Choosing where to live is one of the most difficult and important decisions a person makes. Everyone has a different idea about what the perfect neighborhood to live in is like. Some of us want to be close to the action and live in a bustling city environment. Others make safety or natural beauty their top priority. For some, being around like-minded peers is very important and for others cultural diversity is a must in choosing a location to call home. It is rare in this world to find something that truly has something for everyone, every taste and preference, but that is exactly what we have in the borough of Brooklyn, New York. There are some exceptions of course, you won’t find a sprawling farm with a barn and pastures, but when it comes to life in New York City there is no place with the variety of Brooklyn.
What we know as the borough of Brooklyn today has a long and very interesting past. The area was originally inhabited by a Native American tribe known as the Lenape. The Lenape were an agricultural people who inhabited much of the New England area. When Europeans came to the area the Lenape became very active in the fur trade. As more and more settlers came into their territories the land began to trade hands and the population was moved westward. The largest remaining populations of Lenape peoples are currently in Ontario, Canada. The Dutch were the first to colonize the area now known as Brooklyn. In 1624 the colonies of Midwout (Midwood) and Vlacke Bos (Flatbush) were established. [expand title=”Read More”]In the following years the Dutch population continued to grow and expand along with what was then called New Netherland. The Village of Breuckelen was authorized by the Dutch West Indies Company in 1646, and named for a Dutch city in the province of Utrecht. At that time there were several other villages in the area, like Boswijk (Bushwick) and Nieuw Utrecht (New Utrecht). These villages and several others would eventually be incorporated into the borough that we know today.
By the end of the 17th century the Dutch had lost New Netherland to the British who then went about reorganizing and renaming the area. The British turned New Netherland into the Province of New York and divided it into 12 counties. One of those counties was Kings County, named for King Charles II of England. The name “Brooklyn” was the product of an evolution that took years and saw derivations such as Brockland and Brookline before settling on the final and current spelling. There are still some buildings and cemeteries in Brooklyn that reflect this period of the borough’s history. Street names in Brooklyn also reflect many of the influential cultures and individuals that resided in the area and helped develop and grow it to the thriving borough it is today. Brooklyn is also the site of the first major battle of the Revolutionary War after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Battle of Long Island (also known as the Battle of Brooklyn) was fought on August 27, 1776. George Washington may have lost that battle, but he did get his men off of the island intact, keeping the Continental Army alive to fight another day and win freedom for our country. The early 1800’s were a time of tremendous growth for Brooklyn, especially along the East River waterfront across from New York City. Population rose steadily and quickly, and in 1854 the City of Williamsburg was annexed by the City of Brooklyn. The building of rail links, like the Brighton Beach Line (1878), added another boost to the growth of the area and the City of Brooklyn added several more neighborhoods to it boundaries. By the end of the 19th century Brooklyn had reached its municipal boundaries at the edge of Kings County.
The last part of the century also saw the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge, which began operation in 1883. This allowed residents to travel easily back and forth to Manhattan, something many Brooklynites still do every day. In 1894 the residents voted to take part in the consolidation efforts and become a borough of the City of New York along with Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens and Richmond (Staten Island). This took effect in 1898, but Kings County remained a county of the State of New York. Brooklyn’s rich historical background is preserved by the Brooklyn Historical Society, which operates a museum, library and educational center devoted to furthering knowledge about the area’s importance in the founding of the United States and the people who have inhabited the land we now call Brooklyn.
Today many people look to Brooklyn as a wonderful place to live because of its proximity to Manhattan’s commerce. It is true that many residents of Brooklyn spend their days working in Manhattan, but that doesn’t mean Brooklyn is a bedroom community. The borough has an ever-growing population of 24/7 residents who have no problem whatsoever finding everything they need and more to live and work in Brooklyn. If you are looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the Manhattan day, Brooklyn is a natural choice. The amount of transportation options available within Brooklyn and heading out of the borough toward other parts of the city are astounding. The New York City Subway system has an extensive network of trains operating, some of which can get a commuter from certain parts of the borough over to Manhattan in a matter of a few moments. The commuter also has the romantic option of taking a water taxi, like the one that operates from Fulton Landing in DUMBO. Finally, for public transport, several local and express buses can be utilized. If you want to drive yourself one tunnel and two bridges, including the iconic Brooklyn Bridge can carry you across the East River to Manhattan, and back home to the relative quaintness of Brooklyn.
But a place is certainly not defined by how easy it is to get into or out of. When choosing where to live most of us considers what kind of amenities and attractions are close by, as well as the overall feel of the neighborhood. The neighborhoods of Brooklyn are as diverse in culture as any place you’ll find on Earth. As a matter of fact, the motto of Brooklyn is “Eendraght Maekt Maght,” which is early Dutch for “Unity makes strength.” From the thriving Orthodox Hasidic Jewish community in Borough Park to the African American cultural hub of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn is a perfect example of the melting pot that is America. There are pockets of a certain culture here and there, but Brooklyn is also a credit to the ability of people from all over the world to come together and live side by side in peace and harmony. When people immigrate they bring with them little pieces of their homelands and we are all better for it, especially when it comes to finding something different and delicious to eat.
In Brooklyn you’ll find the best kosher delis serving up mountainous piles of corned beef, you’ll have your choice of probably hundreds of mom and pop Italian delis and diners, and that’s just the beginning. Brooklyn’s Chinatown is growing steadily, so if dim sum and hot pot sound good to you, you’re never far in Brooklyn. There are simply too many different ethnicities and nationalities who call Brooklyn home to list, but there are a few that should be mentioned. Russians and Ukrainians have made Brighton Beach into a new home (some call it “Little Odessa” or “Little Russia”). There is a large number of Caribbean peoples in Brooklyn and certain times of the year you might hear the cheerful sounds of a steel drum and see a colorful parade. Italians, Puerto Ricans, Irish and so many more heritages are well represented in the cultural melting pot of Brooklyn. You can practically travel the world by subway and never leave the borough.
Another aspect most people want to know about in choosing a home is access to parks and green spaces. Living and working in the concrete jungle can be stressful and leave us in need of an open space with grass to walk on and trees to admire. Brooklyn’s parks are second to none. Every neighborhood has its own special parks with playgrounds, athletics fields and more, but the crown jewel of Brooklyn parks is the expansive and verdant Prospect Park. Prospect Park is 585 acres of natural beauty designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux, the same designers as Central Park in Manhattan. The park has several amenities, like a zoo, the Picnic House, which is open to parties, and the historic Litchfield Villa. But the central attraction at Prospect Park is the Long Meadow, a sprawling 90 acres of grassy meadow. Where better to unwind on the weekend or after a day at the office.
The number and quality of the parks make Brooklyn a good choice for families, and those families who call Brooklyn home also have several educational options open to them. New York City Public Schools operate in all parts of the borough. Many of these schools have consistently performed at or above the city and national averages on standardized tests like the SAT. One highlight of the public schools in Brooklyn is Brooklyn Technical High School, often called Brooklyn Tech, the largest high school specializing in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in all of the United States. Brooklyn Tech has been in its current location across from Fort Greene Park since the early 30’s and is known for producing successful and famous alumni, including two Nobel Laureates. There are also many different kinds of private educational institutions in Brooklyn. There are many yeshiva as well as other religion based schools. The number of choices a student and their parents face is daunting, but it also ensures that every child gets the best opportunity to excel and meet their potential. Higher education is also abundant in Brooklyn.
There are several institutions in Brooklyn that cater to all different sorts and receive national recognition year after year. Princeton Review has ranked Brooklyn College, a liberal arts college, in the top ten of America’s Best Value Colleges several times. Just to mention a few more and give a good sense of the educational diversity present in Brooklyn, we have Brooklyn Law School, Kingsborough Community College (named one of the best community colleges in the United States by the New York Times), Pratt Institute, a leading school in art, design and architecture, Polytechnic Institute of NYU and St. Francis College, one of the most diverse colleges in the United States and a Forbes Magazine ranked best baccalaureate institution. There are still more colleges to choose from, large and small — these are just a few of the stand outs.
Of course, before you can decide on where to eat or where to put the kids in school, you have to decide what type of housing you need, or want. There are so many different neighborhoods in Brooklyn with different atmospheres and architectural styles. The one type of building that most people associate with Brooklyn is the ever popular brownstone. There is certainly no shortage of these Brooklyn icons. They can be found in just about every part of the borough. You may want to rent or buy, either way you will have plenty of locations to choose from till you’ve found the ideal brownstone for you. But Brooklyn is so much more than a bunch of brownstone buildings. Brooklyn has been inhabited by European people for hundreds of years and that long history has left its mark in the architecture. Italianate, Neo-Greco, Victorian and Renaissance Revival are just a few of the styles you’ll find spread across the borough. During the last decade there has been a movement in Brooklyn of people purchasing and completely restoring these old homes to their original beauty and glory. The result has been street after street of lovingly kept old homes. There are many historical districts throughout the borough, but because of the influx of people willing to buy and refurbish some of these old gems, there are areas that rival the historic charm of the actual historic districts. These townhouses may be detached single or multiple family homes, semi-detached or attached row houses. Once again, buying or renting, you’ll have your pick of a piece of history and call it home.
There is not a shortage of apartments, condos in Brooklyn, either. Condo buildings range from renovated industrial buildings to high rise luxury units. In order to attract buyers and renters these buildings make themselves competitive by offering the utmost in amenities. Parking and 24 hour security can help you feel safe while a private balcony with stunning views of the water and/or the Manhattan skyline can greet you in the morning or give you a place to relax at the end of a long day. Condominium developers know what people are looking for in a place to call their own, and that has been brilliantly reflected in many of the condos on the market today. Hardwood floors, big windows, tall ceilings, stainless steel appliances and natural stone countertops have become standard. Another feature popular in Brooklyn condo buildings is the shared rooftop terrace, so even if you find the perfect unit that only lacks a balcony, you can always take in the air from the roof. Brooklyn is a borough with a history of industry.
Many of those industries have come and gone, leaving large empty buildings that would go into disrepair because of simple neglect. With the rise of demand for housing in Brooklyn and other parts of the city, developers and real estate speculators looked to those old husks of buildings and saw opportunity. Now we have a multitude of fantastic loft apartments in these industrial-cum-residential buildings. Popular with artists as working and living spaces, the typical industrial loft apartment has floor to ceiling windows to allow natural light into the cavernous space. If a loft apartment is not exactly what you have in mind, don’t’ worry. In Brooklyn you can find an apartment in everything from small buildings to high rise developments with two, three or more bedrooms and plenty of amenities to make you feel comfortable.
Once you’ve settled in to the place that’s right for you, you will no doubt want to venture out and explore everything your new neighborhood has to offer, and where better to start than doing some shopping. Brooklyn has become a shopping destination for many people. There are streets in all neighborhoods that are becoming more and more densely populated with boutiques and specialty shops for the shopper’s perusing pleasure. You can find some truly unique items for your new home and for your closet in the many shops of Brooklyn. Some of the more interesting areas to go for a little shopping stroll include Chinatown in Sunset Park where goods from the Far East can be found and haggled over. You might also find it interesting to go through the neighborhood of Borough Park with its many shops specializing in Jewish goods like books, wigs, clothing and other necessities, not to mention the kosher delis. Brooklyn has a very large number of small businesses, some run by the third and fourth generations of a family, which gives the neighborhoods a small town feel. But that doesn’t mean Brooklyn is without big name chain stores.
One prime example is the Ikea located in Redhook, where you can pour over what seems like acres of home goods and stylish yet simple Swedish furniture. What shopping trip would be complete without a trip to the grocer to fill the refrigerator? You could always go to a big chain grocer, but that won’t give you the same intimate feeling of shopping in a store where you can get to know the owners, the man cutting your meat and the lady baking your bread. Brooklyn has kept its old world charm in the sense that most people still buy their food from small markets. It may be easy to go to a place where you can get everything in one stop, but it lacks the ambiance and enjoyment of making more stops to get the best of whatever you’re looking for. And most neighborhoods in Brooklyn have farmers’ markets where you can get locally sourced and grown produce and other goods straight from the source.
Now that we’ve settled in and done some shopping we can begin to look into the culture available. Brooklyn has long been a haven for artists and that trend is not showing any signs of slowing down. Artist enclaves like Williamsburg and DUMBO have been producing visual arts for the public’s enjoyment for years. You can go out and see some of the creativity going on in those big loft apartments by visiting galleries in Wlliamsburg and Brooklyn Museum in Prospect Heights. If great theatre is your passion you will have an opportunity to see internationally acclaimed productions at the Brooklyn Academy of music in Fort Greene. If the visual arts don’t do it for you, there are plenty of opportunities in Brooklyn to hear music of all kinds.
Many of the artistic neighborhoods have venues for local and big acts. With the growing popularity and notoriety of Brooklyn in the arts world, more and more big artists are making stops to play in Brooklyn’s clubs and theaters. But you don’t even have to pay the price for a ticket to a concert if you don’t want to. There are places where you can catch free concerts in parks and other venues in Brooklyn. Prospect Park has a summer concert series that is free to the public and Fulton Landing features Bargemusic, a free classical music concert series that also runs during the summer months. So there you have it. Brooklyn is a place with history that remains a vibrant part of the present and promises to be an important part of the future of New York City and the country. Move to Brooklyn and you’ll be living in the midst of artists and scholars. You will be insulated from the hectic Manhattan streets while enjoying every convenience and luxury a person could want in living in the greatest city on Earth, New York. [/expand]
Brooklyn neighborhoods are some of the most aesthetically pleasing neighborhoods anywhere. Tree-lined streets are fairly common, like the ones in Brooklyn Heights, where in addition to arboreal beauty you can take a walk along The Promenade, a half mile stretch along the waterfront with panoramic views. Boerum Hill is one neighborhood known for its trendy shopping venues, where you can find hip new styles and eco-conscious cafes. [expand title=”Read More”]One of the most notable historic neighborhoods is Cobble Hill, whose 22 square block Historic District holds a plethora of architectural styles, all of which have been lovingly preserved. Carroll Gardens is home to one unique aspect in Brooklyn homes. The neighborhood has brownstones that are set some 30 to 40 feet from the street creating large front gardens that are not typical of plot layouts in the borough.
Many neighborhoods, like Clinton Hill which is famous for its mansions, offer a broad spectrum of housing options. Everything from mansions to single-family detached homes, row houses and studio apartments can appear in the same neighborhood. Prices in some of the most popular artistic communities have seen an increase in recent years, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some great deals to be found. The neighborhood of Greenpoint, which neighbors Williamsburg, is home to some of the borough’s best deals and a bourgeoning art community. Prospect Heights has seen a very strong trend of renovations as well as new building, making it a shining example of Brooklyn: historic, hip and with a bright future ahead. [/expand]
Bath Beach is an Uptown neighborhood within the Upper East Side, bounded by 86th Street on the south, 110th Street on the north, Lexington Avenue and Fifth Avenue (Central Park) on the east and west respectively. This quiet, old-world neighborhood is named after the mansion that steel magnate Bath Beach built at Fifth Avenue and 91st Street way back in 1901. The former mansion is now the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Even today, there are still quite a number of classic and gracious mansions standing in the area but a lot of these have been converted to schools and large apartments such as the Smithers’ Mansion and the French Lyceum on 95th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenue.
The neighborhood has a diverse blend of architectural landscape built over two centuries of continuous development, including tall residential apartment complexes, luxurious mansions and large townhouses occupied by opulent families. Even a number of large wooden homes still stand in the area. Bath Beach is one of Manhattan’s expensive neighborhoods, not to mention one of the most prestigious. It is known for its family-friendly environment which attracts not only the rich but also the famous. Notable residents include husband & wife Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Kevin Kline, Bette Midler and Katie Couric. The suburban atmosphere of Bath Beach is evident everywhere you go. Fine dining, gourmet restaurants, bars, lounges and upscale boutiques are easily accessible. Walk the length of Madison Avenue’s northern strip and you’ll find similar stores residing next to each other including various boutiques that sell clothes for children. Bath Beach is also home to several schools including Hunter College High School, a secondary school for intellectually gifted students and a private college-preparatory day school for girls. It is also home to the Guggenheim Museum and the Jewish Museum.
Bath Beach Community Information: The total number of households currently living in the Bath Beach community is 29,225 while the total number of family households is 10,766 with an average family size of 3.03. The median age of the population is 37.52. An estimated 25,457 males and 30,553 females make up the total population where an estimated 37% graduated from college. On average, the annual household income is $108,825.
Bay Ridge is in the southwestern section of Brooklyn. It is bordered by Sunset Park, Dyker Heights, The Narrows Strait and Fort Hamilton. The neighborhood has a wide variety of real estate possibilities. No matter what you are looking for, it can most likely be found in Bay Ridge. There are houses for sale, condos, apartments for rent and of course beautiful homes that afford views of the Verrazano Bridge and the New York Bay. Many of these homes were built by the original inhabitants of the area and lie along the scenic and tree-lined Shore Road, also known as Brooklyn’s Gold Coast, a reference to the extravagance of the mansions along the waterfront. In April of 2011 Bay Ridge was chosen as “Editor’s Pick” in This Old House Magazine as a good place to buy an old house. If you’re not in the market for a palatial mansion along the Gold Coast, there are still many desirable options in the Bay Ridge neighborhood. There are many multi-family brick homes in the area, several of which have garages and basements. These are either detached or semi-detached homes.
This scenic neighborhood by the bay also boasts well-maintained single-family stucco, limestone or brick homes. For those looking for a bit more of a modern feel, there are some new luxury condos in the works for the neighborhood, as well as many move-in ready condos and co-op buildings with apartments for sale. The amenities in these buildings vary, but may include elevators, laundry rooms and doormen. For the renter, there are also several apartment options in Bay Ridge buildings, including some architecturally interesting structures. Bay Ridge is a neighborhood with a strong family presence. It is not uncommon to meet families who have lived in the neighborhood for up to four generations. Originally inhabited by Norwegian, Irish and Italian immigrants, the area began to see a more culturally diverse population in the 1990’s.
The Norwegian influence is still strongly felt in Bay Ridge, with the Norwegian Constitution Day Parade, which culminates with the crowning of “Miss Norway” at the Leif Erikson statue, being held annually along Fifth Avenue. Bay Ridge also contains a library, run by Brooklyn Public Library, which underwent a 2.1 million dollar renovation in 2004. The neighborhood is serviced by New York City Public Schools as well as several parochial and other private educational institutions. Transportation is easily accessed in Bay Ridge, with the Belt Parkway and Gowanus Expressway very close. The New York Subway operates the R train of the Fourth Avenue line in Bay Ridge. The neighborhood is also serviced by the MTA express bus which is frequented by those residents commuting to Manhattan. Bay Ridge is a beautiful, well-established neighborhood with million dollar views. The neighborhood boasts unique “Step Streets,” the blissful Owl’s Head Park with a dog run and a concrete skate park, the 69th Street pier which draws fishermen from surrounding neighborhoods and boroughs and the comfort and security so many of us look for in a place to live.
Bedford Stuyvesant (locally known as Bed-Stuy) is situated in central Brooklyn. It borders Williamsburg along Flushing Avenue, Clinton Hill along Classon Avenue, Bushwick and East New York on Broadway and Crown Heights to the south along Atlantic Avenue. Bedford-Stuyvesant is synonymous with one thing: brownstones. These beautiful historic buildings are spread throughout the neighbourhood and have been treated very well over the years. Even though they share a common name in the architecture you will still find a high level of uniqueness in each and every home. With that said there has been a painstaking attempt by owners who have maintained and preserved many of the original features of these classic homes, like hand-crafted crown molding, brick fireplaces and shutters.
The most notable area of Bedford-Stuyvesant for brownstones is the Stuyvesant Heights historic district, whose verdant tree-lined streets are arguably some of the most stunning in all of New York, but many wonderful two and three family brownstones can be found all through the neighborhood. So whether you’re looking to rent or buy, there are opportunities for everyone to live in one of these historic buildings. Bedford-Stuyvesant is an area rich with history. The neighborhood was the first major settlement in what was once called the “Village of Brooklyn” and gets the Stuyvesant portion of its name from Peter Stuyvesant, the last governor of the Dutch colony New Netherland. In more recent history the neighborhood has played an important role in African American history. At the Weeksville Heritage Center you can learn about the 19th century African-American community that was established in what is now the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. While the past is rich, the neighborhood does have modern buildings too.
Condos, lofts and apartments for sale or rent can be found in newer construction buildings. These spacious, airy lofts are the ideal place to reflect on the neighborhood’s storied past while appreciating its modern day influence on pop culture. Public transportation of course is readily available in Bedford-Stuyvesant with several New York City Transit buses serving the area along with the IND Fulton Street line, the IND Crosstown line, the BMT Jamaica line and two stations of the Long Island Railroad at Nostrand and East New York. With its award-winningly beautiful tree-lined streets, elegantly historic brownstone homes, long, rich past and prominent place in modern pop culture, Bedford-Stuyvesant, or Bed-Stuy, is an exciting yet relaxing place to call home.
The neighborhoods of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach are situated on the southern end of Brooklyn between Gravsend, Midwood, Borough Park and Dyker Heights. The roads forming the border of the neighborhoods are Gravesend Bay to the south, Avenue P and Bay Parkway on the east, 65th Street to the north and 14th Avenue on the west. The area owes its name to the former president of Brooklyn Gas, Arthur W. Benson, who began to buy the farmland that occupied the area in 1835. From then until about 1850 Benson sold off large plots of the land and began creating a community to be known as Bensonhurst by the Sea, which is currently Bath Beach. Today Bensonhurst-Bath Beach is an area made up predominately of row houses in which condos have recently begun to gain popularity. One and two family homes of brick or stucco can also be found in Bensonhurst-Bath Beach. These homes often have beautiful, private backyard gardens where residents can escape from the concrete streets to a lush, green sanctuary.
Many of these secret gardens are bordered by an elegant remnant of the areas past, artisan-crafted black wrought iron fences. Bensonhurst-Bath Beach is an area of ethnic diversity. Long a stronghold neighborhood of Italian-Americans, the Bensonhurst-Bath Beach neighborhoods are still known as the main “Little Italy” of Brooklyn. According to the 2000 Census, there is still an Italian-speaking population 20,000 residents strong. You’re likely to hear Italian being spoken as you take a stroll along 18th Avenue, the neighborhood’s principle thoroughfare, where you’ll find dozens of mom-and-pop Italian cafes and delis. You can also get a taste of Italy during the neighborhoods annual Santa Rosalia Festival, a celebration that is said to rival the festivities of Manhattan’s San Gennaro Festival. There is also an emerging Chinatown in the area located between 18th Avenue and Stillwell. While it is not as concentrated as other Chinatowns in Brooklyn and elsewhere, increasing immigration has seen a rise in Cantonese businesses and population clusters.
Put your taste buds to the test at Spicy Bampa, where the fiery hot pot is the order of the day. Bensonhurst and Bath Beach are served by two branches of the New York City Subway system: the elevated D-line, also known as the BMT West End Line (featured in the opening sequence of Welcome Back, Kotter), which has stops at 62nd, 71st, 79th, 18th and 20th streets as well as Bay Parkway and 25th Avenue and the open-cut N-line, also known as the BMT Sea Beach Line, with stops at Fort Hamilton Parkway, New Utrecht, 18th and 20th avenues and Bay Parkway. Life in the Bensonhurst-Bath Beach neighborhoods blends the past with the present, local with immigrant flavors. It’s the kind of place where you can get to know shopkeepers and green grocers at local farmer’s markets dine casually at a neighborhood cafe or escape into your own little back yard garden space to unwind and relax.
Boerum Hill is a small neighborhood in the northwest section of Brooklyn. It is bordered by the neighborhoods of Park Slope, Gowanus, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Downtown Brooklyn and Fort Greene. Boerum Hill is known for its 19th century row houses and brownstones, many of which are duplexes in which owners rent the portion of the home they aren’t living in. The central location and quick access to the downtown Brooklyn area and many other attractions make Boerum Hill a popular place to be.
The historic district of Boerum Hill is a small area full of beautifully renovated Victorian townhomes and rowhouses. In addition to the older buildings there are newer, more modern places that have been built in the last few decades and some still going up today where those looking to rent or buy a condo can find what they are looking for. Large windows and outdoor living spaces like terraces are common in these homes. Boerum Hill is a hip neighborhood replete with unique shops, trendy cafes and numerous art studios. Take a stroll along Atlantic Avenue where you can buy “Zen Pants” at Omala, an active wear shop or get a scoop of all-natural ice cream made with locally sourced milk at Blue Marble. Locals in the area pride themselves on having helped to make their neighborhood fun and friendly and are noticeably eco-conscious as bicycles are the chosen mode of transportation for many. While the area is popular with the young, hip crowd, it is also becoming increasingly attractive to families.
The Brooklyn High School for the Arts, the first and only school in the United States to offer a major in Historic Preservation, is located in Boerum Hill on Dean Street. Like many of the neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Boerum Hill derives its name from the family that owned the land as a colonial farm. The word “hill” though is a misnomer as the area is actually built up on what was once a swamp and is lower than the surrounding neighborhoods. There was once a Boerum Hill which was strategically important during the Revolutionary War, but it has long since been flattened. Boerum Hill is spoiled in terms of public transportation. Ten different subway lines make a stop at the Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street station and six more stop at the Borough Hall-Court Street station. The area is also served by the F and G trains for commuters heading to Midtown or Queens. But even with all of those ways to get out of Boerum Hill, you won’t want to go anywhere once you have settled in to this welcoming and artistic neighborhood.
Borough Park, sometimes spelled Boro Park, is a large neighborhood in the southwest section of Brooklyn. The boundaries of this neighborhood are made up of Fort Hamilton Parkway in the west, McDonald Avenue in the north, McDonald Avenue and Bay Parkway in the east and 60th Street in the south. Other neighborhoods surrounding Borough Park include Kensington, Greenwood, Sunset Park, Dyker Heights and Mapleton. Borough Park is perhaps most well-known for its largely Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish population.
The neighborhood has one of the largest Orthodox Jewish populations outside of Israel and has been nicknamed by some as the Jewish capital of the United States. This can be seen in most every aspect of the neighborhood, from its more than 300 religious institutions, its wealth of small, family-run shops to the large, mostly brick homes with several bedrooms to accommodate the average of more than six children per household. Space is at a premium in Borough Park so most of the homes you will find will be three, four or even five story structures that utilize every available inch of the lots they sit on. There are a few single family detached homes to be found, but more common are large, brick multi-family homes that extend nearly to the sidewalk. The main commercial strips in Borough Park run along 13th and 16th Avenues. You won't find many big name chain stores here, but there is certainly no shortage of kosher delis and grocers as well as many other religiously themed stores selling hats, wigs, books and other items. You won't be shopping here on a Saturday though, as shops close down for the Sabbath. Borough Park is most definitely a family neighborhood.
The crime rate in the neighborhood is lower than much of New York with Shomrim, a local volunteer security and neighborhood watch group, a strong and comforting presence. There are numerous religious schools in the neighborhood as well as schools run by the New York Public Schools system that have performed above city averages. You'll also notice an abundance of strollers on the sidewalks. Nearby Maimonides Medical Center is said to deliver more babies than any other hospital in the state. Again, this is a reflection of the Hasidic culture in which it is traditional to raise very large families. It is also traditional for those children to settle near their parents when they have grown. This can make it a bit of a challenge to find properties in Borough Park, but things have gotten better in this area in recent years. At one time houses stayed on the market for about one month, but that time has increased helping to ease prices and availability. There are also some apartments available in Borough Park with efforts to provide more affordable housing being made. Finding a property in Borough Park can be a challenge, but it is one that many people find to be more than worth the effort.
Brighton Beach is a small neighborhood along the water in the southernmost part of Brooklyn. Its boundaries are formed by Ocean Parkway to the west, Corbin Place to the east, Belt Parkway to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. The neighborhoods of Coney Island, Manhattan Beach and Gravesend surround Brighton Beach. The neighborhood owes its name to the English resort town of Brighton. In 1868 William A. Engeman developed the area as a beach resort with the Hotel Brighton as its anchor at what is now the base of Coney Island Avenue. Brighton Beach became a part of the City of Brooklyn in 1894 and was redeveloped over the following years as a densely populated residential community. Many of the residents at that time were first and second generation Jewish-American immigrants. Kosher delis and restaurants are still numerous in the neighborhood and places like Mrs. Stahl's Knishes are still bringing in the regulars. There are many different housing options in Brighton Beach.
Those looking to buy or rent will not have a problem finding something that suits their exact needs. There are wood frame and red brick detached single-family homes for sale in the neighborhood representing a variety of architectural styles from throughout the neighborhood's past. There are many multi-family buildings in Brighton Beach also open to rent or to purchase. Apartment hunters will not have a problem locating a nice co-op, studio or two to three bedroom apartment in a mid-rise building in Brighton Beach, and for a neighborhood that sits on the water, the price of some of these places can be surprisingly affordable. Brighton Beach is a neighborhood with a diversely ethnic population. Sometimes called Little Odessa for the large Russian speaking population from the Ukrainian city,
Brighton Beach is home to a vast array of cultures. The main commercial area lies along Brighton Beach Avenue and the streets that cross it and the amount of cafes, delis, restaurants, boutiques and other shops do a bustling business, sometimes giving the area an ambiance like that of Manhattan's Chinatown. The beaches at Brighton Beach are also, of course, a big draw and a major bonus to living in the neighborhood. In its heyday Brighton Beach was an attraction for world famous celebrities, especially at the private beach resort known as Brighton Beach Baths. Today, it is still a truly beautiful sandy beach and a very popular place for city dwellers to take in the sun and salty air of the Atlantic on a hot summer day. Transportation and education are well taken care of in Brighton Beach with the New York City Subway system operating (elevated) trains in and out of the neighborhood as well as local and express bus lines. The Magnet School of Multicultural Humanities serves grades K-5, as does The Coney Island School. The K-8 Eileen E. Zaglin School is also zoned for Brighton Beach. All are run by the New York City Public Schools system. Brighton Beach is a vibrant yet relaxed place to live that possesses natural beauty and old world charm. Whether you're enjoying the Atlantic Ocean or strolling down a busy shopping street, you'll be happy to be in Brighton Beach.
The neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights is situated directly across the East River from Manhattan and surrounded by the neighborhoods of DUMBO, Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill. Brooklyn Heights is predominately composed of street after tree-lined street of gorgeous row houses, but also has mansions and a wide variety of architectural styles including Federal, Greek Revival, Gothic Revival and Italianate brownstone. During the Brownstone Revival period beginning in the mid-1950’s property owners painstakingly preserved details of homes and that effort is visible today. Fireplaces, libraries and even elevators are not uncommon. One of those brownstones on Stigwood Avenue was the television home of the Huxtables on the The Cosby Show. Perhaps you may like to talk a relaxing walk and see if you can find it. Co-ops, apartments for sale or rent, new construction condos and converted warehouses offer several options for property hunters.
Brooklyn Heights is situated on a bluff that rises sharply from the bank of the East River and gradually slopes inland. The Lenape tribe that once inhabited the area called it “Ihpetonga,” meaning “the high sandy bank.” During the Revolutionary War George Washington successfully withdrew his troops from the bank in the Battle of Brooklyn. Later, Brooklyn Heights became the first so-called commuter town once the steam ferry began reliable service to Wall Street in the early 19th century. The real crown jewel of Brooklyn Heights is The Promenade, a half-mile stretch along the waterfront whose panoramic views of Manhattan, The Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges lures photographers and other visitors year-round.
Brooklyn Heights also is home to what Forbes and US News and World Report called one of the best baccalaureate universities in the north, Saint Francis College which occupies half a block on Remsen Street. Because of its proximity to Manhattan, Brooklyn Heights, along with nearby Downtown Brooklyn, is served by more subway lines than any other area of New York City. From Brooklyn Heights you can catch the A, C, F, R, 2, 3, 4 and 5, not that you would want to leave the picturesque streets and vistas of Brooklyn Heights often. Brooklyn Heights is a neighborhood that truly has it all. There are green parks for the kids and pets, streets lined with mature trees, waterfront views and enough of a variety of building styles to please any taste. Diners can relish a diverse selection of restaurants, and commuters can easily get back and forth from the office.
Carroll Gardens is bordered to the north by Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill. Red Hook, which Carroll Gardens used to be considered a part of, lies to the south. The roadways that form the borders of the neighborhood are Degraw Street in the north and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to the west and south. The Gowanus Canal makes up the eastern border. The neighborhood is named for revolutionary war veteran Charles Carroll who was also a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The area also has a park named for Carroll, a green expanse stretching from Court to Smith Street. On a more dubious historical note, Al Capone has ties to the neighborhood having been married in the St. Mary's Star of the Sea Church at 467 Court Street.
One the most notable and interesting aspects of this neighborhood are the unique brownstones. In 1846 a man named Richard Butt designed the homes set back 30 to 40 feet from the road creating a large, welcoming front garden, something not typical in Brooklyn. The finest examples of these homes can be found in the Carroll Gardens Historic District which sits between 3rd Place, President Street, Hoyt Street and Smith Street. The interiors of these homes are equally impressive with fine attention to detail, top-notch craftsmanship and preservation. In addition to the historic beauty of Carroll Gardens' brownstones there are many new buildings with condos for sale. Many of these new condominium buildings include luxurious amenities such as doormen, gyms, balconies and keeping in the tradition of the neighborhood, lush gardens. Rents tend to be a bit more affordable in Carroll Gardens than in some of the neighboring areas, but everything you could want is available at the many shops along the commercial streets.
Carroll Gardens has long been an Italian-American neighborhood and has the small family-operated shops and restaurants to prove it. In recent years the number of boutiques, cafes and antique shops has seen a sharp increase but has not detracted from the neighborhood's smaller town ambience. In the summer time check out the Gowanus Yacht Club where you can sit outside at picnic tables and enjoy a pitcher of beer and some hotdogs with friends. Or you could make the 30 minute walk to Prospect Park and soak up some rays on the lawn. Carroll Gardens is served by the New York City Subway system with the F and G trains stopping at Smith Street and 9th Street. Overall, Carroll Gardens is a beautiful suburban neighborhood with enough going on to keep a person busy and enough quiet beauty to have a relaxing, homey feel.
Clinton Hill is a neighborhood in the north-central area of Brooklyn. It is bounded to the east by Bedford-Stuyvesant, Prospect Heights to the south, Fort Greene to the west and Wallabout Bay to the north. Real Estate options abound in lovely, tree-lined Clinton Hill. The area is known for its rowhouses, in fact Clinton Hill has one of the highest concentrations of post-Civil War era rowhouses in the city, but the choices don't end there. One and two bedroom apartments, warehouse conversions, airy lofts and much more are available in this neighborhood. You may find three family homes, pre-Civil War frame houses, duplexes with shady gardens and of course the ubiquitous brownstones with their fine craftsmanship and scrupulous attention to detail. Clinton Hill is also known for its mansions.
By the 1840's the neighborhood had become a haven for the stagecoach commuters headed to the Fulton Ferry on their way into Manhattan. Many of these wealthy families built mansions in Clinton Hill, including Charles Pratt, who built one for himself and one each for three of his four sons as wedding presents. Pratt was the founder of the Pratt Institute of Art, which remains in the neighborhood today, near Pratt's mansion. The artistic influence the institute remains prominent in Clinton Hill to this day. Clinton Hill also has a poetic past, with Walt Whitman having written portions of his masterpiece Leaves of Grass while living at 99 Ryerson. Clinton Hill is well-served by public transportation with the IND Fulton Street line as well as the IND Crosstown line making stops in the area.
Clinton Hill is also served by several bus routes. Whatever you're looking for you will find it in Clinton Hill; apartments, duplexes, mansions and everything in between. And once you've settled in you'll want to get out and explore what this charming, tree-lined neighborhood has to offer. Stop in at Locanda Vini e Olii for an authentic Tuscan meal served in the immaculately restored 130 year old pharmacy, or browse through the elegantly cluttered and promisingly crowded wares at RePop, a cozy boutique on Washington Avenue. Myrtle Avenue is another great place for shopping. Take your time and explore the unique shops before you head back to your Clinton Hill home.
Cobble Hill lies between the neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights and Carroll Gardens. Atlantic Avenue to the north, Hick Street to the west, Smith to the east and Degraw Street to the south make up the borders. Most of Cobble Hill is considered part of the Cobble Hill Historic District, which makes up an area of about 22 city blocks. Architecture in the area is as diverse as anywhere with Greek Revival, Romanesque Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, French Second Empire and Neo-Greco styles represented in the neighborhood. It is possible to find many co-ops in the turn of the century brownstones as well as floor-through apartments. In what is called by some West Cobble Hill condos and row houses are also available. Though it's called Cobble Hill today the area has gone by many different monikers over the years.
Originally it was called Ponkiesbergh by the Dutch colonists who initially settled here in the 1640's. Later, as the area began to collect the cobblestones that were used as ballast on merchant ships coming from Europe the present name took hold. It was also once known as South Brooklyn, even though it lies in the northwest part of modern day Brooklyn. The area got the designation because it was south of Atlantic Avenue and Brooklyn Heights, at the time called the City of Brooklyn. Whatever you want to call it, Cobble Hill is a charming, historic neighborhood with numerous family-owned business and shops that has managed to maintain a quaint ambiance and integrate some trendy new boutiques as well. Smith and Court Streets are the neighborhood's two main thoroughfares and are a pleasant mix of Old-World style Italian meat markets, trendy boutiques, restaurant hotspots and even barbershops that harken back to a bygone era. There are plenty of options for entertainment in Cobble Hill.
At Cobble Hill Park on Verandah Street you can catch a free concert during the summer months, or maybe spend the evening at the theater on Court Street. There couldn't be a better neighborhood for a foodie than Cobble Hill. For the avid cook there are small markets where you can get to know the people you are buying your food from, and Smith Street is known as Brooklyn's Restaurant Row since the surge of new restaurants opening in the area during the 90's and 00's. For an exciting evening check out Joya, a constantly bustling Thai restaurant with a live DJ or for something a bit more classic try Jean-Francois Fraysse's new bistro, Quercy
Coney Island is a neighborhood on the southern tip of Brooklyn. Despite its name, Coney Island is actually a peninsula. There once was an area of tidal mud flats between it and the rest of Brooklyn, but that has long since been filled in. Brighton Beach is to the east of Coney Island and Gravesend sits to the north. The Atlantic Ocean is the southern border of course, and the neighborhood of Sea Gate makes up the western portion of the island. The Lenape Native American tribe that inhabited the island called it Narrioch, which means land without shadows because of its southern facing beaches that receive sunlight all day. The origin of the name coney came from the Dutch word conyne meaning rabbit. There was at one time a very large and diverse population of rabbits on the island and rabbit hunting on the island was well known before the time it was developed.
The developmental history of Coney Island is long and complicated. The area was of course first developed as a resort and amusement park and flourished as one of the most famous in the US and the world for many years. The parks and amusements slowly declined with the final hold out, Steeplechase Park, closing its gates in 1964. Since that time there have been several attempts at redevelopment and lands have changed hands many times. Coney Island may not have the prestigious reputation it once had but it does have an impressive variety of housing opportunities for those looking to rent or buy. There are single-family detached and semi-detached homes, typically of brick, on quiet neighborhood streets. There are also many multi-family units available on Coney Island, many of them two and three story structures.
For those looking for something smaller, condos and co-ops are very common in Coney Island. These places are often in buildings with 20 or more floors and have amenities such as 24 hour security, parking and lovely balconies with stunning ocean views. Buyers will also typically find shared roof terraces, wood floors and updated kitchens featuring granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Transportation is what originally made Coney Island so popular, with it being so easy to get away from Manhattan to the resort area for some R&R, and today that transportation infrastructure is still in place. The largest elevated train station in North America resides in Coney Island and operates eight trains from its recently renovated terminal. Several bus lines also operate from a station just below the terminal. There are many schools operating in the heart of Coney Island run by the New York City Public School system. All of these schools serve grades between kindergarten and grade eight, with many high schools located nearby. Coney Island may not have the glitz it once had but it remains a picturesque piece of Americana with a lot to choose from in terms of housing. Find yourself living here and you won't regret it, especially once you breathe in the fresh salt air off the Atlantic Ocean from your seaside balcony.
Crown Heights is a neighborhood in the central portion of Brooklyn surrounded by Prospect Heights, Flatbush, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Brownsville. The streets that make up its borders are Washington Avenue to the west, Atlantic Avenue to the north, Howard Avenue to the east and Empire Boulevard on the southern end. Crown Heights provides the house hunter with a plethora of housing options. In the North Historic District those looking for townhouses will be pleased to find many fine examples in the area's turn of the century row houses. For those looking for more space and luxury, the historic area also contains mansions designed and built by some of New York City's most noted architects of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Many of these townhouses and mansions retain features from their origin, including stained-glass and huge bay windows. And don't think that because you're looking to rent you won't be able to have the same charming features! There are so many of these types of homes in Crown Heights that it is not difficult to find a very nice rental property. A section of the Crown Heights neighborhood called Bower Park contains a variety of architectural styles including Italian, Renaissance and Greek Revival structures that today are mainly four and five family homes. An impressive example of a building conversion, what used to be the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital of Crown Heights, now contains 700 apartments for rent. Condos are on the menu in Crown Heights as well, with new developments popping up offering comfort and modern amenities. Crown Heights is served by two subway lines which have several major stations in the neighborhood. It is also serviced by many bus lines, both north and south of Eastern Parkway.
Crown Heights is a vibrant community known for its annual West Indian Carnival. Revel in the colorful sights and sounds as Eastern Parkway is transformed into a gregarious, flowing river of rhythm and color. For a more tranquil setting, visit the nearby Brooklyn Botanical Garden, known for its many separate smaller gardens on a sprawling 52 acre plot of land. Every spring, one of the largest blooms of cherry trees outside of Japan can be seen here. There is something just for the kids in Crown Heights as well, the first museum in the States, and some say the world, designed specifically for the little ones. This museum was established in 1899, but has recently undergone a major renovation and expansion, re-opening in 2008. So come one, come all, Crown Heights is a neighborhood ready to embrace all.
Ditmas Park is considered to be a part of the Flatbush neighborhood, which is to the east of Ditmas Park. It is one of three areas designated as a Historic District within Flatbush. Ditmas Park's borders are made by Coney Island Avenue to the west, Ocean Avenue on the east, Beverley Road to the north and Foster Avenue to the south. Many of the streets of Ditmas Park are lined with shade providing trees and old Victorian homes. These homes boast large front porches, spacious rooms and the detailed craftsmanship expected by the high profile, wealthy former inhabitants of the area (think movie stars and the Guggenheims). These Victorians may be what the neighborhood is known for, but there are more architectural styles represented in Ditmas Park.
Tudors and Colonial Revival homes can also be found in this historic neighborhood. The neighborhood is located on land that was once owned by the Ditmas family who used the rural area to graze their sheep. You won't find any sheep in the neighborhood today, but nature is present with several types of fruit trees gracing the streets. Most of Ditmas Park is residential but there are some thriving commercial sections in the neighborhood. Cortelyou Road has grown into a popular hangout with delis, bars, cafes and shops lining the streets. The Flatbush Food Coop and several upscale restaurants on Cortelyou have helped earn Ditmas Park the honor of being recognized by TimeOut magazine as one of the best food areas in the entire city of New York. There are also several venues in the area that are drawing popular local musicians and big name acts as well. There are public transportation options in and around the Ditmas Park neighborhood with the B and Q lines making stops here as well as local and express buses providing service to the area.
Ditmas Park has some very impressive educational options to consider for children. P.S. 139 is regarded as one of the best in the city and is also one that has not experienced the overcrowding so many of the city's public schools have suffered. Midwood High School is also nearby. It has a reputation as one of the best also with competition for enrollment very strong. So whether you're a young family, retired couple or single looking for a comfortable and affordable place, Ditmas Park has what you're looking for.
Downtown Brooklyn is a small neighborhood in the northwest section of Brooklyn. It is surrounded by the neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Fort Greene and Vinegar Hill. Downtown Brooklyn is a neighborhood well-known for its office buildings and unique skyline, but in recent years the area has seen a tremendous amount of growth in residential properties and is quickly becoming one of the most desirable neighborhoods to own or rent a home in all of Brooklyn. Downtown Brooklyn began as the commercial center for the City of Brooklyn before being incorporated into New York City. Prior to 1814 Downtown Brooklyn, along with neighboring Brooklyn Heights, had been sparsely populated. When the steam ferry was introduced by Robert Fulton in 1814 the two neighborhoods became the first commuter suburbs to New York City and initiated tremendous growth in Brooklyn with Downtown Brooklyn being the heart of the action.
Today, Downtown Brooklyn is the third largest commercial center in the entire city of New York. Downtown Brooklyn has many iconic buildings such as the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower and the MetroTech Center office complex, but since the rezoning of 2004 the neighborhood has seen steady growth in the number of residential properties. What used to be a neighborhood with just a few high rise apartment buildings along Livingston and Adams Streets has become a 24/7 community replete with townhomes, condos, co-ops, office space conversions and a rate of growth that shows little sign of slowing. One of the most popular places in Downtown Brooklyn is the group of seven 15 story buildings on Adams Street that make up the Concord Village co-op development. These buildings border the exciting and burgeoning neighborhoods of DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights and offer 1,000 units with modern amenities and great views.
For luxury, the newer Oro Condos, Toren and City Point towers are on the frontline of amenities and offer full service to their residents. These days there is more to Downtown Brooklyn than famous office buildings and luxurious residential towers. With the growing population of people deciding to live in the neighborhood there have come the amenities that make a neighborhood a comfortable and convenient place to live. The Borough Hall Greenmarket operates three days a week in front of Borough Hall in Columbus Park. Here, residents can stroll under the shade of the mature sycamore trees and purchase fresh produce and other products from local farmers. Education and transportation are abundant in Downtown Brooklyn. Several colleges and universities have campuses in the neighborhood including St. Joseph's, the Brooklyn College of Law and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University. As far as the subway is concerned, Downtown Brooklyn is served as well or better than any part of the city. Getting to and from Manhattan and other areas of the borough and city is a quick and easy feat. Downtown Brooklyn is an ideal place to live for those who want to be at the center of the action and not have to sacrifice the comforts and conveniences of a cozy neighborhood out in the suburbs.
DUMBO is adjacent to the neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, Redhook and Vinegar Hill. The boundaries are formed by Old Fulton Street, the East River, Nassua Street and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The neighborhood is divided into two sections; one between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges and another which goes east from the Manhattan Bridge to Vinegar Hill, which will also be covered in this profile. DUMBO is an acronym that stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. In the past the area was known as Fulton Landing after the ferry that was the primary means of transportation for those commuting to Manhattan. At that time it was a manufacturing district with factories that produced goods such as paper, boxes and even Brillo pads.
During and after de-industrialization the area attracted artists and other young people with its spacious and inexpensive loft apartments. It is thought that some of these residents created the name DUMBO in an effort to deter other prospective real estate buyers and developers from moving into the area, but today no matter how silly the name might sound, there is no dissuading renters and buyers from this artsy neighborhood on the west side of Brooklyn. The bountiful lofts with their majestic views of the bridges and Manhattan skyline still attract artists, but those looking to rent or buy here don't have to live a Bohemian life. There are many luxurious condos and loft buildings in DUMBO, like the J condo which resides in the neighborhood's tallest building and affords brilliant views of the Manhattan skyline from its observation deck on the 33rd floor. There is plenty of artistic enjoyment to be had in DUMBO. Locals enjoy for-profit and not for-profit art galleries such as the A.I.R. Gallery and St. Ann's Warehouse which also hosts musicians and performers. At Fulton Landing, which many of the activities and businesses are centered around, you can hear Bargemusic, a floating venue for classical music.
Vinegar Hill is just to the north of DUMBO and is bordered to the north by the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The area is about six square blocks of mostly Federal and Greek revival style architecture mixed in with industrial buildings and homes along the waterfront made of cobblestones. Condos are popping up in Vinegar Hill as well. At 79 Bridge Street condos are available in a building with balconies, a rooftop terrace with spectacular views, laundry facilities and parking. Transportation options in the DUMBO/Vinegar Hill area include the water ferry run by the New York City Taxi company at Fulton Landing, several subway stations, bus service and a staircase on Washington Street that gives access to the Brooklyn Bridge Walkway. Starting in July 2011 the East River Ferry makes a stop at Fulton Landing with transportation to Governor's Island, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Wall Street and midtown Manhattan.
Flatbush is a large neighborhood made up of several smaller communities within its boundaries. Those boundaries lie at Nostrand Avenue in the east, Ocean Avenue in the west, Parkside Avenue to the north and Avenue I in the south. Flastbush's name was derived as an Anglicization of a Dutch phrase which meant flat woodland. Since that time Flatbush has become and remains today a place of diversity and architecture unique for the borough of Brooklyn. Many apartments and condos are available for rent and purchase in Flatbush and the price for these units is very affordable for the New York City market. Apartments can be found mostly in five and six story brick buildings, as well as a high rise or two. Some rowhouses are also present in the neighborhood, as well as Victorian style homes and some brownstones in the areas of Prospect Park and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Many of these homes lie on quiet tree-lined streets and have substantial yards with plenty of green space. Flatbush, Smith and Nostrand Avenues comprise the major commercial areas of the neighborhood. The shops and restaurants of the thoroughfares reflect the diverse population of Flatbush and you can find Caribbean, Mexican, South Asian, Soul Food and American cuisine on offer. While most of the shops are small, family-owned endeavors, there are also several big name stores in the area. Brooklyn College lies at the southern end of Flatbush and the surrounding area boasts ivy-laden buildings and green spaces.
There are many primary schools in Flatbush and one high school, Erasmus Hall High School. This high school has been a mainstay of the Flatbush neighborhood since 1787. The original building was done in the Federal style, but a number of renovations and additions have been seen through the years. Chess champion Bobby Fischer attended Erasmus Hall, as well as Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand. Flatbush is also very well served by public transportation. The Brighton and Nostrand Avenue Lines of the New York City Subway system make several stops in Flatbush. A string of stations between Prospect Park and Avenue H also offer service. It can take as little as 30 minutes to get to Manhattan by subway from many spots in Flatbush. There are also several bus lines that run through Flatbush. Like so many of the neighborhoods in Brooklyn Flatbush is a diverse area that has seen very positive growth and restoration. House hunters and renters alike can successfully search out the right place for themselves. With a variety of architectural styles, housing options and a culturally rich environment, you're sure to fall in love with Flatbush.
Fort Greene is a neighborhood in the northwest corner of Brooklyn that has been designated a Historic District by the city of New York. The roads making up the borders of Fort Greene are Wallabout and Myrtle Avenues in the north, Flatbush Avenue in the west, Washington Avenue in the east and Atlantic Avenue in the south. Fort Greene owes its name to a Revolutionary War fort built under the guidance of General Nathanael Greene in 1776. Today the neighborhood is full of very well-maintained examples of 19th century architecture. There is a wide variety of architectural styles in Fort Greene, including Italianate and Eastlake.
The neighborhood also has a lot of brownstones in the area near Fort Greene Park, which was installed at the behest of poet Walt Whitman. The park is a favorite of locals and has plenty of green spaces, trails and dog walks. Fort Greene Park is also notably the home of the Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument and Crypt which honors the more than 11,500 prisoners who died on British prison ships during the Revolutionary War. Fort Greene is home to the second tallest building in Brooklyn, the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower at One Hanson Place. The 37 story building was designed by the architectural firm Halsey, McCormack and Helmer in a modernized Byzantine Romanesque style. One of the tallest four sided clock towers in the world, the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower has been renovated to house condos. These condos wonderfully appointed and offer some of the most breathtaking views of any place in Brooklyn. The main thoroughfares in the neighborhood are Fulton Street and Dekalb Avenue, where shoppers and diners will find cool cafes and boutiques. There is also plenty of public transportation available in Fort Greene. The New York City Subway has several stations in the neighborhood with the following lines making stops: 2,3,4,5,A,B,C,D,G,N,Q and R.
Fort Greene is also a neighborhood with a long running relationship with the arts. Several famous artists of different kinds have called the neighborhood home over the years. Novelists John Steinbeck and Truman Capote as well as photographer Robert Mapplethorpe lived in Fort Greene. Artistic institutions in the area include the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn Music School, The Paul Robeson Theater and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts. Adding to the greatness of Fort Greene is the fact that much of the neighborhood is a short walk from Downtown Brooklyn. That doesn't mean however that you'll want to leave this artistic and historic neighborhood with its tree-lined streets and beautiful homes.
Gowanus is a Brooklyn neighborhood that lies between Red Hook and Carroll Gardens to the west along Smith and Bond Streets and Fourth Avenue and Park Slope to the east. Gowanus runs along the Gowanus Canal ending at the Gowanus Expressway to the south. Gowanus is a neighborhood on the rise and has a lot to offer house hunters and those looking to rent. As far as houses go, most of what you'll find in Gowanus are framehouses and brick townhomes. You will get your dollars' worth in the Gowanus housing market with large backyards, welcoming front stoops and classic old black wrought iron fences, the norm for many homes. The person looking for an apartment to buy will have some very interesting options as well.
The industrial history of the neighborhood is evident in some of the developments sprouting up in beautifully converted warehouses full of condos with the spacious and light-filled rooms one expects in a converted loft condo. Not all of the available condos in Gowanus are in converted warehouses, though. A couple of luxury condominium developments have popped up recently. Renters will find the same options as buyers in Gowanus, with buildings containing townhomes and condos the most abundant and popular choices. Public transportation options are available in the Gowanus area. The F, G and R trains all run through the neighborhood. The elevated Smith-Ninth street station is a mainstay for Gowanus. For the ecologically minded there are plenty of bike routes in Gowanus, two of which cross the canal, one at Union Street and another on the 3rd Street Bridge. There is history in this neighborhood too. Like most of the areas in Brooklyn the land's first European inhabitants were the Dutch.
In 1636 Dutch farmers moved into the area on Gowanus Bay and began a settlement. In more recent history, the Canal Street Bridge, built in 1889, is the oldest of the four retractable bridges still in use in the United States. There has also been a push by the US Army Corp to recognize the Gowanus Canal and much of the property along its banks in the National Register of Historic Places. The area is also an exciting new development in the works in the canal area that should include several new apartments and condos. Life in Gowanus can be exciting and modern. In addition you will be close to the neighborhoods of Park Slope and Carroll Gardens with their trendy cafes and eclectic shops.
Geenpoint is the furthest north of all of the neighborhoods in Brooklyn. The neighboring areas are Williamsburg in the southwest, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and East Williamsburg to the southeast, Newtown Creek and Long Island City, Queens to the north and the East River to the north. Greenpoint is a terrific option for anyone looking for a rental or looking to buy. The selection of condos in Greenpoint is second to none and the value is hard to beat. There are plenty of new apartment buildings going up that offer lofts, condos and smaller apartments. There is something for almost any budget in this green neighborhood. But if you are looking to rent something larger than an apartment or condo Greenpoint will not disappoint. Wooden framed houses, at a much better deal than neighboring areas, are also widely available in this neighborhood.
If you are looking to buy something with a bit more history behind it Greenpoint has that too. Architectural styles in the historic district of the neighborhood include: brownstones, row houses and red brick homes built around the turn of the century. Between then and now Greenpoint has seen a rapid expansion and is known for its factories and warehouses. Now with a redevelopment effort being driven by the growing popularity of the borough of Brooklyn, Greenpoint is surging into the future with a plan to build some high rise buildings near the water that will include apartments to rent or buy. There's no doubt these places will go quickly when prospective buyers and renters get a look at what promises to be a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline. Greenpoint is served by the G train which makes stops at the Greenpoint Avenue and Nassau Avenue stations. There are also several buses that service the neighborhood.
Greenpoint has seen an overflow of artists and the like from Williamsburg which became popular and subsequently more expensive. It stands to reason then that Greenpoint has seen a growth in the arts community and that growth is reflected in the new boutiques and cafes sprouting up around the neighborhood. Also, keeping with its name, Greenpoint's McCarren Park is a lovely green space with places for you and the dog burn off some energy and a farmer's market to buy produce and other wares. If you are looking for n up and coming, hip place to be, Greenpoint is all of that and more, at a bargain compared with some of the other neighborhoods in the immediate vicinity.
Greenwood, also known as Greenwood Heights, takes its name from the Green-Wood Cemetery. There is some debate about the borders of the neighborhood, but generally they are Prospect Expressway in the north, Third Avenue in the west, Eighth Avenue in the east and 36th Street in the south where the southern edge of the cemetery lies. Surrounding neighborhoods include Sunset Park, Borough Park, Windsor Terrace, Park Slope, Gowanus and Redhook.
Greenwood has long been a suburban type neighborhood with many one and two family homes, typically wood frame houses. In 2005 the rezoning saw the influx of luxury condos. With the new luxury moving into the neighborhood there began to be a surge of people repairing some the single family homes back to their old glory, often completely renovating the structures from the inside out. There are also clapboard houses, row houses and two or three story brick homes to be found in Greenwood. This is a neighborhood with a feel of its own, sort of a mixed bag of eclectic styles, blending the historic with the modern. Because of its location in central Brooklyn Greenwood is a wonderful place to set up your home base. Residents of Greenwood have quick and easy access to the unique shops and restaurants of nearby Park Slope. Another wonderful aspect of Greenwood is the fact that it sits on the highest point in the borough, so no matter what type of housing you choose in this charming, tree-lined neighborhood you will no doubt have a nice view. Greenwood is a marvelous place to live, but for many it has also been a marvelous place to make an even more permanent stay.
The Green-Wood Cemetery is the eternal resting place of some of the most notable New Yorkers. The likes of Leonard Bernstein and Boss Tweed are buried on the beautiful grounds of this historic cemetery. In fact, an 1866 article in the New York Times reads It is the ambition of the New Yorker to live upon Fifth Avenue, to take his airings in the Central Park, and to sleep with his fathers in Green-Wood. The past is rich in Greenwood, the present is pleasant and future is promising. Housing options are plenty and with all of the wonderful things this neighborhood has to offer, there is enough to do to satisfy the pickiest of tastes so give it a chance. You won't be sorry.
Kensington on is a small neighborhood in the central part of Brooklyn. Ditmas Park and Prospect Park South lie to the east, Windsor Terrace to the north, Borough Park to the west and Midwood to the south. The streets forming the borders are Coney Island Avenue along the east, Caton Avenue and the t. Hamilton Parkway in the north, McDonald Avenue and 37th Street to the west and Foster Avenue and 47th Street forming the southern boundary. For a small neighborhood Kensington really packs in the architectural variety. Brick row houses, single family Victorian, Queen Anne, Cape and low rise apartment buildings are all present in Kensington. Along the Coney Island Avenue and Ocean Parkway frontage Pre-war brick apartments are the most common housing option. Many of these are co-ops. Whether you are looking for something large or small, renting or buying, Kensington can show you something that fits your needs. Like much of the borough of Brooklyn and other surrounding areas Kensington was originally colonized by Dutch immigrant farmers. In the case of Kensington the year was 1737. Most of the development of the neighborhood began in 1885 when Ocean Parkway was completed.
Ocean Parkway is a five mile stretch with mature trees, walking paths, chess tables, immaculate landscaping and plenty of benches for sitting back and watching the people go by. It links Prospect Park to Coney Island, and is now considered part of the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway. The homes in this area began being built around 1920 and the mix of housing options here include brick and brownstone townhomes, one and two family homes (many with yards and garages) and low rise five or six floor brick apartments. Kensington's charm is added to by the clip-clop of horses' hooves on pavement as horse drawn carriages still operate.
Kensington Stables, the last working horse stable in Prospect Park, offers lessons and carriage rides to visitors and tourists alike. Kensington is well-served by the New York City Subway system with the IND Culver Line skirting the western side of the neighborhood and making stops at Fort Hamilton Parkway and Church Avenue underground and an elevated line that stops at Ditmas and 18th Avenues. There are several local buses that serve Kensington, as well as four different express lines with service to Manhattan. In addition to architectural variety and old world charm, Kensington boasts a culturally diverse population and the shops along Coney Island Avenue, Church Avenue and Ditmas Avenue offer exotic cafes and grocers, as well as small boutique shops. It is hard to imagine a neighborhood with more to offer than Kensington. Community feeling, extensive architectural choices, charm and a little taste of the exotic make Kensington a wonderful place to call home.
Lefferts Gardens is a neighborhood in Brooklyn considered by most to be a part of Flatbush. The area is primarily residential and is bordered by Empire Boulevard in the north, Clarkson Avenue to the south, New York Avenue to the east and Ocean Avenue and Prospect Park making up the western boundary. The area was founded by a Dutch family in the 1660's. In 1893 James Lefferts divided his family estate into 600 plots and sold them off to developers.
Lefferts over saw the building on these lots and imposed restrictions and guidelines for the developers building on the plots in order to ensure the homes being built would be of a certain size and stature. Some of the restrictions Lefferts imposed were that each plot would have one single family home built on it of brick or stone and would stand at least two stories high.This land use covenant still exists in the historic district known as Lefferts Manor where most of the homes were built before the turn of the century, with only a few being built after. The rest of the neighborhood is not subject to the land covenant and a wide variety of architectural styles are represented. Tudor, Neo-Greco, Romanesque Revival, Victorian and more can be found in this neighborhood. Some of these can be found for sale or as apartments and multifamily dwellings. These homes are lovingly restored and maintained and many of them are true to the areas name and offer charming little gardens and lawns. If Lefferts Gardens sounds like a nice place to you but what you are really looking for is a condo, do not fear. There are some modern buildings in the works in Lefferts Gardens that promise to offer condos that can live up to the exacting standards of a modern buyer or renter, and maybe even old James Lefferts himself. The Franklin Avenue Shuttle operates in Lefferts Gardens and the B and Q trains make several stops within the neighborhood. The IRT Nostrand Avenue Line also stops at Sterling and Winthrop Streets.
Lefferts Gardens has a long and proud tradition of community involvement, starting with the foundation of the Lefferts Manor Association in 1919 to preserve the history of the area and continuing today with efforts such as the Lefferts Community Food Cooperative. The food cooperative works to bring socially, environmental and health-conscious food products to the neighborhood. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is also a very popular nearby attraction with its sprawling acres of landscaped gardens, blossoming cherry trees and miles of walkways. Lefferts Gardens has four operating public schools as well as a charter school focusing on environmental sciences and experiential learning. Lefferts Gardens is the perfect neighborhood for the person who wants a quaint, cozy neighborhood with a comfortable residential feel and historic presence but also likes to have access to the modern amenities and convenience of living in a borough like Brooklyn in the best city on Earth!
Manhattan Beach is a neighborhood situated on the southern end of Brooklyn. It is bound to the south and east by the Atlantic Ocean, Sheepshead Bay in the north and Brighton Beach lies to the neighborhood's west. The neighborhood is named for the beach on the southern part of the peninsula along the Atlantic Ocean near Coney Island. Like many of the other neighborhoods in the area it was first developed as a resort. Austin Corbin (who has a street named for him in Manhattan Beach: Corbin Place) began developing the area in the last part of the 19th century.
Today Manhattan Beach is a lovely neighborhood with tree-lined streets and beautiful seaside views. This neighborhood has different types of housing options available to the house hunter and the renter, but it is a small neighborhood and properties don't tend to stay on the market for very long. Some of the choices potential buyers may face are semi-detached and detached single family homes as well as multi-family residences. These homes can be found on quiet streets not far from the sea and feature green lawns, mature trees, driveways and architectural touches that let you know you're living in a seaside community. There are other opportunities in Manhattan Beach when it comes to housing. Condos and co-ops are increasingly showing up on the market. These places have updated features and modern amenities to go with their old world charm. Hardwood floors, granite countertops and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean or Sheepshead Bay from balconies and shared roof top terraces are common. The homes in Manhattan Beach are beautiful inside and out, but for natural beauty Manhattan Beach is possibly unrivaled in Brooklyn.
The Manhattan Beach Park along Oriental Avenue is more than 40 acres of space reserved for enjoying the great outdoors. The park offers baseball diamonds, basketball courts, tennis courts, playgrounds on both ends and lots of sand and waves. During the summer months you can pack a picnic and head to the park for a barbecue along with people from the neighborhood and others in the know about this wonderful seaside park. Another institution in Manhattan Beach is Kingsborough Community College, part of the City University of New York. The campus and its halls and buildings occupy the entire eastern tip of the neighborhood. Also on the campus is The Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences. The area is served by the New York City Public Schools system by PS 195 Manhattan Beach School and PS 225 Eileen E. Zaglin School. There are also private schools in the area such as the Yeshiva of Manhattan Beach (K-8) and the Yeshiva Gedolah Bais Shimon of Manhattan Beach which is a higher education rabbinical program. Manhattan Beach is a tight-knit community that has a lot to offer. Wide open spaces and ocean views abound in this quaint, green community.
Mapleton is an Uptown neighborhood within the Upper East Side, bounded by 86th Street on the south, 110th Street on the north, Lexington Avenue and Fifth Avenue (Central Park) on the east and west respectively. This quiet, old-world neighborhood is named after the mansion that steel magnate Mapleton built at Fifth Avenue and 91st Street way back in 1901. The former mansion is now the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Even today, there are still quite a number of classic and gracious mansions standing in the area but a lot of these have been converted to schools and large apartments such as the Smithers’ Mansion and the French Lyceum on 95th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenue.
The neighborhood has a diverse blend of architectural landscape built over two centuries of continuous development, including tall residential apartment complexes, luxurious mansions and large townhouses occupied by opulent families. Even a number of large wooden homes still stand in the area. Mapleton is one of Manhattan’s expensive neighborhoods, not to mention one of the most prestigious. It is known for its family-friendly environment which attracts not only the rich but also the famous. Notable residents include husband & wife Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Kevin Kline, Bette Midler and Katie Couric. The suburban atmosphere of Mapleton is evident everywhere you go. Fine dining, gourmet restaurants, bars, lounges and upscale boutiques are easily accessible. Walk the length of Madison Avenue’s northern strip and you’ll find similar stores residing next to each other including various boutiques that sell clothes for children. Mapleton is also home to several schools including Hunter College High School, a secondary school for intellectually gifted students and a private college-preparatory day school for girls. It is also home to the Guggenheim Museum and the Jewish Museum.
Mapleton Community Information: The total number of households currently living in the Mapleton community is 29,225 while the total number of family households is 10,766 with an average family size of 3.03. The median age of the population is 37.52. An estimated 25,457 males and 30,553 females make up the total population where an estimated 37% graduated from college. On average, the annual household income is $108,825.
Midwood is in south central Brooklyn and is approximately half way between Prospect Park and Coney Island. The Bay Ridge Branch freight lines form the northern border with Kings Highway and Avenue P making up the southern border. There is some contention about the east and west borders. In the east it is either Nostrand or Flatbush Avenue and in the west it is Ocean Parkway, Coney Island Avenue or McDonald Avenue. Residential options are plenty in the quiet, tree filled neighborhood of Midwood. A house hunter can choose from Missions, Victorians, stucco, Colonial Revivals, Queen Annes, wood frames and two-story shingled homes. Many of these homes have a feeling more like a country suburb with large trees and gardens, driveways, welcoming front porches for lazy summer nights and lawns for the kids or dogs to play on. Inside these homes the amenities continue with high ceilings, multiple bedrooms and even finished basements.
Midwood has a lot to offer to the person looking to rent a home as well. Many of the homes mentioned previously have also been turned into apartments to rent or buy. If a multi-family stand-alone is not what you have in mind there are a number of brick apartment buildings with units to accommodate many different needs. Affordable studios can be found as well as spacious two and three bedroom apartments. Public transportation options in Midwood are bountiful. The New York City Subway system operates the BMT Brighton Line and the IND Culver Line in the area with each stopping at several stations. The number of buses making stops in Midwood is too many to list, but an interesting note is the private bus line with service to and from Borough Park serving the area's large Jewish community. Midwood has long been a place considered among the best in New York to shop. Several of the neighborhood's avenues have thriving commercial activity including E. 15th Street where you can get a slice of what a 2008 Zagat survey deemed the Best Pizza in NYC. You better get there early though as most days there is a line out the door. If pizza is not what you're looking for you will not have difficulty finding a kosher deli or butcher.
The area's Jewish community is well represented and served by numerous specialty shops and groceries to get the best of kosher foods. Midwood has two beautiful parks and several schools, including branches of the Touro College. Midwood is a great community with a history of television and silver screen stars. Woody Allen graduated from Midtown High and lived in the neighborhood at Avenue K and Ocean Avenue. Other famous Americans have come from Midwood, like Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg who attended East Midwood Jewish Center and James Madison High School. Midwood truly has what you're looking for and its history is long and deep. Come be a part of it today.
Mill Basin is a neighborhood in the southern section of Brooklyn. Avenue U forms the northern border with the east, south and western borders being formed by the Mill Basin/Mill Island Inlet. The Lenape Native American tribe sold the land, which they called Equandito meaning Broken Lands, to John Tilton Jr. and Samuel Spicer in 1664. It then became part of the Flatlands and tide mills were built on it. Up until the early twentieth century the area's main natural resources were the copious amounts of oysters, clams and crabs fished out of Jamaica Bay. Then in the early 1900's many of the creeks were dredged to fill in the meadows bringing the acreage up to 332. Soon after heavy industry moved in. Developers and businessmen tried to advertise the area as a shipping center but the idea never gained momentum.
The area fell into disrepair until residential development began soon after World War Two. Most of the homes built in that era are brick bungalows; cozy little intimate homes with neighborly sidewalks and neatly trimmed little yards. Today this lovely peninsula, which is largely made from sand dredged up from the bottom of Jamaica Bay, is possibly the best place to own a waterfront property in all of Brooklyn. The mansions along the waterfront are stunning examples of modern architecture with huge windows to take in all of the sun and as much as five stories worth of living space. Other homes here boast large plots with beautiful gardens and lush green yards. These are typically large single family homes (some with in ground swimming pools!) but it is possible to find multi-family homes and modern condos that take advantage of the beautiful views and seaside living.
Mill Basin is a small neighborhood but you can take in a movie at the theater located in the Kings Plaza Mall where you can get your shopping fix at the same time. Mill Basin is also home to some long run family small businesses, the kinds of places you might expect to find in a small New England seaside town, specializing in the local seafood or butchery. Life in Mill Basin is different than most of the neighborhoods in New York. For that matter, it's different than most of the neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Living here, you'll feel welcomed by the small town feel and warmed by the sunny skies and lapping waves.
Park Slope is one of the largest neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Park Slope is bounded by Prospect Park West to the east, Fourth Avenue on the western side, Flatbush Avenue in the north and 15th Street in the south. There is some dispute about these boundaries, but these are generally considered accurate. Park Slope is in the middle of it all in Brooklyn. It's well known for its wide variety of housing options for people looking to buy and that looking to rent, but it is perhaps even more appealing because of the amount of prominent Brooklyn institutions within its borders or nearby. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Central Library are all easily accessed from Park Slope.
The brownstone and limestone townhomes in Park Slope are some of the best examples of renovation restoration in all of New York. Whether you need a single family or two-family home to rent of buy, you'll find it here, and it will have all of the craftsmanship and attention to detail one would expect from an older home. Expect to find fireplaces (real fireplaces, that burn wood), incredibly high ceilings, pocket doors and other charming characteristics in a Park Slope home. Apartments are also in great supply in Park Slope. Large apartment buildings with one or two bedroom apartments are plentiful in the neighborhood. If it is a condo you're looking for Park Slope will not disappoint you there either. In recent years a number of shining new buildings with beautiful modern condos have gone up and are almost as popular as the historic homes. Of course Park Slope has a lot of history to speak of. Like much of the area it was once occupied by the Lenape Native American tribe and then colonized by Dutch farmers. But there is just too much to say about Park Slope today to dwell in the past. In 2006 Natural Home Magazine named Park Slope one of its ten best neighborhoods based on schools, parks, green spaces, farmers markets and other criteria.
In 2007 the American Planning Association named it one the greatest neighborhoods in America based on its blend of history, modernity, diversity and involvement of the citizens. Most recently, in 2010 the New Yorker ranked Park Slope as number one in terms of schools, dining, nightlife, shopping, access to public transportation, green spaces, safety, quality of housing and several other criteria. There is so much more lauding that could be done for Park Slope but ultimately it is a neighborhood that one needs to experience. There are homes for all comers in Park Slope, and considering the amount of praise and commendations it has received it will continue to attract new residents, maybe you!
Prospect Heights is a neighborhood in the northwest portion of Brooklyn. It is a small neighborhood but shares borders with some of the other most desirable and activity-laden neighborhoods in Brooklyn. The streets making up the boundaries of the neighborhood are Atlantic Avenue in the north, Eastern Parkway in the south, Flatbush Avenue in the west and Washington Avenue in the east. Prospect Heights is a culturally diverse neighborhood with plenty of natural beauty. Many streets are lined with mature shade trees giving the neighborhood a quaint, welcoming feel.
The 19th century brownstones are another calling card of Prospect Heights and a surge of renovation and rebuilding has given the neighborhood an increasingly picturesque identity, though it has always maintained its reputation as a place of opulence. While renovation has come in strong in Prospect Heights, so have condos. There are several gleaming new condominium developments in Prospect Heights offering the height of luxury and modern amenities. Of these is the supremely luxurious One Prospect Park. These condos offer so much it is amazing: technologically advanced interiors, stunning views from balconies and large windows and as if that wasn't enough, how about a hot soak in a Zuma bath? Much of Prospect Heights is considered a historic district with its interior being filled with those brownstone row houses and architectural styles such as Neo-Grec and Italianate.
The south portion of the neighborhood has the most expensive homes and the quickest access to some of Brooklyn's biggest attractions. Just south of the parkway you'll find Mount Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the recently renovated Brooklyn Museum. Many of the surrounding neighborhoods are popular and have wonderful opportunities for shopping and dining, but Prospect Park, small though it may be, does have its own thriving commercial area. Vanderbilt Avenue has seen a number of new trendy bars, shops and cafes sprout up in recent years. This new commercial zone is trendy and eclectic, reflecting the neighborhoods diverse population. Calling Prospect Heights home is something anyone would be proud to do. It's small and quaint, culturally rich, nearby relatively everything and has the best of yesterday's and today's architecture.
Prospect Park South
Prospect Park South is a Brooklyn neighborhood considered to be a part of Flatbush. Its borders are formed by Church Avenue in the north, Beverley Road to the south, the Brighton line of the New York City Subway system in the east and Coney Island Avenue on the west. Prospect Park South was created by developer Dean Alvord in 1899. Alvord's vision was of a country neighborhood in the city. He placed several restrictions for building in the community. All homes had to be rather large (at least 3,500 sq. ft.) freestanding and cost no less than $5,000. Trees were to be planted in rows between each house to give the appearance that each was on its own block. Alvord also wanted to ensure there was plenty of greenery in the neighborhood, requiring a double grass median. His vision was very popular with other developers and some of the same ideas were copied in other developing areas of the borough. More widely, Alvord is given credit for the modern idea of a suburban neighborhood. The homes available in Prospect Park South are available in a variety of architectural styles.
Victorian, Queen Anne, Colonial, French Revival and Spanish Mission homes are all represented here and have the kind of amenities one wouldn't expect in a city; huge porches for barbequing or relaxing with a cup of coffee, sprawling green yards under the protective shade of mature oak and maple trees and off-street parking will make you believe you've stepped into another world. But the competition is fierce. These homes, each on a 50 x 100 ft. lot, only number 206 making it luxurious and exclusive, a true escape from the city, just as its founder had intended over 100 years ago. If you just have to live in Prospect Park South but can't get into one of those historic properties, there are a couple of rental options in Prospect Park South. One building contains 61 rental units. There is also a building with 29 units that has condominiums.
With all of the luxury and exclusivity there is just not room for a commercial district or public transportation in Prospect Park South. That doesn't mean that the residents have to go without. Bustling Cortelyou Road is nearby and has thriving business of eclectic shops, natural food stores and fine dining. Another of the drawing points for Prospect Park South is its proximity to the 536 acre Prospect Park. This neighborhood is a rare gem and for the right person, the perfect place to call home.
Prospect Park is an Uptown neighborhood within the Upper East Side, bounded by 86th Street on the south, 110th Street on the north, Lexington Avenue and Fifth Avenue (Central Park) on the east and west respectively. This quiet, old-world neighborhood is named after the mansion that steel magnate Prospect Park built at Fifth Avenue and 91st Street way back in 1901. The former mansion is now the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Even today, there are still quite a number of classic and gracious mansions standing in the area but a lot of these have been converted to schools and large apartments such as the Smithers Mansion and the French Lyceum on 95th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenue.
The neighborhood has a diverse blend of architectural landscape built over two centuries of continuous development, including tall residential apartment complexes, luxurious mansions and large townhouses occupied by opulent families. Even a number of large wooden homes still stand in the area. Prospect Park is one of Manhattan’s expensive neighborhoods, not to mention one of the most prestigious. It is known for its family-friendly environment which attracts not only the rich but also the famous. Notable residents include husband & wife Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Kevin Kline, Bette Midler and Katie Couric. The suburban atmosphere of Prospect Park is evident everywhere you go. Fine dining, gourmet restaurants, bars, lounges and upscale boutiques are easily accessible. Walk the length of Madison Avenue’s northern strip and you’ll find similar stores residing next to each other including various boutiques that sell clothes for children. Prospect Park is also home to several schools including Hunter College High School, a secondary school for intellectually gifted students and a private college-preparatory day school for girls. It is also home to the Guggenheim Museum and the Jewish Museum.
Prospect Park Community Information: The total number of households currently living in the Prospect Park community is 29,225 while the total number of family households is 10,766 with an average family size of 3.03. The median age of the population is 37.52. An estimated 25,457 males and 30,553 females make up the total population where an estimated 37% graduated from college. On average, the annual household income is $108,825.
Sea Gate is an Uptown neighborhood within the Upper East Side, bounded by 86th Street on the south, 110th Street on the north, Lexington Avenue and Fifth Avenue (Central Park) on the east and west respectively. This quiet, old-world neighborhood is named after the mansion that steel magnate Sea Gate built at Fifth Avenue and 91st Street way back in 1901. The former mansion is now the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Even today, there are still quite a number of classic and gracious mansions standing in the area but a lot of these have been converted to schools and large apartments such as the Smithers’ Mansion and the French Lyceum on 95th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenue.
The neighborhood has a diverse blend of architectural landscape built over two centuries of continuous development, including tall residential apartment complexes, luxurious mansions and large townhouses occupied by opulent families. Even a number of large wooden homes still stand in the area. Sea Gate is one of Manhattan’s expensive neighborhoods, not to mention one of the most prestigious. It is known for its family-friendly environment which attracts not only the rich but also the famous. Notable residents include husband & wife Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Kevin Kline, Bette Midler and Katie Couric. The suburban atmosphere of Sea Gate is evident everywhere you go. Fine dining, gourmet restaurants, bars, lounges and upscale boutiques are easily accessible. Walk the length of Madison Avenue’s northern strip and you’ll find similar stores residing next to each other including various boutiques that sell clothes for children. Sea Gate is also home to several schools including Hunter College High School, a secondary school for intellectually gifted students and a private college-preparatory day school for girls. It is also home to the Guggenheim Museum and the Jewish Museum.
Sea Gate Community Information: The total number of households currently living in the Sea Gate community is 29,225 while the total number of family households is 10,766 with an average family size of 3.03. The median age of the population is 37.52. An estimated 25,457 males and 30,553 females make up the total population where an estimated 37% graduated from college. On average, the annual household income is $108,825.
Sheepshead Bay is a neighborhood at the southern end of Brooklyn. Ocean Parkway forms the western boundary. On the eastern side of the neighborhood the streets forming the boundary are Nostrand Avenue, Gerritsen Avenue, Shell Bank Avenue and Knapp Street. Avenue X and Shore Belt Parkway make the north and south boundaries, respectively. It's all about the seaside in Sheepshead Bay.
The neighborhood feels more like a little New England fishing village than a neighborhood in Brooklyn. Sheepshead Bay and the neighborhood that shares the name are named for a fish that was once abundant in the area. The sheepshead may have left, but it hasn't kept people from enjoying the salty air and sunshine of the area. There are plenty of homes to choose from in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood. Duplex townhomes, attached and semi-attached two-stories and co-ops are common and possess the same charm much of Brooklyn has, plus the bonus of the seaside feel. Parking at many of these homes is not a problem as driveways relieve the stress of having to hope you find a parking space. Single family homes and the ubiquitous Brooklyn brick row houses occupy some streets, but if you are in the market for an apartment you will also find low rise buildings with apartments to rent or buy. Perhaps the most sought after housing option in Sheepshead Bay, luxury condominiums line the waterfront, with new developments cropping up more and more frequently.
One popular development is The Breakers at 3112 Emmons Avenue. This 75 unit condominium development has a wide variety of floor plans and styles. You can choose from one, two or three bedroom townhomes, duplexes, studios. Or you could live in a simplex unit in a building with an elevator. Many properties have private balconies or shared rooftop terraces for soaking up the sun and spray and all have green common areas. The BMT Brighton Line of the New York City Subway system makes stops at Avenue U and Neck Road with express connections at Kings Highway and Sheepshead Bay Road. There are a few commercial areas in Sheepshead Bay, with Emmons Avenue along the waterfront with its piers offering fishing and party boats drawing the biggest crowds. But the crowds never really get too big in Sheepshead Bay. The residents of the neighborhood, a diverse cultural mix, enjoy an easy, unhurried pace of life, keeping this sleepy little neighborhood a secret for themselves.
Sunset Park is in the western part of Brooklyn and is surrounded by the neighborhoods of Greenwood Heights in the north, Borough Park in the east, Bay Ridge in the south and Upper New York Bay to the west. Sunset Park offers a wealth of opportunities for those looking to rent or buy a home. There are brick, brownstone and limestone row houses on green, tree-lined streets that go from the highest point in Brooklyn all the way down to the water's edge. There is a wealth of choices, but you don't need to be wealthy in order to get yourself into one of these charming 19th century homes. Sunset Park is one of the most affordable areas for brownstones in all of Brooklyn, but it can't stay that way forever. Sooner or later word will get out and prices will start to climb. In Sunset Park the artist looking for a loft conversion can find all the space needed in the neighborhoods Industry City, a growing area becoming more and more popular with the growing population of artists. In its early days Sunset Park was one of the busiest seaports in the New York area employing a huge number of civilian and military at the Brooklyn Army Terminal between 53rd and 66th Streets.
The area saw a decline after WWII along with the rise in freight trucks replacing ships. Another blow was dealt when the Gowanus Expressway opened in 1941 cutting the neighborhood off from the harbor. Families began to leave Sunset Park's charming row houses for more profitable pastures. But the late 20th century saw a reemergence of Sunset Park with new groups of immigrants settling in the area. Today the tree-lined streets are alive again with a diverse cultural mix. Part of Brooklyn's Chinatown, which runs along 8th Avenue, is in Sunset Park and a shopper can find many Cantonese and an increasing number of Fuzhou delis, bakeries and grocers. 8th Avenue is also the scene of the colorful and exciting Chinese New Year celebration. Row houses are not the only housing option in Sunset Park. There are condos for rental and for sale in the Chinatown area, as well as some brilliant new developments emerging in the most desirable part of the neighborhood, along the park itself.
Sunset Park is at the highest point in Brooklyn and affords just the type of views you would imagine. In addition to the views of the water and Statue of Liberty, the park boasts 24.5 acres of athletics fields, a swimming pool, a huge playground, walking paths and green space. Sunset Park is also very well serviced by public transportation. Three subway lines and six buses make their way through the neighborhood in addition to the highways and expressways accessed easily from the area. Sunset Park is yet another wonderful place to rent or buy a home in Brooklyn. Beautiful parks, cultural diversity and historic homes make Sunset Park and ideal place to call home.
Vinegar Hill is a small neighborhood in the northwest part of Brooklyn. The neighborhood sits between the Brooklyn Navy Yard, DUMBO and the East River waterfront. Adjacent neighborhoods include Williamsburg, Fort Greene, Downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights. Vinegar Hill owes its peculiar name to the Battle of Vinegar Hill which took place near Enniscorthy during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. The first developers and settlers in the area were Irish immigrants and they brought a piece of their history with them in the naming. History still plays an important role in Vinegar Hill, but modernization has begun to ease its way in as unobtrusively as possible. For example, at 100 Gold Street a condo development has been established that claims the title of the first green condo in Vinegar Hill, using sustainable practices in its construction and in the everyday functioning of the building (think recycled materials and water conservation).
Vinegar Hill is an area that consists of about six city blocks. The majority of homes here are of the Federal and Greek Revival styles. These beautiful and historic homes are hard to come by, but if you were to find one you could expect to find it in immaculate condition, lovingly preserved and/or restored. Another charming characteristic of this neighborhood are the cobblestone streets and homes found along the waterfront. Mixed in with these historic buildings you'll come across industrial buildings that seem to be getting converted into spacious lofts and condos almost as fast as the market demands. These condos are some of the most luxurious in Brooklyn with amenities such as rooftop terraces, floor to ceiling windows, hardwood floors, high ceilings and balconies with breath-taking views of the East River and the city.
Vinegar Hill, as well as neighboring DUMBO, have experienced a renaissance in the past couple of decades and have become some of the most sought after neighborhoods to live in for artists and commuters alike. The proximity to vibrant commercial districts and a well-tuned artistic community make life in Vinegar Hill feel exclusive yet homey at the same time. Transportation in Vinegar Hill is not a problem. There are several subway stops in DUMBO, as well as a water ferry run by the New York City Taxi Company which stops at Fulton Landing. The Brooklyn Bridge walkway is also very close by with an access staircase at Washington Street. Vinegar Hill is a special neighborhood. It is a prime example of maintaining historic charm and architecture while implementing modern conveniences and amenities. When it comes to living in Brooklyn, it is hard to beat Vinegar Hill.
The Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg, sometime referred to affectionately as Billyburg is in the northern part of the borough and is bound by Bedford-Stuyvesant (Bed-Stuy) to the south, Greenpoint in the north, Bushwick in the east and the East River in the west. Williamsburg has been witness to one of the most dramatic and exciting real estate transformations in a long time. Once full of warehouses and garages on the downturn, those same structures are now beautifully converted condos, lofts and apartments for sale or rent. The neighborhood is home to an artistic movement and has seen an influx of musicians and artists to occupy the spacious apartments on offer. The rezoning of parts of Williamsburg have also resulted in the development of high rise luxury condos with amenities to please the most discerning real estate hunter. Once a part of nearby Bushwick, Williamsburg became a city of its own in the mid 1800's.
The neighborhood is bisected by Grand Street into North Williamsburg and South Williamsburg today. At Northside Piers on the revitalized Williamsburg waterfront you will find luxury one, two and three bedroom condos in 29 and 30 story glass towers. These residences offer the utmost in luxury amenities with a private 400 ft. pier, indoor pool, rooftop terraces and much more. But if it's culture and diversity you're looking for you in addition to warehouse conversions and townhouses, you will find plenty of it throughout Williamsburg. The neighborhood has large Jewish, Italian, Polish and Puerto Rican populations and it is not at all uncommon to hear Yiddish being spoken in South Williamsburg. On the North Side, Italian Americans celebrate the Festa dei Gigli, or Feast of Lilies, every summer. The festival is in honor of 5th century bishop St. Paulinus of Nola and for two weeks the streets around Our Lady of Mount Carmel are pulsing with everything Italian. The highlight of the celebration takes place on Sunday when a 100 ft. statue is paraded through the streets with accompanying band and singers.
Williamsburg is the closest of the borough's neighborhoods to Manhattan and is well served by the New York City Subway system. Three lines, the L, G and the JMZ trains make stops throughout the neighborhood. There are several buses that go through and stop in Williamsburg, some terminating at the Williamsburg Bridge/Washington Plaza. Beginning in June, 2011 Williamsburg is served by the East River Ferry with water taxis that leave every five minutes. Williamsburg has been the talk of New York for the past couple decades and for good reason. A revitalized waterfront, bursting cultural scenes, unrivaled renovations and conversions and luxury condominiums guarantee to keep people talking about, and coming to Williamsburg for years to come.
Windsor Terrace is a small, mostly residential neighborhood in central Brooklyn surrounded by Kensington, Prospect Park, Prospect Park West, Park Slope and the Green-Wood Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark. Its location, nestled in between the park and cemetery, along with tree-lined streets make it possibly the greenest of all Brooklyn neighborhoods. In addition to its natural beauty, there are many architectural styles and housing options to be found. Renters and buyers alike will find something in Windsor Terrace and they'll also find it much more affordable than some of the neighboring communities. On a stroll down a Windsor Terrace street you might see two and three story row houses. They may be built of limestone, brownstone, brick or even clapboard, but no matter what they are made of you will notice they've been taken care of meticulously and retain the fine touches of the craftsmen who erected them. You can also find detached wood frame and brick homes in Windsor Terrace, most of which reside in the southern end of the neighborhood.
The south end is also where you will find a few mid-rise apartment buildings with apartments for rent or sale and the newest addition to the Windsor Terrace real estate scene, luxury developments that have brought over a hundred well-appointed condos to the charming little neighborhood. The New York City Subway system serves Windsor Terrace with the IND South Brooklyn Line making stops at 15th Street Prospect Park and Fort Hamilton Parkway. Windsor Terrace is the perfect neighborhood for families. The local public school, P.S. 154, is highly regarded as one of the most successful in the city and offers many special programs, one of the most popular being Chess for Kindergarteners. When the kids aren't in school they can always be exploring the beauty of Prospect Park which is never far away when you're in Windsor Terrace.
While many residents of Windsor Terrace do their shopping and dining in the more commercial neighborhoods in the area, Windsor Terrace is not without its own up-and coming commercial streets. Fine dining opportunities, like Delmonico's where you can get the best steak you may ever eat; do business here, as well as chic coffee houses and eclectic boutiques. Living in Windsor Terrace allows a person to enjoy the best of what New York City and Brooklyn have to offer. From the quiet, tree-lined streets to the cultural diversity to stunning neighborhood parks; it can all be found here, and at a bargain compared to some of the bigger, more well-known neighborhoods surrounding it, for now.