Living in Brooklyn
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.
A neighborhood is certainly not defined by how easy it is to get into or out of. When choosing where to live, most of us consider what kind of amenities and attractions are close by, as well as the overall feel of the neighborhood.
Table of Contents
- Brooklyn Overview
- Bath Beach
- Bay Ridge
- Bedford Stuyvesant
- Boerum Hill
- Borough Park
- Brighton Beach
- Brooklyn Heights
- Carroll Gardens
- Clinton Hill
- Cobble Hil
- Coney Island
- Crown Heights
- Ditmas Park
- Downtown Brooklyn
- Dyker Heights
- Fort Greene
- Lefferts Gardens
- Manhattan Beach
- Mill Basin
- Park Slope
- Prospect Heights
- Prospect Park South
- Prospect Park
- Red Hook
- Sea Gate
- Sheepshead Bay
- Sunset Park
- Vinegar Hil
- Windsor Terrace
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 the 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. 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, rowhouses, 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 burgeoning art community. Prospect Heights has seen a very strong trend of renovations as well as the new building, making it a shining example of Brooklyn: historic, hip, and with a bright future ahead.
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 several 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 an architectural landscape built over two centuries of continuous development, including tall residential apartment complexes, luxurious mansions, and large townhouses occupied by opulent families. Even several 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 beautiful 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 1990s.
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 regional 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 neighborhood 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 every home. With that said, there had 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 important 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 Gravesend, 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 principal thoroughfare, where you’ll find dozens of mom-and-pop Italian cafes and delis. You can also get a taste of Italy during the neighborhood’s 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 greengrocers 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 activewear 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 built upon 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 stops 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 into 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 almost 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, 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 has 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 number 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 the 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 Cosby Show. Perhaps you may like to talk about 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.
The neighborhood of Bushwick is bordered by Williamsburg to the west, East New York to the east, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Brownsville to the south, and Ridgewood, Queens to the north. Bushwick was once an independent town and has seen several boundary changes over the years. This neighborhood’s history began in 1638 when the Dutch West India Company secured a deed from the Lenape tribe. Peter Stuyvesant chartered the area in 1661, naming it Boswijck, meaning “little town in the woods.” The original boundaries of Bushwick included many of the surrounding neighborhoods, which were split up over the years as the land traded hands and new immigrants inhabited the area.
Bushwick is known today to be a popular hotspot for hipsters and artists in Brooklyn, and because of that, there are loads of rental properties like apartments and condos. It is considered to be a very artistic area, and an evening stroll will make you smile with how creative New Yorkers can be. Converted warehouses and lofts abound. In these properties, you’ll find cavernous spaces and high ceilings with some of the industrial, architectural details kept intact, ideal for an artist’s work and/or living space. But if lofts and apartments are not what you have in mind and you’re looking for a townhouse, you will not be disappointed. There are townhomes and detached houses for sale in this artsy community. These homes are available in a variety of styles, including Neo-Greco, Italianate, Romanesque Revival, and Queen Anne. There are also condos for sale in some of the newly constructed buildings in Bushwick. Many of these are luxurious places with very attractive amenities, such as shared rooftop terraces and doormen.
The Myrtle Avenue/Wyckoff Avenue bus and subway hub was recently remodeled and is now a state-of-the-art transportation center. Bushwick is well-served by public transport with the L, M, J, and Z lines having several stops in the area. There are also six bus lines that serve the Bushwick neighborhood. Just because the hipsters have made Bushwick home or the time being doesn’t mean it isn’t a great place for families too. The neighborhood has a substantial educational infrastructure with thirty-three public and private schools, including one charter school and four parochial schools in operation. And when you’re in Bushwick, you are never far from a park or green space. The popular Bushwick Park and Pool lie on over an acre of land on Flushing Avenue and boasts a free public pool as well as basketball and handball courts, a separate children’s pool, and playgrounds.
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 of the most notable and interesting aspects of this neighborhood is 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 ambiance. In the summertime, 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 1840s, 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 had 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 1640s. 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 businesses and shops that have 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 ’90s and ’00s. 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 a peninsula. There once was an area of tidal mudflats 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 south-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. Many schools are 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 of 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, which 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 that 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 for grazing 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 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. Before 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, Nassau 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 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 luxury 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.
Dyker Heights is a neighborhood in the southwest corner of Brooklyn and is surrounded by Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, and Gravesend Bay. The boundaries are formed by Interstate 278, Bay Ridge Avenue, Fourteenth Avenue, and Fort Hamilton. The development of Dyker Heights began in 1895 when Walter Loveridge Johnson began building in what was then a wooded area that had not been well-developed because the slope of the land was not conducive to farming. The most luxurious homes built then were at the top of a 110 ft. hill about where Eleventh Avenue and 82nd Street are now.
This gorgeous neighborhood, which was advertised as the most handsome suburb in greater New York by Walter L. Johnson, boasts an array of rental apartments and condos as well as rowhouses and free-standing single-family homes. Architectural styles range from Queen Anne to Mediterranean homes, and many lie on large plots with green spaces and mature trees. While a lot of the homes in Dyker Heights were built around the turn of the century, most of them have been upgraded with modern amenities but still retain their historic charm with beautifully preserved hand-crafted details and gated front yards.
The most prized homes in the neighborhood are the mansions that remain from the neighborhood’s days as a luxury suburban development. Along with luxury homes comes to golf, of course. Dyker Heights is home to the 18-hole Dyker Beach Golf Course, which lies at the southernmost part of Dyker Heights and is the second oldest golf course in New York City. The golf course has a clubhouse that was renovated in 2008. The area also includes a park with trails, green spaces, and spectacular views. When it comes to spectacular views, it is hard to beat Dyker Heights at Christmas time. Homeowners in the area create a sparkling winter wonderland of twinkling lights and decorations, the likes of which are unrivaled in New York, and perhaps anywhere. The spectacle is so impressive that PBS produced a documentary titled Dyker Lights about the pageantry shown in this neighborhood. Dyker Heights is not served by the New York City Subway system, but all of the bordering neighborhoods are. There are several local buses in the neighborhood and one express bus. Much of Dyker Heights is residential, but there is a bustling commercial area.
Dyker Heights Boulevard, or 13th Avenue, is replete with cafes, butcher shops, family-owned groceries, and anything else one needs or desires. Life in Dyker Heights is something special. In spring and summer, you can marvel at the greenery, and in wintertime, you can take the kids for a drive down the “Miracle Mile” they will never forget.
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. Flatbush’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 several renovations and additions have been seen throughout 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 makes several stops in Flatbush. A string of stations between Prospect Park and Avenue H also offers 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 historical 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 frame houses 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 band’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.
Gravesend is a charming Brooklyn neighborhood in the southwest section of the borough. It is surrounded by Bath Beach and Bensonhurst to the west and northwest, respectively. To the south, across Coney Island Creek, in the neighborhood of Coney Island. Midwood borders Gravesend in the northeast corner, and Sheepshead Bay lies to the east. Brighton Beach is also nearby, just over Shore Parkway. Gravesend is truly a beautiful, tree-lined neighborhood, one of the original towns in the Dutch colony of New Netherland and later one of the original six towns in Kings County.
The origin of the neighborhood’s name is subject to debate. Some believe it is named after the British town of Gravesend; others believe it was named by William Kieft as “Gravesande,” which is Dutch for Count’s Beach or “Count’s Sand.” Whatever you decide to believe, there is no denying the charm of the neighborhood and its plentiful housing choices. Head down one of the verdant streets, and you can find one and two-family homes in a variety of architectural styles. Mansions are also available in Gravesend. Spanish style homes are popular here with stucco and red brick the most common.
Some of the most expensive homes in all of Brooklyn are right here in Gravesend. S, T, and U avenues, as well as Ocean Parkway, are home to some magnificent properties, the most desirable of which have large, immaculately landscaped lots with modern and classic mansions set back away from the road. There are also some co-ops available in Gravesend. Many of these offer luxurious amenities like gyms and parking. The trend in prices and the number of home sales have been on the decrease recently, so now is a great time to purchase a home in this historic neighborhood.
Gravesend has service from three separate lines of the New York City Subway system; the D elevated line, the F elevated line, and the N open-cut line. These three trains make several stops at different stations throughout the neighborhood. Another notable aspect of the Gravesend neighborhood is its founder, Lady Deborah Moody. Lady Moody was an English expat who wanted a place where she and other followers could practice their Anabaptist religious beliefs free from persecution. In 1643 the land was granted to her. The original town was an approximately four-block neighborhood bisected by two major roadways into quadrants and surrounded by 20 ft — wooden walls. Lady Moody is said to be interred in the neighborhood’s cemetery. With a long and historical past, it bridges with the present making a nice and interesting place to call home.
Greenpoint 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, rowhouses, 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 to 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 of the single-family homes back to their old glory, often completely renovating the structures from the inside out. There are also clapboard houses, rowhouses, 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 the 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 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 includes 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 the 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 1660s. In 1893 James Lefferts divided his family estate into 600 plots and sold them off to developers.
Lefferts oversaw 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 area’s 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 cooperative food works to bring social, 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 rooftop 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 several 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 an architectural landscape built over two centuries of continuous development, including tall residential apartment complexes, luxurious mansions, and large townhouses occupied by opulent families. Even several 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 halfway between Prospect Park and Coney Island. The Bay Ridge Branch freight lines from 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 stop 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 Equality, 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 1900s, many of the creeks were dredged to fill in the meadows bringing the acreage up to 332. Soon after, the 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 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 or 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 of 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 sprouting up in recent years. This new commercial zone is trendy and eclectic, reflecting the neighborhood’s 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 on 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 barbecuing 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. a 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 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 no 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 a 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 an 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.
Red Hook is a peninsula in the northwest section of Brooklyn. It is surrounded by Buttermilk Channel, Gowanus Bay, and Gowanus Canal. Some of the nearby neighborhoods are Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, and Cobble Hill. The name “Red Hook” was actually derived from the Dutch word Hoek which means “point,” referring to the point of land, which has a red clay base, which juts out into the water. Red Hook was the home to some of the very first Dutch colonists to come to the area. Rappleye Street in Red Hook is named for the Rapelje family, who descended from the very first European child born in the New World Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, Sarah Rapelje. Today the neighborhood of Red Hook is a developing neighborhood with new condominium buildings cropping up constantly. The progress seems to have started by the water, which makes sense because Red Hook is a working port neighborhood and the only one with a completely unobstructed front-facing view of the Statue of Liberty, that great symbol of hope and freedom. As these condos are going in, they are not without some luxurious amenities.
The finest examples in the neighborhood boast whirlpool baths, lots of hardwood detail, stainless steel appliances, and of course, inspiring views of the water, waterfront, and Statue of Liberty from private balconies or shared rooftop terraces. Public transportation includes the F and G trains of the New York City Subway system with stops at the Carroll Street and Smith/Ninth Street stations. Buses are another option for travel inside the neighborhood and borough. The New York City Water Taxi runs daily from IKEA to Pier 11 in Manhattan and has proved a popular means of transportation for Red Hook residents. Red Hook Park is set on 58 acres and includes several different sports facilities. After working up and appetite on the field, you can head to the neighborhood’s restaurant row, Van Brunt Street, where you might try something from The Good Fork’s seasonally changing menu. Red Hook has a strong artistic side.
The annual Red Hook Waterfront Arts Festival brings together the neighborhood’s artists and art fans at Louis J. Valentino Park and Pier every summer for a celebration, which includes dance, music, and poetry readings. Artistic residents of Red Hook can also be found at Sunny’s Bar on the first Sunday of every month for poetry and other literary readings. For an affordable, luxurious condo or loft in a real working waterfront community, Red Hook is the place to look. The way growth has risen so rapidly in recent years, it would be a good idea to get in on the ground floor before prices go up, and places are hard to come by.
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 an 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 common green 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 peers 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 with 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 rent 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 the Statue of Liberty, the park boasts 24.5 acres of athletic 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 an 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 is 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, sometimes 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 has 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-1800s.
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 of decades and for a 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 a 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 unique 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 busy commercial streets. Excellent 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.