5 Great Neighborhoods in Brooklyn
Browse Brooklyn's most sought-after neighborhoods.Brooklyn is a borough of neighborhoods -- more than 30, to be exact. Each is distinct and unique, boasting its own personality. The neighborhoods are as diverse as the people living in them, and all are rich in history. Some neighborhoods, especially those in north and northwest Brooklyn, have become real estate hot spots despite the ups and downs of the unpredictable real estate market. If you’re lucky enough to own an authentic brownstone built around the turn of the century, you’re holding priceless equity that’s better than a blue-chip stock.
The days of Brooklyn taking a back seat to Manhattan are long gone. For young professionals from all over the U.S., Brooklyn has become the hot place to live, with the pricey rents and home prices to prove it.
The best way to scope out the neighborhoods is to visit each one, preferably on a nice day, when people are outside and you can get a sense of what a neighborhood is all about. Don’t rely solely on guidebooks or real estate agents. See things for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
1 PARK SLOPE
For more than three decades, the Park Slope section has been a hot section for young, upwardly mobile professionals and has ascended to a postcard definition of a true yuppie community. It’s considered an ideal place to raise children because the neighborhood is safe, most of the public schools are excellent and there are plenty of highly touted private schools in adjoining neighborhoods.
Main drag 7th Avenue is a hopping shopping street. And new restaurants keep opening on parallel streets 5th and 6th Avenues. Many of the streets feature large, landmark, turn-of-the-century brownstones in pristine condition.
Park Slope wasn’t cheap in the early 1980s, and today, apartment rentals and home prices are some of the highest in the city. If you’re lucky, you can find a brownstone for under $1 million in good condition. The entrance fee to Park Slope is money -- lots of it.
The Neighbors: Diverse, eccentric, a healthy mix of corporate fast-trackers, media professionals, artists, musicians and filmmakers. Trendy young urban professionals on the move. Singles in their 20s and 30s as well as young married couples with children.
Located along the F subway line, Windsor Terrace is bordered by Greenwood Cemetery on the west and Prospect Park on the east. It’s a tiny, quiet, tree-lined family neighborhood defined by brick row houses and wood-frame homes built around the turn of the century.
Once a busy waterway and a hub for Brooklyn’s maritime and commercial shipping activity, the Gowanus Canal became one of the most polluted sites in New York City. When it was abandoned by industry, the section languished for decades. Since 1999, when funding for a cleanup was approved, the canal was dredged and flushed so that the water was no longer contaminated. As soon as cleanup efforts for the canal began, revitalization of the spacious factory buildings got underway as well.
While most of the buildings have been renovated for residential use, there are still buildings that haven’t been touched because renovations are so costly. But it won’t be long before they’re gobbled up. A few champions of the restoration efforts have called Gowanus the “Venice of New York,” alluding to its special mystique and urban charm.