Moving to Brooklyn: Deciding on your new neighborhood
Let’s talk about New York City. Remember the time when it was all about the 212? Well, it’s long gone, darling. NYC is a force of nature in its own manner – it is a beast of fast-paced evolution, not at all nostalgic or melancholic; it’s set to thrive evermore, in the most spectacular and unpredictable of ways. It brought Manhattan to its knees, ended its monarchy with a single “OLD GLORY” tag. “Step down!”, New York shouted,“it’s Brooklyn’s time to reign now.” – And you to live in it. Moving to Brooklyn might just be the life-altering experience you’ve been waiting for; you just need to decide on your new neighborhood.
Let’s see where the party’s at.
Williamsburg a.k.a. “Little Berlin”
Was probably the first Brooklyn neighborhood to undergo gentrification. From artisan shops to distilleries, indie music venues, numerous galleries, coffee joints, and mind-boggling bars and restaurants – Williamsburg offers a perfectly balanced conjunction of Brooklyn’s finest, a contemporary art Mecca. If you’re vegan (optional) and consider yourself a well-groomed hip professional, you’re the neighbor waterfront community of Williamsburg wants. Grab that laptop, your Matcha tea in all its fluorescent glory and head out to Bedford Avenue. Now the bad news – it’s not at all affordable. Easy on the eyes, heavy on the pocket, as the old saying goes. (just made that up, but works great) While scouting for your new Brooklyn neighborhood, keep that budget in check.
You might want to consider East Williamsburg as an option; it’s only a 30-minute commute to Manhattan by L train, it has (!) over 300 restaurants, around 150 venues and 200 bars, and the crime rate are surprisingly low. As for rents, one would think it might as well be a bargain; wrong – a studio apartment goes for around $2,500, but it’s still much, much cheaper than its lavish sibling.
Park Slope – Stroller paradise neighborhood
If you like the idea of having leisurely brunch with Ethan Hawke sitting two tables down, watching a football game, you might want to call dibs right now. That’s what moving to Brooklyn looks like when you’re in Park Slope.
Whether you’re sporting a yoga mat, a newborn or an adopted baby dragon, you will blend right in, and it will feel right. Its serene spirit takes you under its wing within a heartbeat, and you’ll find yourself with a sense of community not long after. When in search of your new neighborhood, take your familial status into consideration. Park Slope is THE place for people moving with children, plenty of kindergartens and schools around, but, bear mind, it is also considered one of the wealthiest parts of Brooklyn. Those immaculate brownstones aren’t going to pay for themselves. But, then again, you have Prospect Park and Barclays center right under your nose, it’s just worth all those double shifts.
Bedford-Stuyvesant, The old spark
(Or simply) Bed-Stuy is still amidst gentrification’s centrifuge; it’s the oddball of neighborhoods, but, yet again, strangely exuberant. It’s everything Williamsburg and Park Slope aren’t. Low-income housing projects fuse with organic stores, burlesque bars. It’s a bit sketchy, but oh so appealing. You walk past an all drag queen beauty salon and go “Yeah, girl, work that hair”; it makes you want to wear platform shoes with built-in aquariums, buy a wig, put some James Brown on and throw money at someone. The residue of old New York, New York we know from the movies, still lives on Bed-Stuy’s streets and you have a chance to inhale last bits of it. By all means, please do, before it loses its soul. But, is it safe? When moving to Brooklyn or any other NYC area, you might want to check crime rates first, but you’ll be happy to hear it has dropped by 44% in the past decade, so you could say Bed-Stuy is just as safe as any other neighborhood in NYC, really.
Bushwick – Get your freak on
If you’re artistically inclined, Bushwick just might be what you should decide on when in search of your new home. From the awe-inspiring street art to fetish costume parties held in covert industrial warehouses, it’s one hell of a Candy Land for adventurers. What is this place – a warehouse, a store, a café, a yoga studio, someone’s bedroom? – a ubiquitous and not at all strange occurrence in Bushwick. (and only in Bushwick can it all be true) Once you get accustomed to it, you’ll never want to leave. Also, if you happen to be a fan of Mexican cuisine, be still thy heart! – Bushwick is predominantly Hispanic, meaning, well. You what that means. NOM NOM NOM.
Have you decided on your new neighborhood yet?
Out of 71 square miles of Brooklyn’s land, how does one opt for the right neighborhood? Think about your everyday needs and general preferences. Do you like your neighborhood vibrant and ever-growing, or maybe a nice, quiet, residential area would suffice? (good luck finding quiet in New York) Maybe you’re an artsy type, maybe you’re a clean-cut enthusiast – whatever your demands, you will find everything you need, right here, in Brooklyn. If you’ve set your mind on Park Slope, but can’t afford it, why not Boerum Hill? Lefferts Gardens? Here are some viable alternatives for Brooklyn on a budget:
- Crown Heights
- Sunset Park
- Clinton Hill
- Bay Ridge
- Prospect Park South
- Windsor Terrace
So, how does one choose a neighborhood in Brooklyn? Well, ideally, it chooses you. Put on your strut and bring some flowers with you, for it’s going to be a long walk. At the end of the day, you know how love works – it has to be mutual.
If you are not convinced that Brooklyn is the right place for you, you might want to consider other NYC neighborhoods. Brooklyn holds no grudges, pinky promise.