Bed-Stuy – From “Do or Die” to “Rent or Buy”138

Posted by mary-katherine // 07-17-2014


As usual, the weekend is approaching and I’m posting about last weekend’s NY Times. BUT, I did think it was worth it just to bring up the conversation, in case you missed the articles or wanted to chat about them with like-minded others.

Brownstones on Hancock Street

The Living In was about the “diverse and (rapidly) changing community” of Bed-Stuy. An influx of investors, many of them foreigners and/or LLCs (side note – read the nauseating NY Mag article about these people “stashing” their millions in our real estate, if you have the stomach) has driven up prices in this beautiful community of brownstones so much that it now seems close to clubby Park Slope. Guess we missed that boat.

There’s also an interesting piece from WNYC about Bed-Stuy in their “Life in the middle” series on the middle class. Bed-Stuy average income is now slightly over the city’s median. Some are thinking about cashing in on the boom, while others are getting priced out, like a young couple who can barely afford their $2000 a month rent and talk about having to go the “next Bed-Stuy,” which may be East New York. Crazy.

Also in the Sunday Times, the Travel section offered a slightly glossy version of Old Brooklyn coexisting peacefully with New Brooklyn — Wythe hotel and a red-sauce joint. The so-hip-it-hurts The Pines restaurant in Gowanus next to a social club. You get the idea. For tourists, yeah, it probably does feel that way. And for locals, at least those of us who have been here for more than 5 years, it’s often the mix of old and new that keep the charm of the place alive. But I think if you asked many, they’d say the new is steamrolling the old, especially in places like Bed-Stuy where it’s happening so fast it’ll make your head spin, with brownstone prices TRIPLING in four years. I wonder what’s been happening to the schools?

Also, I wish the New York Times weren’t putting our little neighborhood gems in its Travel section. The waits are already long enough.



The Conundrum Lives5

Posted by Deirdre // 02-12-2013


So yesterday I was busy working my (husband’s) coop shift, starving as I was bagging up some Marcona Almonds in the basement – the kind with the skin on, in salt and olive oil – soooo good. Anyway, I took a SUPER quick break to check email and noticed a major uptick in subscriptions to the blog – usually there’s barely a trickle of them over a week, and there were lots in a few hours. My traffic was through the roof (relatively speaking, of course).

Where to?

Where to?

Turns out, as all of you new subscribers know (hi!), there was the all-too-familiar post on PSP (you have to be a member to view the link – sorry) about needing more space for less money, a place that’s commutable and walkable, and wondering if it exists in Brooklyn. Someone then kindly mentioned bklyn or beyond.

Over the course of the blog’s existence we’ve covered lots of alt Brooklyn hoods including Bed StuyRed HookBay RidgeLeffertsGreenwood Heights and Greenpoint. There’s also plenty of stuff on the burbs of course, and some inspiring posts on beyond (le sigh). The bklyn or beyond list serve – almost 5 years old! – has a ton of questions and answers from our over 700 members, so if you’re looking for really specific information, that’s a good place to go too.

So where are you thinking about – no farther than a subway ride? Commuter train? Close enough to telecommute and come in to the city (New York, that is) every once in a while? Or leaving it all behind for the mountains? Let us know!


Bed-Stuy, Red Hook, and…Staten Island?120

Posted by Deirdre // 03-17-2012


I was up early with my older one (well, 8 o’clock which is NOT early but they went to bed at 11 after friends were over) who had some cereal and promptly went on the iPad. This is a weekend-only thing for them, and it allows me some time to do things like read.

My husband and I used to fantasize about living in this Red Hook building. Photo Ui Seit for The NY Times.

So I actually got through most of today’s NY Times Real Estate section, which is chock full of alt-Bklyn and city stuff. The Living In is about Red Hook — its feeling close to the “Manhattan-center-of-the-universe and still have a small town feel”. Residents of Red Hook are a specific lot, those seeking out its removed and hard-edged quality. As usual with this section, I find the information on the schools totally unhelpful. Does anyone out there send their kids to local schools, or have another alternative? It’s close to the Brooklyn New School but that’s lottery (and very in-demand).

Read More…