Last Saturday evening, the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn was drenched in rain, and yet the poor weather did little to deter the crowds marching up and down Bedford Avenue, the neighborhood’s main drag. Slickers hiding their tattoo-covered arms, umbrellas obscuring their asymmetrical haircuts, young New Yorkers came out en masse — as they have for well over a decade now — in search of cheap drinks, thrift-store fashions and the latest underground bands and D.J.’s.
Despite its veneer of affordability, Williamsburg is not a neighborhood in which the Frugal Traveler often hangs out. Partly it’s because, at 35, with nary an ink stain on my body and scarcely enough hair for a symmetrical ’do, let alone an abstract one, I feel out of place among these cool kids. But it’s also because, thanks to iffy service on the L and G lines and my reluctance to take taxis, Williamsburg feels remote to me even though I live in Brooklyn — as it must to many out-of-towners, who basically have two options if they want to stay the night: find someone special to crash with, or check in to the coldly modern Hotel Le Jolie (235 Meeker Avenue; 718-625-2100; www.hotellejolie.com), one of the only hotels in the area and where weekend rates start at $254.
But last weekend I embraced Williamsburg’s pleasures with confidence, because I’d found a third way....
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