Brooklyn or Bust8

Posted by Deirdre // 03-09-2013

 

Ok Brooklyn die-hards, here’s the New York Times’ first semi-annual Real Estate proclamation of 2013 on alt Brooklyn hoods. They’re calling this latest search for affordable prices a “cross-Brooklyn migration,” citing the median price in Williamsburg as even higher than Gramercy Park. Ouch.

NYT Migration illustration by James Laish

NYT Migration illustration by James Laish

The article goes into a NYT typical lack of depth on a few outer hoods – Sunset Park, Ditmas/Kensington (two totally different neighborhoods in my mind but what do I know), Northern Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens and Bushwick – the “New Gentrification Frontiers.” If that makes you feel squishy, it does me too.

And the thing is, they’ve been saying that about PLG for years, “they” being the real estate people and those who quote them in the media. But businesses catering to this new demographic along Flatbush and Lincoln and Maple Road keep opening and closing – is that a sign? Though Lefferts Gardens Charter school is now open and looks amazing, solving a major issue of a lack of good elementary school options. Though there’s no guarantee of admission I guess because it’s lottery, there’s preference for District 17 residents, which includes PLG and parts of Crown Heights, also a subject of this article.

Sunset Park has been talked about as “a new artist colony” since NY Mag spoke of it as such in ’09, but this hood does actually seem to be attracting artists. Great ethnic food (real Mexican, Chinese and Vietnamese) and some new cafes and bars popping up to serve the gentrifiers, er artists. There are also some zoning changes that will allow big box retail to move in along Third Avenue, with talk of Bed Bath and Beyond being interested (just like the suburbs!). Whatever you feel about that, there’s also a giant rooftop garden going up on that building which is pretty awesome. Plus Sunset Park has Sunset Park, which happens to be a gorgeous pocket park with a nice little playground, a recreation center with a pool and tennis courts in Summer and an ice rink and great sledding hill in Winter. All with a gorgeous view of NY Harbor, lined with some of New York’s earliest townhouses and old growth trees – it’s a winner.  Some info on schools here, and on the well regarded Sunset Park High School here.

Sunset Park

Sunset Park

Ok, this is turning into Part 1 of my slightly more in-depth and personally biased coverage of the neighborhoods in this article, and gearing it more towards people our age, rather than 20-somethings (the bias I have includes assuming that parents are in their 30s or older, sorry). I’ve got to get my kids outside before they beat each other up – we’ve already had one emergency room trip this weekend (stitches for the little one – he’s fine). Will try for Part 2 tonight. Enjoy the sunshine!

Oh, and if anyone actually lives in one of these great neighborhoods, let us in on your experience!