66 North 6th Street, Williamsburg

When I say Brooklyn, you say Williamsburg. Brooklyn! Williamsburg! Yes, the verisimilitude of this fictitious chant is indicative of the type of gravitational pull owned by the little hipster planet called Williamsburg. And if Williamsburg is the most popular orb in our urban solar system as of late, then The Music Hall is some of the finest real estate. This converted theater is little sister to Manhattan’s Bowery Ballroom and holds all the necessary ingredients—four levels, great bands, decent sound—for a stellar evening of royal stargazing. God save the king.

125 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope

Once upon a time, there lived a 99-cent discount store that dreamed of something more. It had its hopes on becoming a rock club one day—but not just any little rock club. It wanted to be Brooklyn’s premier music venue bringing the whole gamut of musical genres to the once sleepy 5th Avenue strip of Park Slope. First came Cat Power. Then KRS-One. And TV on the Radio too. It even got a cool name: Southpaw. The underdog. The Rocky Balboa of the music scene. And its secret? Treat the musicians well and the audiences will come back for more…happily ever after.

16 Main Street, DUMBO

When Galapagos first opened on North Six Street in 1998, warehouses ruled Williamsburg. The funky art space with the indoor reflective mini-lake was way ahead of its time. It knew how to make an entrance then, and it knows how to make an exit now. Galapagos, with its eclectic tastes for everything in the arts, has moved to DUMBO (with lake et al) into a century-old horse stable on Main Street. And from the looks of it, the grandfather of contemporary Brooklyn culture is getting better with age, sporting new threads (made mostly of recycled steel and concrete), new friends (some of the most experimental theater, art, and music in town), and that same all-knowing bodhisattva smile unphased by upstarts and passersby.

alan semerdjian

Alan Semerdjian is a writer, musician, English teacher, and occasional visual artist. Besides LI Pulse, his work has appeared in Newsday, Adbusters, Chain, The Lyric Review and numerous other print and online publications, anthologies, and chapbooks. His first full-length book of poetry is In the Architecture of Bone (Genpop Books 2009). You can visit him digitally at and find out about his music at