Ranking the 13 Most Livable Neighborhoods in Brooklyn

09/26/2012 4:00 AM |

No. 10
Red Hook

We’ll put the lack of mass transit options in the demerit column, because it must be a pain to live there, waiting for a B61 on a cold February evening. But its off-the-beaten-path feel is also why we love to visit—the way certain blocks still seem like snapshots of Brooklyn the way it looked decades ago. Plus, the bar scene is among the borough’s best: bar-for-bar there may be better neighborhoods (maybe!), but every time we visit it’s like being welcomed into a close-knit community that’s friendly and fun, from Sunny’s to Hope and Anchor. Plus there’s Coffey Park, the sizeable ballfields, the vendors who set up there in the summer, the seafood, the key lime pies, the Fairway, the Ikea, and more. We wish the housing stock weren’t so limited and demand so high so that we could afford to live there—and bitch about the dearth of mass transit options!

access: 1
affordability: 6
greenspace: 6
culture: 7
food: 8
nightlife: 7
architecture: 6
Total: 41


50 Comment

  • uh, where’s number 12

  • This sums up the entire borough.

  • Is this a joke? You have Red Hook, Bushwick and Windsor Terrace but not Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill?

  • Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill are all included as “South Brooklyn,” near the top.

  • Again with the lists? I guess you have data that show your readers love pointless arbitrary lists. Ten this. Thirteen that. Five of those. Seven of these. It was cute at the beginning but now it’s ripe for parody and getting annoying. And now you write about OTHER magazines’ lists. Maybe you could skip the lists for a while? Or is that all your readers care about? I guess you know your demographics, but this makes me think your readers must be dullards. How about the five most moronic lists The L Magazine and Brooklyn Magazine have published?

  • I’m just glad Bed-Stuy was left off the list. Although it’s already gentrified, I don’t want it to get more so. Stay in Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Crown Heights…Please & thanks…

  • I guess the title should really have been “Ranking the 13 Most Livable Neighborhoods for White Folks in Brooklyn,” right? You could have saved me the bother of reading this…

  • There are, like 15 neighborhoods further south than BoCoCa (sorry for the acronym)- how is that considered South Brooklyn? Poor choice.

  • Why would you not factor safety/crime into this list?

  • Fort Greene and Clinton Hill have always been great. Take a look at Nelson George’s film “Brooklyn Boheme”! Cool has been here not the “new” hipsters.

  • I love and live in red hook. LOVE RED HOOK. but there is so much crime and shooting and projects and drugs and gangs here, it would be remiss of me to point out what a disservice this article is doing by by saying it’s one of the ‘most livable neighborhoods in brooklyn’ it’s really not. nice place to visit, go to ikea and then get a taco and then go back to somewhere even marginally safer. I’m not even exagerrating, a cop just shot and killed someone on the corner I walk across every day, this past thursday night..a guy soliciting an undercover prostitute. this comment will probably be removed, so all I’m saying is…please be more ‘accurate’ with your ‘lists’.

  • “South Brooklyn” is a common historical term; we didn’t make it up.
    Also, many of these neighborhoods have sizable populations of people of color, including the number-one neighborhood.

  • This list seems slightly bias!!!!

  • This is idiotic

  • This doesn’t sound like a list compiled by Brooklyn natives

  • This doesn’t sound like a list compiled by Brooklyn natives.

  • what the fuck is south brooklyn. it has the carroll gardens park and smith st…uhhh isn’t that just like the BLOCK or so in between carroll gardens and boerum hill? bonus points for including ditmas though!

  • Solid anecdote about your friend from the Soviet Union.

  • @Brooklyn Black Girl

    I was bout to say the same thing. I’d probably add “the 13 Most Livable Neighborhoods in Brooklyn for white hipsters or gentrifiers”, which the editors of this list are — white and/or hipsters and/or gentrifiers and or trustfunders…

    And as wmsgreggs1431 said, not compiled by Brooklyn natives, or New York City natives at all…

  • #1
    Sheepshead Bay.
    Brighton Beach.
    Owl’s Head.
    Vinaegar (sp?) Hill
    … WHY?
    Cares about ‘funky’ boutiques and bad art.

  • I’ve noticed this magazine only really covers the ‘cool’ parts of Brooklyn, but I’m sorry – being born and raised in Coney Island, you are missing out on entire neighborhoods filled with real diversity and culture.

  • Given all the cranky comments here, I marvel that anyone bothers to write anything at all anymore! Yeah, it’s totally a hipster point of view (I live in the decidedly non-hip world of bay ridge, which i adore from the center of my soul) and it could benefit from a little more diversity awareness (fyi – I live in the non-hip bay ridge with my beautiful Jamaican husband and our son – one of probably two multi-racial families out here), but I thought it was a FUN read! Chill out, people, and contribute to the conversation by writing your own articles ~ unless you’re afraid of the haters, of course. 🙂

  • “This doesn’t sound like a list compiled by Brooklyn natives”
    And yet it was! So…

    “what the fuck is south brooklyn.”

    “[Who] Cares about ‘funky’ boutiques and bad art.”
    The readers of this magazine!

    “I live in the decidedly non-hip world of bay ridge, which i adore from the center of my soul”
    me too!

  • Brooklyn sucks. It’s a wannabe posing to be cool. It’s for losers who can’t make it in Manhattan. Manhattan is *the* place to be.

  • LMAO @ da truth…so ironic how easily BS can come from some one called…The Truth. I lived in the city…and realized…if you’re trying to run from yourself…it’s def da place to be. But when the dust settles…you really need culture..not commercialism…and that is in Brooklyn…sorry…

    Besides…claustrophobia is a bioch no?

  • I grew up in Brooklyn and moved away 20 years ago. I go back and visit every year to see family and immerse in nostalgia. I found it funny that the neighborhoods that are so livable were among the most crime ridden ones back then.
    However I do agree that you list the hipster neighborhoods and miss out on so much of the areas that made and still make Brooklyn. Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach, Gravesend, Coney Island. Manhattan Beach , 86th street, etc.. Each of these have their local immigrant communities, bars, local ethnic restaurant. Each generation brings a new wave with their own language, food, stores, and customs. This is the DNA of Brooklyn.
    Soon enough when the cooler neighborhoods rents have risen thru the roof and the hipsters have fled to newer grounds, Brooklyn will still remain Brooklyn/

  • fortgreen clinton hills, is a zoo.

  • People, you are Funny and very, very critical! I say love it all and it is a must to work towards making every area of NY a better place, having Brooklyn being one of them! Chill with Love!

  • @The Truth: Sorry, kiddo, if you think Manahatta is the living end, you haven’t been here long (or perhaps you’re just terribly impressionable). As a Manhattan-born expat, the island was happening about two decades ago. Brooklyn stole that thunder a while back, but I cringe at the encroaching Manhattanization going on here.

  • I dont understand how you can say access is a 6 for Williamsburg. It takes me 20 min to get to almost anywhere below midtown. There are tons of taxi’s. There is a car service right there. There is a ferry that goes to it from the city. The BQE/LIE is right there. As is a bridge right into the city.

    What? The L is crowded during rush hour? Good thing there is one every 5 min. And most of the people you highlight as being positive to the neighborhood are not traveling on the L at 8:30 anyway. And, even if you do… its just a few min to Union Sq and you can get relief.

    Access should be a 10. It is by far the easiest place to get in/out of in BK. If you do that, it is tied with Park Slope. Which sounds about right.

  • Current trying to move into the new York city area but want to find the best area to live in. My focus is the school and crime…..

  • so you basically named every white transplant neighborhood in brooklyn…. are there any weight transplant neighborhoods you didn’t include in this list?

  • I’m actually completely relieved my neighborhood didn’t make this list.

  • Wow all the hipster neighborhoods good job

  • I hope to see Bed-Stuy make this list in the next 3-5 years.

  • Sorry guys but I lived in Bay Ridge for years and I can say that with a few movements here or there this list fairly accurate. It’s called the ‘most livable neighborhoods’. Sorry to be blunt but many of these areas people are mentioning in the comments are not super-‘livable’. Gravesend? Seriously?

  • This list (and many many in written in the same vein) completely ignores that there exists a HUGE chunk of Brooklyn south of all these trendy areas. Where is Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Marine Park, Flatlands…etc? The truly affordable and diverse areas are totally neglected, even though they fit the criteria of this list much better than many of those mentioned.

    All these complaints about lack of greenspace…you want greenspace? Check out suburban Long Island (god forbid though, it’s totally uncool)…Brooklyn isn’t meant to be some kind of utopia where you can have it all…it’s an urban city, and a very densely populated one at that.

    …and what’s up with the artsy fartsy pictures, why not show some actual pictures of the neighborhoods? That would seem like the intuitive thing to do, no? This makes Brooklyn out to be a very very homogenous clusterfuck of scenesters and pretentious artists.

    TLDR: I’ve lived in Brooklyn my whole life and this list just outright sucks.

  • gentrification seems like a good thing, it makes a old neighborhood that is falling apart and makes it trendy, and everyone wants to live there~

    why do you want to live in a worse place?

  • Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Bensonhurst… screw the hipsters and a artists. These are real neighborhoods

  • please recommend part of brooklyn to stay in for one week this summer?

    Hello, i am a Londoner (UK) wishing to visit NYC this summer for a week. in my earlier visit many years ago i only stayed in manhattan, now i’d really like to see brooklyn. I love urban places, big cities, and am interested in trendy (but not too rich) neighbourhoods, but don’t want to feel totally unsafe. Currently i have an option of renting an apartment in bushwick, greenpoint or fort green – any advice?

    Thanks! diana

    ps. I don’t mind a bit of grunge, i live in (south) part of london which has many rough parts…

  • I read the article with interest and have being reading the various articles about Brooklyn and its history. My relative lives in Bed Sty and I have observed over the years the gentrification of the area and the demographic change which I think is good. Now certain parts of Brooklyn are suddenly becoming hip and very very expensive to live in yet years ago, if I can dear say the (white population did not want to live there, but now are and the student increase due to the Pratt college is in the area. How some of forget our history. Gentrification should be for all, but lets not forget the communities that made Brooklyn what it is today.

  • no ratings for bay ridge, no mention for dyker heights, where the quality of life beats any neighborhood in new york.

  • The sad part as a native from 55 yrs ago is that race is the real issue and as usual its being covered up…again.We cant even talk about it nicely. What does “livable” areas really mean? To me it means LOW CRIME. PERIOD! I can say this….Brooklyn was in its heyday in the 50’s and maybe 60’s. Period. Then suddenly a new mayor and political regime was voted in by a minority vote in the early 70’s, forced change upon people who not only didnt want it…but it made the REAL natives of Brooklyn of ALL races, have to leave NY altogether.(How are those people doing?) Because it wasn’t good enough to have Little Italy for Italians, China Town for Chinese, Williamsburg for Blacks and Jews and Bay Ridge for Italians as we enjoyed for 75 yrs.If you wanted to mix you mixed, you didnt, you didnt. Nothing was forced on you or your kids. But No…we had to get a mayor who just threw us all together with forced busing into schools and new projects and low income housing erected right in the middle of beautiful happy neighborhoods with no warnings…until the graffiti and broken windows started. (and we never even knew it was happening at first) whether we liked it or not.TO BE HONEST VERY FEW OF US WERE MAN ENOUGH TO SAY A DARN THING! It didnt benefit anyone at the time. And by the way, a “nice ” neighborhood was judged then is the way it should be judged now………..with one question: Can you stay out past dark and feel safe outside? ” No? Then its unlivable. Period.(At least to 95% of Brooklynlites) And for those who feel Brooklyn was for those who couldn’t afford Manhattan, what planet is that guy on? MOST, yes most Manhattanites couldn’t afford Manhattan. You couldnt live there and own a car too unless you were in Donald Trumps crowd and could afford $350 month parking in 1977! NY was awful for many for that reason so brooklyn was second best but still wonderful. Manhattan was for the rich only to live in, and Brooklyn became so overly diverse, we had no idea who was living on what block anymore, nobody knew their neighbors or spoke their language by the early 80’s. And NOBODY likes to live where you dont know what lies 2 blocks up ahead. Not bangers and not the rich. So the real Brooklyn is gone. All of you under 40 will never know the joy of hanging out safely at 1am at your local diner, never ever seeing a fight break out, always knowing where you’d be safe just by the look and feel that block had. Places that stayed open to eat till 2am because there was no crime and you could hang out at the Canarsie pier ALL night, EJ Corvettes. Jahns Ice Cream Parlor, Roosevelt Raceway(where taking a date to the races at night was cool, fun and you had Drive In movies all around.), Brighton Beach Ave, where you could go to the movies at 9pm, come out at 11pm and THEN go for a stroll on the boardwalk. You could watch free fireworks in Brighton on the board walk every tuesday night.YOU DIDNT HARDLY NEED MONEY TO LIVE AND SMELL THE ROSES BACK IN THE 60’S-70’S. If you arent over 45, you missed it all. The word diversity never came up because if you wanted it,you knew where to find it and if you didnt, you had that CHOICE too. Didn’t America, especially Brooklyn, used to be about having choices? Now over 80% of us over 50 yrs old now got “pushed out” to put it nicely. (actually we ran for our life)Yuh want to make a list on how nice the areas are, where we are stuck at in Florida too? LOL

  • Also, when I was 6 yrs old I went to Brownsville Boys club day camp. It later became the number 2 murder capital of NY and home of a nice little fella named Mike Tyson who admitted himself you couldn’t walk 2 blocks there without getting turned upside down by the bigger kids so they could shake the change out of your pockets and rob you. It was a zoo, in his own words. How did we Brooklynites ever let that happen? And then the next neighborhood and the next. And we kept thinking the law, the politicians would step in!!! But still we had so many good areas left we never thought an overly zealous mayor would just do everything he could to make sure not one group could have their own area anymore.80% of us who wanted to die of old age overlooking the lovely avenues and stores and beaches we grew up near were chased away by thugs to areas where our fsamilies come see us once every 2 yrs if we are lucky. And they never mentioned this mayors name as the one who gave away NY. Let me prove a point if I may folks. Can any of us who are not of color just waltz around many,many areas in Brooklyn anymore? No. Why not? Because they dont want diversity there and we RESPECT THEIR WISHES! Too bad no one respected ours. Brooklyn may get some of its appeal back, and it may draw in some money people, but the days of having choices of who you stroll down the street with at night are gone forever. Thats not America anymore. I lost my whole family because they had to leave the area of BKLYN I grew up and wanted to die in.Whole generations of different peoples: Italians, Jews, Irish, Polish, Puerto Ricans,West Indians,Africans, etc, who spent decades to afford a house in bklyn were chased out in a few years of forced bussing and OVER diversification,families never to be together again. Why isnt there a list for those people??? They make a list for everything else here. -( Did we have to make chop suey out of ALL of Brooklyn?
    Case in point: Remember Harlem in the 30’s and 40’s? It was so lovely. Blacks and whites went to the same clubs and enjoyed the same things.Billie Holiday and Lena Horne were the voice of NY for ALL of us. How did that happen? NOBODY FORCED IT ON US. Maybe that should be the civil rights lesson of the 20th century. Nobody wins when you make people do anything. Nature sprouts her trees when shes good and ready, not when you want it. And nature has been around a lot longer than Brooklyn. Should we learn something from her, maybe?

  • Half of the people talking crap know nothing about the history of brooklyn… and theywant to talk about the “real brooklyn” the real brooklyn (original brooklyn) was not riddled with drugs gangs crackhead and stick up kids like it is today.. the real brooklyn was filled with educated cultrally diverse people home to some of the city’s most famous artist.. the brooklyn you are talking about started in the 80s along with the crack epidemic.. read a book before you talk like you know something.

  • We are planning on moving from the UWS to Brookyln. We live in a great location, right on Central Park and close to Lincoln Center but pay a big amount of money for a small apartment.
    We were thinking of moving to Brooklyn but are not sure which neighborhood to choose: Park Slope? Brooklyn Heights?Fort Greene?
    Park Slope ( family oriented but long commuting?)
    Fort Greene ( gorgeous brownstones but, is it true that a night the area is not as “quaint” as it is during the day?)
    Brooklyn Heights? ( gorgeous area but a bit boring perhaps?)

  • affordability: – who’s standards, how much $$ in salary is needed?
    greenspace: parks?
    culture: who’s standards?

    As usual gentrification come around and try to change everything. East flatbush? Flatlands? Mill basin? Canarsie? Too many you know what kind of people over there? How awful your life must be…

  • Sunset Park?