Koncept & J57’s Guide To Brooklyn
The hip hop MCs take us through their neighbourhood.
With the release of The Fuel, New York MCs Koncept and J57 have brought the underground back to Brooklyn. Their collaborative project, which has been in the works since the duo met working at iconic hip hop record store Fat Beats back in the day, sees these uber talented musicians pool their talent (which has already seen them work with the likes of Wu Tang Clan, The Roots and local lads Thundamentals and Tuka) to create a fresh EP to close out 2015. Koncept and J57 both call Brooklyn home, so we decided to pick their brains about their favourite spots and some hidden gems across the city.
Koncept: Brooklyn just has so many awesome spots. In Bay Ridge they have the best cheesesteaks in NY at a spot called Philadelphia Grille on 100th street & 3rd Ave. I’m telling you, even better than a lot of spots in Philly. Sorry, Philly. If you’re in Brooklyn and have a date, take a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, preferably do it on a weekday so it’s not too crowded. Start on the Manhattan side and when you get to the other side check out the Brooklyn Promenade.
J57: It’s easily Panino Rustico in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn – which is the part of Brooklyn where I live. It’s the Mrs and my favourite place to go in Brooklyn. I pretty much always order egg, bacon and cheese on an everything panini – it’s incredible. Love that place. Went there earlier today!
Favourite place to end a (long) night
Koncept: Well, in NY we don’t close at 2am. So it’s usually around 4am. I suggest going to Crocodile Lounge on 14th street in Manhattan. You get a free personal pan pizza with every drink you order. They give you a ticket and you go in the back where they have a brick oven and give you a fresh hot delicious pizza!
Favourite day trip
J57: I’d say we go to my hometown on Long Island; Smithtown. It’s approximately 45 minutes from Brooklyn. On the way we’d stop in Queens to pay my boys that own a dope skateboard/clothing boutique called Belief, a visit and cop some gear! The first thing we’d do is hit up my favourite bar in Smithown, Faraday’s. Love it there; super relaxed and laid back environment, great food, great service – day drinking at its finest. After that, we’d stop by my favourite record store, Mr Cheapo’s, which is about 10 minutes away. Then we’d close out a fun day at Dave & Busters – a video game arcade for adults…with a huge bar on the premises.
Favourite place to swim
Koncept: There’s a cool pool at The Gansevoort Hotel. I had a friend who worked there so I would go hang out and get some drinks and burgers. But even if it’s not free, it’s worth going to. The vibe is chill, the food and drinks are good, and you have an awesome view. Plus The Standard Hotel rooftop is right across so you can yell at people from across the way.
Favourite hidden gem
J57: I just went to one part of NYC that I’ve never been to in my entire life of being a New Yorker: Roosevelt Island. It was awesome, such a dope little ”town” vibe over there AND it’s actually quiet! You don’t get quiet anywhere in New York City, trust me, it drives close to insanity all the time haha. I love the Riverwalk Bar & Grill on Roosevelt Island – the food, service and drinks were amazing.
Don’t leave without…
Koncept: Eating tacos from La Esquina. Don’t go into the restaurant downstairs though. Get them from the window that’s on the street. More selection and way more delicious.
Best meal under $10
J57: Peking Kitchen aka my favourite Chinese food spot in NYC, which happens to be relatively close to where I live. I’ve been eating healthy for the most part of the past few years but at least once a month, I gotta get food from this place. They make the best General Tso’s chicken, ever. Always cures a bad hangover, too.