The New Hotness or the Old Crankiness?: Bay Ridge
The Ridge is a neighborhood defined by age: its parks, politicians, restaurants, bars and homeowners tend to be old and settled in their ways. But you’re starting to see signs of youth and vigor: a wine bar started by artists, a new taco joint, a fresh-faced Democratic challenger to the old guard Republican state senator. We enjoy the new energy and hope to see it continue to spread.
Gentrifying Hard or Hardly Gentrifying?: Prospect Lefferts Gardens
White people have been moving to this long-time African-American neighborhood for years to take advantage of the spacious and affordable pre-war housing stock and the access to Prospect Park. But it still feels like a diverse community when you visit: most signs of gentrification—the bars and cafes and organic grocers—have been confined to a single block around the Prospect Park subway entrance, while Flatbush Avenue has retained its hair salons and Caribbean eateries.
Most Radical Recent Transformation: Crown Heights
When we told our friend who moved from the Soviet Union to Crown Heights in the 1990s that we were going to a literary reading on St. John’s Place, she told us we were crazy. And when she came with us, she couldn’t believe that places like Dutch Boy and Franklin Park existed. And the neighborhood hasn’t just changed in the last few decades: it seems like every day some new trendy shop opens on Franklin Avenue. We can barely keep up.
Where Hipsters and Immigrants Can Coexist: Sunset Park
Last time we walked around Sunset Park, we passed the 45th Street subway entrance and saw a couple of strikingly crazy-hipster-looking people getting out. Not that they were pioneers: artist-types have been moving down here for years, attracted to the space and low rents. All the Chicken Littles predicting gentrification doomsday have been proven wrong year after year. We don’t know, maybe it’ll still happen, but for now there’s still a long-standing peaceful working-class coexistence with the Chinese and Latino populations.
Best Brooklyn ‘Hood to Own a Boat You Can Anchor to the Dock Attached to Your House: Mill Basin
Our goal in life, from when we were very young, was to be able to walk down our back stairs to our private dock and get in our boat. That is why someday, mark our words, WE WILL LIVE IN MILL BASIN.