36 Wilson Ave, Bushwick
Once a guy I was dating and I had a really bad fight, broke up, and I got on the B57 impulsively in a huff, got off at the last stop, and walked into The Ceili House because it was the only place open at that hour. (It was 10 a.m.). When I arrived there was an old man who had somehow ripped off his shirt-sleeve and had it dangling from one of their lamps (???). That’s what a good pub is for: to give you a place to go when you have no place at all and make you feel like maybe you’re not so crazy.
We strolled into The Ceili House just before noon that day, and sure enough someone was sleeping on the bar because, #YOLO,. We were also greeted by the friendliest Irish man in all of the 5 boroughs. During our conversation, he told me I was the worst writer in the world because my handwriting was so bad I couldn’t even read it (it’s true, it’s why I can’t tell you his name. I tried to read what I wrote down and just no). He also bought me what was quite honestly, the worst tasting Guinness I’ve ever had in my whole life. It really was. And it suddenly made sense to me why everyone else was drinking vodka. Still, their hospitality was gracious and there’s really nothing better than kidding around with people you don’t know at a bar and making fast friends.
The worst Guinness ever, but poured with love, I assure you!
This man’s tattoo describes how The Ceili House makes you feel.
Hugs make up for bad Guinnesses and handwriting.
#4 Maspeth is America Mural, Maspeth
vs. Bushwick Collective Murals, Bushwick
The Bushwick Collective is possibly the coolest thing about Bushwick. Nothing else compares to the blocks on blocks of colorful, intricate, ever-changing murals curated by Joe Ficalora. But there’s definitely something to be said for the “Maspeth is America” mural that welcomes any incomers from the Long Island Expressway. America, baby. America.
#5 Rosa’s Pizza, 5526 69th St, Maspeth
vs. Roberta’s Pizza, 261 Moore St, Bushwick
Man, I gotta say. I do like classic New York Pizza. But that goes without saying, doesn’t it? The thing about pizza is it’s so hard to mess up, but somehow certain crusty hole-in-the-wall places manage to do just that. Rosa’s is the real deal though and more than worth the short trip. Also–there’s no wait! (I’m looking at you, Roberta’s). It’s also cheap! (Again: LOOKING AT YOU ROBERTA’S). I’d even say Rosa’s slices are some of the best in New York. Not only is their sauce full of flavor, their crust is extra long and thin a.k.a. perfect. They get pretty inventive with their slices, too. I had the Ceasar slice ($3.50), which was basically a delicious Ceasar salad sitting utop a perfectly baked pie.
While we were eating, a nice old man came up to us and said we should get drinks. Despite our protests, he got us each a Snapple and told us he had a daughter our age that died tragically so whenever he sees young girls our age, he wants to make their day better and take care of them. The community of Maspeth really likes to connect and talk to people, which is really amazing.
It’s hard not to make this face of indecision when choosing what to get.
The final look of satisfaction.
No wait, and plenty of seats.
So the next time you want to visit a new neighborhood full of friendly people, who know how to eat, drink and open their hearts, consider Maspeth. And check out these great businesses while you’re there!