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It’s dark, there’s a questionable deli that’s never open, and a sketchy “motel,” but the worst part is the school that has band practices at 8am! On Saturdays!
Best Block for Unexpected Porches 11th Street, between Third and Fourth avenues, Gowanus There’re certain architectural styles you expect this close to Park Slope: brownstones, yes. Apartment buildings, sure. The occasional town house, why not? Even a warehouse or something. But porches?! Walk down this Gowanus-border block, and you’ll find many row houses not with front stoops but with honest-to-goodness porches: we’re talking decks and columns and roofs and shit.
Best Non-Cliche Block for Brownstones 56th Street, between Fourth and Fifth avenues, Sunset Park Oh sure, North Slope, Fort Greene, Carroll Gardens, etc. have lots of blocks lined with beautiful brownstones. But it’s 2013—Brownstone Brooklyn is so cliche! Travel a bit farther south and you’ll still find blocks with gorgeous stone row houses, but in a neighborhood that hasn’t been totally gentrified.
Best Block for a First Apartment
82nd Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, Bay Ridge
Consisting almost entirely of six-family houses with relatively low rents and relatively high turnover, the block boasts—at least when we lived there (in an apartment we really miss!)—a super-active stoop life that extended up onto the rooftops. On summer evenings, a guy would walk around with pet birds, people would set up dinner buffet tables by their garbage cans, others would smoke weed and drink beer and set off fireworks.