Originally from Tamworth, Dimity Jones has lived in New York City for 25 years, 19 of those in Brooklyn, on the south side of Williamsburg – a bit cheaper, a bit grittier than the north (but not by much). She is a food stylist and cooks for the odd-200 person dinner party on request, dimityjones.com
I don't always get a chance to make time for institutionalised art, and honestly I prefer to wander the streets and see the more organic: street art, murals, graffiti, billboard art, pavement chalk art. Williamsburg North and South and even East (Bushwick) have a ton of street art and tours. Or just walk - as everyone knows, New York is a walking town, freetoursbyfoot.com/new-york-graffiti-street-art-tours/
Like most New Yorkers I don't have a car. I'm a big subway girl, and buses are the best way to see the city. Deciphering the bus maps can seem harder than deciphering the Dead Sea Scrolls but take a risk. The J, M and Z subway lines go to South Williamsburg and the view over the W'burg Bridge is not to be missed.
I go back to my must-eat list time and time again, which includes the Maple Crueler at Daily Provisions. Get in before 10.30am for a life-changing ring of fried Pate a Choux, a relative of the donut with notes of maple and cinnamon. As an Australian, I consider it my duty to eat every sausage roll I can find in New York, and I believe Butler has the best: Michelin star pastry chef/owner and friend Ryan Butler (hello!) layers the most exquisite, super-buttery puff pastry around a gorgeously marbled pork 'slab' and serves it with cilantro aioli. Drop the urge for tomato sauce, it's to-die-for. And order a cheeseburger medium rare with cheddar and thick-cut steak fries at the old, original American diner Diner. Dip the fries in the lemony mayo, and realise that all is right in the world, dailyprovisionsnyc.com, butler-nyc.com , dinernyc.com
Honestly? I find prices too prohibitive to drink out, however, Miss Favela is a Brazilian joint near the bridge with bracing Caipirinhas and a fun vibe. No one really goes there for the food, and frankly you shouldn't either. I see tourists head into Dunkin or Starbucks, near the N7th subway stop. Avoid that move if you can. There are great local coffee houses with a much better local vibe. In South Willy, I like Devocion, missfavela.com, devocion.com
I advise forgoing the cab or uber and just walk or subway it. Some areas of South Willy can get a little dodgy near the main Marcy Avenue subway stop: I've never felt threatened or in fear, but you just have to keep an eye out.