A Tale of Two Cities28

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.

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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


Introducing the Realtor of the Month feature!15

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.


Fall for the Burbs40

Posted by Deirdre // 09-17-2014


Catchy, huh? I just came up with that. First off, I do still live in Brooklyn and we don’t have plans to leave soon. That said, do I still have the conundrum? Yes. Does my husband come home from EVERY trip ANYWHERE outside of here and say, “I had an epiphany”? Yes. We have pretty much ruled out the suburbs because we both work freelance for now and it just wouldn’t make sense for us – we’re more emotionally connected to the city than needing to be physically connected to the city. Know what I’m sayin’? I thought I’d clear that up because sometimes I meet people who have heard of the blog who are surprised that we’re still here. We are.

Suburban Jungle EventBut the suburbs make sense for A LOT of people. Those who are tied to the city for work and want more space for their money. Those who want the security of a good school. Or those who just want the close access to the city without the everyday stress of the city. Yet unless you grew up in the suburbs of NYC or have other knowledge of the area through friends or something, it can be hard to decide which suburb is right.

I happened upon Suburban Jungle Realty I think on Facebook…or maybe through this NY Times article I wrote about a while ago – I can’t remember which. Anyway, I have been in touch with them for a long time and have been wanting to share their services with all of you because it’s just such a great idea! They help city dwellers who are looking in the burbs first with finding the right area for them and THEN connect them with brokers. They have a network of former city people to draw from to help those of us clueless about the burbs with all the typical city questions. So you start off talking to people like you, helping you find the right town for you and your family, not a broker trying to find you a house who may have a different agenda.

So if you happen to be around tomorrow after work in the city, you can check out Suburban Jungle and learn a bit more about them – rsvp to (I couldn’t do that HTML code for the life of me, so you’ll just have to copy and paste – sorry). And stay tuned for an event in Brooklyn that we’ll be doing together – I just may call it Fall for the Burbs!