West Elm LOCAL - Greenpoint with Re Jin Lee

A typical day finds ceramicist Re Jin Lee at her studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Located at the northernmost point of the borough, this riverside neighborhood has undergone numerous changes throughout its history. Used at various times for farmland and industry, Greenpoint is now home to a thriving Polish-American community and artists who use the area’s former factories as studio spaces. Dotted with charming boutiques, delicious restaurants, and a great night’s worth of bars, this enclave is certainly worth a visit on any New York City trip. “I live and work in Greenpoint,” Re Jin says, “so my commute is short enough to walk, but long enough to pass by some of my favorite local spots to grab a bite.” We joined her for a walking tour down Greenpoint’s Manhattan Avenue to check out some of these spots—check them out below!

Shop Re Jin Lee’s ceramics on westelm.com here!

West Elm LOCAL - Greenpoint with Re Jin Lee

1154 Manhattan Ave

Located at the tip Greenpoint, this is a charming cafe that offers simple Japanese dishes in a cozy setting. On a rainy day, I get the “Soupy Rice,” Japanese rice soacked in a flavorful warm soup, topped with salmon, plum, or in this case, mustard greens. Perhaps an unconventional breakfast, but definitely a comforting and delicious way to start the day!

West Elm LOCAL - Greenpoint with Re Jin Lee

Sweetleaf Coffee
159 Freeman St, between Franklin St & Manhattan Ave

Conveniently close to a couple of bus stops, there are two things I love from this place. One of them is their delightful mini doughnut holes. They’re perfectly doughy, cinnamonny, and lightly sprinkled with sugar crystals. The other one is so dangerously effective, I have to fight my urge to get one every time I stop by. It’s called the “Voodoo Child,” their version of Vietnamese iced coffee—it’s scary strong.

West Elm LOCAL - Greenpoint with Re Jin Lee

967 Manhattan Ave

Halfway through my journey, when I realize I didn’t pack lunch, this is my emergency stop. Though their specialty sandwiches are great, I go for the on-the-go simple ham-and-cheese on a baguette. I think the secret is in the perfect amount of butter!

West Elm LOCAL - Greenpoint with Re Jin Lee

860 Manhattan Ave

Simply put, the best chai latte in the neighborhood. Not only is the chai perfect, the staff is friendly and always so welcoming.

West Elm LOCAL - Greenpoint with Re Jin Lee

I’d continue walking down Manhattan Avenue and talk about all the other snack spots I love (Charlotte’s has an amazing chocolate eclair!), but this is where I turn right and head to my studio at the historic Greenpoint terminal market!

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West Elm - BDB Ceramics Brooklyn Studio Tour

Re Jin Lee is the founder of BDB, a ceramics workshop based in Brooklyn. Follow her on Instagram and shop her products on westelm.com!

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