Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Chasing Rainbows at the Bushwick Collective: The Ultimate Street Art Destination in New York City


If you’re a fan of street art, then you’re in luck.  There’s no shortage of it here in New York City, and all you have to do is keep your eyes open.  (Judging by how regularly people bump into me on a sidewalk, this doesn’t seem to be as regular a practice as you might think.)  Thanks to its temporary nature, graffiti is both a literal and figurative fresh coat of paint — blanketing the city with different images, styles and personalities on a regular basis.  

Searching for street art in the city is a fun pastime of ours.  We’re fortunate that New York City attracts worldwide talents who turn our streets and alleys into art galleries.  While there are treasures to be discovered all over the city, fanatics can get a huge payoff by visiting one of the most well-known hubs where street artists go to create and collaborate: the Bushwick Collective.

Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Artist: Chor Boogie
Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Artist: FKDL



Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Artist: Phetus88

Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Bushwick is a neighborhood in Brooklyn that is easily accessible via the L Train.  A trip to Bushwick takes less than a half hour from Union Square, so a quick jaunt from Manhattan is entirely manageable.  It’s open year-round, so all you need to do is dress for the weather and bring a camera.

The Bushwick Collective is a non-profit group founded in 2012 by native Joe Ficalora, who still curates the walls in the area.  It was the natural heir to graffiti mecca 5 Pointz which fell victim to gentrification.  At the Bushwick Collective, artists submit recent work, bios and concepts for review and are awarded precious space for their ideas to come to life.  

Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Artist: Louis Masai
Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Artist: Oji



Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Artists: Joe Iurato and Logan Hicks
Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Artist: Adam Fujita

A broad range of artists are represented at the Bushwick Collective. You’ll find the work of Brazilian artist Sipros and Chilean artist Dasic Fernandez.  You’ll find the distinctive signature of Austrian artist Nychos.  British pop art murals by DFace will catch your eye.  But the walls aren’t simply decorative: many contain social and political messages of our times.  Take, for example, London-based Louis Masai’s “The Art of Beeing” series, which seeks to bring attention to endangered species.  Or consider the work of Adam Fujita AKA AdamFu AKA Atoms, the creative force behind the graffiti podcast My Life in Letters. His pieces are often topical, and have included political issues like national security and impeachment.

Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Artist: Don Rimx



Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Artist: Gustavo Gutti Barrios
Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Artist: Straker

The Bushwick Collective recently held its annual block party, which provides the masses an opportunity to actually see some of the artists at work.  Food trucks line the streets, musical acts take the stage, and there is art at every turn.  It’s a fun event for those interested in a big, lively outdoor party.  (Follow their Facebook page for updates.) But be forewarned: it can get a little rowdy.  If you’re more interested in photographing the art you’re better off coming on a different day, when there aren’t as many people around.

Location:
Troutman St at Saint Nicholas Ave

Also, if you’re looking for amazing street art galleries or just the best street art in NYC, you can find additional information in our definitive guide 10 Exciting Places to Find the Best Street Art in NYC.




Pair it with:

For large groups: Tutu’s [UPDATE: PERMANENTLY CLOSED]

Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Roberta’s is Bushwick’s most famous resident and it’s a lovely place, but there’s usually a wait.  Tutu’s is a quaint little place nearby.  Thanks to picnic table seating in the back room, it accommodates large groups nicely.  Tutu’s is the definition of casual dining, with a nice selection of burgers.  Time generally moves more slowly in Bushwick, so don’t expect super speedy service.  On the plus side, that means you won’t feel rushed out the door either.  Settle in and make a night of it.

Location:
25 Bogart St

Hours:
Sun-Thu: 11:00 am -1:00 am
Fri-Sat: 11:00 am – 4:00 am



If there are just a few of you: Arepera Guacuco

Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Bushwick Collective Ultimate Street Art Destination New York City - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

This Venezuelan arepa joint has a bustling open kitchen that appears to work as rhythmically as the loud music blaring over its speakers.  There are a number of creative arepas on the menu, including a vegetarian and vegan option.  The Pabellon, which has shredded beef, cheese, sweet plantains and black beans is sublime.  The Mariscada, a tomato-based seafood stew with an arepa on the side for dipping, is also an excellent choice.  And don’t miss the popular cocada, a delightfully refreshing coconut milkshake.

Location:
44 Irving Ave

Hours:
Mon-Thu: 12:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Fri: 12:00 pm – 11:30 pm
Sat:11:00 am – 11:30 pm
Sun: 11:00 am – 10:30 pm

Like it? Pin it!

– L.

I’m done – take me back to the top!

15 thoughts on “Chasing Rainbows at the Bushwick Collective: The Ultimate Street Art Destination in New York City”

  1. I like the look of the two photos of the arepa restaurant – the storefront and the counter. Busy place. When we finally get back to the city, maybe in the fall, will I add Bushwick to the list? We’ll see….

    1. We think you’d love it, Lynn. It might not be the natural setting you’re used to, but there’s definitely a lot to see! And those arepas alone are worth the trip 😉 Thanks for reading!

  2. This seems like SO much fun – Bushwick Collective would be perfect for an afternoon date once the weather clears up! You guys always have the best ideas of things to do, after reading your blog I feel like I’m constantly adding to my ever-growing list. I’ve yet to go to Roberta’s (as a pizza lover I’m well aware how sad this is), but I LOVE arepas so Roberta’s might just have to wait until next time.

    1. That’s so sweet of you to say, we feel the same way about your blog! We fully expect you to school us on your nabe. 😉 Bushwick is definitely perfect for an outing on a sunny day. And OMG, those arepas are incredible!

  3. Oh Roberta’s, how I love thee (but the waits totally suck). Good to know about Tutu’s! I also love the street art in Bushwick — in fact, I made a special jaunt over there a year ago to check out some street art by the Montreal artist Philippe Mastrocola. Unfortunately, his art got painted over… so lesson learned – check out the street art and appreciate it in the moment, because you never know whether or not it will still be there!!

    1. SO true! Even what appear to be iconic pieces get painted over in this city. We do love that it gives more artists a chance to display their work, but yes, that means take lots of pictures of the ones you love because they may be gone tomorrow! 😉

  4. Informative post as always! many thanks guys! One qq on this: is this something we can do on our own, or is a walking tour better? I’ve read on trip advisor of a walking tour but not sure if that’s gonna be better..

    1. Hi Nupur! So happy to share 🙂 You can definitely do this on your own! If you take the L train to Bushwick and get off at Jefferson St, you’ll find great street art as soon as you exit the station. Head towards St. Nicholas and Troutman and I promise there will be plenty to see! If you need any additional assistance, feel free to reach out 😉

  5. This makes me want to go back to visit so much! You gave us a great tour of Bushwick, hopefully we can visit again to see what is new when it warms up!

    1. We are totally up for revisiting Bushwick with our Street Art Chat besties! We plan on visiting Bushwick a couple of times each year anyway to catalogue what’s changed… Which is probably everything!

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