The whole neighborhood is on the up and up and has followed that track throughout the late 90's. Galleries, restaurants and boutiques are popping up everywhere in the same fashion as your first case of chicken pox. Great place for seeing emerging street art and the most contemporary art can get. Perusing the streets will pass your soul in front of many shopping ops and eateries abound. A few stand out restaurants are, (I dabbled in them all) D.O.C. Wine Bar, on N7 and Wythe, also Aurora, rustic Italian fare, on Grand between Wythe and Kent, and finally the best bar is by far The Pencil Factory on the corner of Greenpoint Ave. and Franklin Street.(just a tad bit out of the way0
Starts in Brooklyn lands in Manhatten. Jumps the east river from the new hip to the past hip. A walk across will drop you into the lower east side from Willamsburg Brooklyn as so named. On the walk over, app. 40 minutes, you will be rewarded grand veiws of Manhatten, the river and the shorelines of both boros. There will be many aquantices doing the same whether its feet or tires below. The pedestrian path has sporadic acts of vandalism sometime reading comically. "Rush Limbaugh is a Fascict" reads one spraypainted political jab. Bike over if you want, but you better have robust calf muscles.
Enjoy the brand new pedestrian walkway that takes you over the Williamsburg Bridge. To and from the Lower East Side, you get the best of the new young culture. Delancey has some good bargain shopping, and the LES is the coolest neighborhood for small bars and little shops. Then, over the bridge you have Williamsburg; a few great little shops and a lot of young urban arts.
Hint: From the bridge, walk up Roebling until you get to North Seventh and walk two blocks over to Bedford. There you can start at the center and work your way out.