A Tale of Two Cities10

Posted by Deirdre // 10-31-2015


This is not a long post. It’s Halloween and I haven’t posted here in almost a year, officially. I just don’t have the time or energy to do these posts–maybe that says something–but this one had to be done.

I have so much to write as the year has been filled with some big changes for us on the living front. We’re still in Brooklyn but were finally faced with the inevitable–getting booted out of our big apartment in Center Slope that had always been out of our reach. We’re in a tiny apartment now that has other issues and although it was meant to be a transition year, it’s still a big, slap-in-the-face dose of reality. More on that later.

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 10.18.57 AM

A pretty block in Prospect Heights

So in case you missed this article from the NY Times last weekend–the one in which people (at least 3 families!) who lived in tiny spaces stayed put because of their close-knit community. One could have moved to a grand full brownstone in Prospect Heights but stayed in their crappy one bedroom for the neighbors, or something like that. Wait, seriously? The whole thing made my skin crawl, as I like my privacy–I’m not one who likes the surprise knock on the door on a Saturday, or any day really. And well, I just don’t have an extra brownstone lying around so that makes me bitter.

Then yesterday they presented the flip side. The story of the family who had just had enough and fled for the burbs. The loud neighbors, the loud commute, the soul-crushing experience of looking for a decent apartment and finding “a beat-up two-bedroom on the fourth floor of a creaky walk-up in one of our coveted school zones — for $1.2 million.”

I found myself having much more in common with the ones who left (of course it was all through rose colored glasses). He says that the neighbor’s techno beats were his breaking point. I feel like I may have just hit mine with a listing that came through from Street Easy this week. A vinyl-sided box needing a gut reno on a deserted block in Sunset Park 1/2 block from the highway for a cool million. But more on that later.

ugly houseugly house info map of ugly house


“A Touch of Brooklyn” – Ridgewood Update7

Posted by Deirdre // 11-11-2014

Roberta's? No - Trans-Pecos in Ridgewood via NY Times

Roberta’s? No – Trans-Pecos in Ridgewood via NY Times

It’s only gotten crazier since the last post. The latest, in the NY Times Styles section, tells us that “Cafes with vegan muffins, yoga studios and destination pizzerias have (naturally) sprouted.” So clearly, Ridgewood is totally Brooklyn. Of course the people who live in Ridgewood had lots to say about it, over on Gothamist.

“‘I love the term Quooklyn because it is so stupid looking and sounding that it perfectly captures the essence of the real estate hype machine. I feel like the NY Times is doing some Trading Places-esque social experiment where if they write enough articles about Ridgewood being the Next Big Thing, then it’ll become it, and Maureen Dowd wins $1 or something.’ —Alex Tween, 6 year resident of Ridgewood.”

Oh New York Times, what would we do without your Styles section making us all feel like we have already missed out whatever it is or we’re currently right this minute the only one not at the party? Though I think I’m pretty much past needing to hang out with Scout Willis, so that’s good. And Park Slope’s got vegan muffins aplenty.



Introducing the Realtor of the Month feature!11

Posted by Deirdre // 10-07-2014


When I first created Bklyn or Beyond, I had in my mind that I would sell some ad space to like-minded brands in order to support my hosting and programming fees and maybe squeak out a little extra for myself. I quickly abandoned the idea because besides super cute and stylish or cool brands, I don’t really want them on my site! And my posts tend to come in fits and starts as you may know, which doesn’t always make advertisers happy.

the kitchen of dreams

While I don’t intend to turn this into a channel for real estate brokers to prey on desperate home-seekers, I do think that the right broker can go a long way in helping people find a great home. Especially for those looking in new towns, it’s pretty important to be able to have a broker with whom they speak the same language and can tell their innermost thoughts and fears (or something like that).

So I am launching a monthly feature in which I ask a realtor a set of questions that I feel are important to Brooklynites looking to move (within Brooklyn, the burbs and beyond), and give them a chance to sell themselves and their towns or neighborhoods – not just their listings. Let me know what you think and if there are questions that are glaringly omitted!

First up happens to be Maplewood and South Orange, and former Brooklynite Lisa Danbrot.

Pictured is Michelle Williams’ now on the market townhouse in Boerum Hill just for shits and giggles.