Bushwick is a popular haven for artists, hipsters and New Yorkers who enjoy this ultra-urban, artistic mecca that is as unique as the creative residents who call it home. With its dozens of galleries, restaurants and industrial areas “gowned” in outdoor murals, this NYC hub of “avant-garde” music and art bordering Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy and Ridgewood is the quintessential mixture of “old school Brooklyn meets new age artisans”.
This industrial neighborhood, blended with landmark homes and architectural wonders is often characterized as gritty, but that’s the attraction. Voted second coolest neighborhood in the United States, there’s a reason why Bushwick continues to boom. Its’ easy “bikeability”, walkability and short commute to Manhattan and proximity to a plethora of subway lines (J,M,Z,L) makes this the perfect alternative to Williamsburg and Bed-Stuy. Culture, originality and a fierce sense of community define this very bright spot on the urban landscape of Brooklyn.
Art is a huge deal In Bushwick. (Have we mentioned it?) and there are many walking, bike and bus tours of this booming and ever-evolving neighborhood. The most amazing, jaw-dropping murals are at The Bushwick Collective
(www.TheBushwickCollective.com). Located at Troutman St and St. Nicholas Avenue, this art gallery/landmark and vibrant epicenter of the art scene reflects the exciting community that is Bushwick.
A long-time diverse historical community and cultural mecca located in north central Brooklyn, Crown Heights has attracted throngs of young 20-somethings to the more than 50 bars, restaurants, boutiques and shops that have sprouted up along the renewed and booming Franklin Avenue corridor during the past few years. Known for its ethnic diversity, the neighborhood has indeed become a thriving melting pot. Crown Heights stretches in a broad arc, with Prospect Heights on the western side and Ocean Hill and Brownsville far to the east. The main promenade and thoroughfare is Eastern Parkway, which is also home to the Brooklyn Museum, the main branch of the Brooklyn Library at Grand Army Plaza and borders on the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. It is the Champs-Élysées of Brooklyn, sans the shops. The area has been famous for its Annual West Indian-America Day Parade on Labor Day, but now other events have been popping up and taking hold as well, including the Crown Heights Film Festival and the Franklin Avenue Reading Series. This mostly residential neighborhood is also the home of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the Jewish Children’s Museum. As Crown Heights continues to evolve, it will most assuredly retain its neighborhood feel and urban vibe, and continue to be a perennial contender in the Annual Greenest Block in Brooklyn event. It is a beautiful blend of beards, bards and bars, all within easy access to Manhattan.
Today’s Bed-Stuy is becoming increasingly more economically and ethnically diverse. It boasts beautiful, well-preserved architecture that spans two centuries and numerous building styles. It also has a significant musical claim as the neighborhood’s central role, deeply rooted in the hip-hop movement, and of specific note, it is the birthplace of Jay-Z and Notorious B.I.G. It is an area resplendent with historical brownstones and a community within easy access to the city. Bed-Stuy is attracting families now priced out of Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights, to a neighborhood that is intent on transforming itself into a desirable inner city destination community. The local residents’ ongoing commitment to improving and preserving the area has been the driving force intent on its survival. The gritty and musical aspects of the “hood” continue to bring in a flood of young, artistic, musically inclined, entrepreneurial transplants. The organic spillage of renters from nearby Williamsburg and Clinton Hill has consumed the area. Myrtle Ave. has transformed itself and is now lined with boutiques, wine bars and new development, while the Marcy Ave. projects and Fulton/Nostrand corridors are surrounded by condos and popular retailers. It’s certainly NOT your mom’s (or Billy Joel’s) Bed-Stuy, anymore.
Williamsburg is the birthplace of “cool” and home to the indigenous hipster, artist and musician. This world-renowned trendsetting neighborhood on the water’s edge with unparalleled views of the city has attracted young creative minds and hearts through the multitude of art galleries, boutiques, coffee shops, world-class restaurants, bars and buzzing nightlife that defines this pop-culture hub. One of the first neighborhoods to lead Brooklyn’s renaissance. Williamsburg’s incomparable, eclectic aura and thriving art and music scene attracts a variety of residents from all over the globe, resulting in it being one of the most desirable places to live in NYC. “Billyburg” or “The burg” is a glittering, free-spirited mix of condos, cafes and serious cultural cache. Though the artists and musician are no longer “starving”, because of the plethora of culinary stimuli, this residential neighborhood maintains an urban bohemian vibe and is the quintessential Brooklyn artistic character, replete with bars, beards and bikes. “The Next Williamsburg” has become the euphemism for “upcoming hot district” and future creative and real estate windfall.
Sandwiched between Williamsburg and Bushwick and defined by the “East Williamsburg In-Place Industrial Park” (EWIPIP) lies the formerly neglected urban industrial district turned pulsating art mecca called “ East Willliamsburg”. The sense of change in this thriving area is palpable with vibrant street art perched alongside factories that make everything from plastic bags to fortune cookies. A force of transformation during the last ten years, East Williamsburg has drawn an array of exciting restaurants, bars and cafés that captivate a varied international clientele serving top-quality food alongside a bustling creative and exciting energy. Art galleries, lofts and recording studios have merged with offices and factories to foster a unique confluence of artistic, artisanal chic and business. Like its’ neighbor, Bushwick, you will find murals painted, virtually everywhere and hip boutiques offering one of a kind merchandise that you won’t find at any retail store. The residential revolution constantly evolves here and new developments reflect the quirky beat and urban beauty of this landmark area. Eco-friendly businesses dot the neighborhood and one can easily discover the obscure vegan delicacy in the natural food stores and markets in the community. The easy commute to Manhattan and bike lanes stretching throughout all of Brooklyn makes this neighborhood a biker’s paradise.
Tree-lined streets and apparent deep concern for curb appeal is what you see as you traverse the neighborhood and view one grand Victorian home after another. It allows you a momentary glimpse back into the 19th century and a chance to breathe the elegance of that period. Ditmas Park was once the preferred residence of choice for the Guggenheims and the Gillettes, as well as their vast fortunes. That overall character still exists today and is certain to charm the individual looking for an escape from the inner city grind, at affordable prices. The architectural diversity includes many building styles evocative of the timeless grace of the period, and now is home to those seeking a place to call their own when attempting to escape the high prices that are Manhattan. The neighborhood is located east of Kensington and has been officially designated as one of several Historic Districts in Flatbush. For the younger demographic in search of an apartment, many spaces are large and boast wide-open floor plans. Diversification is what you can expect as a resident here. Primarily, Ditmas Park is residential, but there is a concerted effort underway to bring quality restaurants and shops to the area to help take the starch out of that Victorian community feel and make comfortable skinny jeans the new norm. Be certain to check out the nightlife and dining on Cortelyou Road and make it your destination of choice. Transportation to and from Manhattan is an easy 40-minute commute on the Q Line and on your way home, a chance to unwind from the stress of the day.
Known for its prominence in the Registry of Historic Districts, Fort Greene is an architectural treasure to explore. This serene and quiet neighborhood of treelined streets filled with elegant brownstones and a multitude of new developments, has evolved into a unique blend of diverse cultures in art, entertainment and culinary delights. “Fort Greene Park” –The oldest park in Brooklyn, named after Revolutionary war hero General Greene, is the foundation of this community, while the restaurants, art galleries, cultural institutions and eclectic entertainment venues are the fruits of the influx of artists that have always defined this family-friendly bastion of bohemia. Creative geniuses from the poet Walt Whitman to Spike Lee have called Fort Greene their home. This “fort” still maintains its’ antiquated charm through the 18th and 19th century architectural wonders reflected throughout this coveted community.
Fort Greene is located in northwest Brooklyn, just across from Lower Manhattan, north of Prospect Park and west of Clinton Hill. Home to Long Island University, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Barclays and the Atlantic Terminal, this transportation hub provides excellent commuting to Manhattan. Whether biking with your Citi-Bike or travelling the LIRR and most major NYC subway lines, Fort Greene is a magnet for those who want the convenience of living in the city with the artistic, friendly and familial vibe of multi-cultural Brooklyn.
The unprecedented expansion of Fort Greene during the last fifteen years, has not taken away the sense of community that has always defined this beautiful area. Many magnificent trees have grown in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and it continues to be the ideal place to live and grow.
Welcome to Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, recently cited as “Brooklyn’s best-kept secret.” Bordering the east side of Prospect Park and down the road from the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, this, remarkably affordable district centers around the magnificent, bucolic oasis of Brooklyn-Prospect Park. This highly functioning green space containing the bulk of Brooklyn’s remaining indigenous forest is home to 526 acres of dozens of recreational activities, such as a zoo, ice-rink, carousel, world-class concerts at its’ bandshell, and the first Audubon center in the nation. With a substantial, attractive historic district and easy access to cultural iconic institutions, like the Brooklyn Museum and Grand Army Plaza, the most impressive neighborhood trait is its’, phenomenally, easy access. There are a variety of subway stops and three express trains in the area providing a “priceless’ commute of minutes to downtown Manhattan. (Warning: This may cause anger, jealousy and resentment amongst your friends) A Mosaic of food and culture makes Prospect Gardens an extraordinary experience for all the senses. The Afro-Caribbean influences are heavily felt in this neighborhood known for its’ unique culinary experiences. The quiet-tree lined streets of distinct and historic homes along with the eco-friendly food co-ops and community activities creates the perfect ambiance to bike, jog and stroll with your family, both human and canine. Dogs are a much beloved and integral part of this neighborhood and it isn’t unusual to see many of these “babies” in strollers. Though the area is expanding quickly, there is a “small town” feel that is reminiscent of the “Old” Majestic Brooklyn, but with the convenience of a variety of retail stores, boutiques, organic shops and lounges. (and of course Amazon Prime Now)