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01/05/15 10:30am
01/05/2015 10:30 AM |

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While we don’t ordinarily ascribe to the whole “New Year? New You!” philosophy, we must admit that we’d make just about any changes in our lives right now in order to establish as much of a distinction as possible between 2014 and 2015. Perhaps it was different for you, but we feel a bit worse for the wear right now, as if 2014 was one long loop of getting punched in the gut. And though we can’t change the things that happen externally, we can change—or try to change—certain things internally, thus making us better prepared to steel ourselves for whatever the world throws at us. All of which is to say, we want to get healthy this year. But not in a “let’s lose five pounds” kind of a way; rather, we want to enter this year using a holistic approach to our health, one which, dare we say, will help us feel good from the inside out. (more…)

04/11/12 4:00am
04/11/2012 4:00 AM |


Obsessive Brooklyn locavores (locaholics?) have a new prey: small-batch spirits and wines, made right here in the borough. Sure, the small quantities can mean higher price points, so not a lot of bars feature them in their house cocktails (or else can’t yet get their hands on a bottled product)—but that just makes the hunt more exciting. Here then, is our brief guide to the best of local booze in Brooklyn. Happy drinking!



Kings County Distillery

When April 15 rolls around next week, Colin Spoelman and David Haskell will reach for bottles of moonshine and whiskey—but not because it’s Tax Day. The date will mark the Kings County Distillery’s two-year anniversary, making it the oldest of Brooklyn’s microdistilleries—but the co-owners won’t be in full celebration mode just yet. They’re in the process of moving the company’s operations from Williamsburg to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where they’ll occupy a 100-plus-year-old building not far from the York Street F stop. The new shop will feature a tasting room (the old location was too small to house one) and, if the soil tests come back ok, a patch of ground for growing corn. The duo plans to use the harvest for their moonshine, which the American Distilling Institute crowned best in the country last year. For now, the microdistillery relies on corn yields from organic farms upstate and malted barley from Scotland for its ingredients.

09/28/11 4:00am
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09/28/2011 4:00 AM |

2.Fort Greene/Clinton Hill


Why You Should Move Here

This is what gentrification should always look like, or maybe what it always does if you get in soon enough: brownstoners and their children and their children’s dogs, Pratt kids and churchgoing ladies in their very impressive hats all rubbing elbows as they promenade down Fulton or DeKalb in search of Afro-Caribbean takeout or local cheese, or across unbroken blocks of row houses, mansions and their carriage houses. BAM and the Brooklyn Flea spoil you for choice of culture and retail, while propping up the diverse local businesses.


What the Future Holds

The Greene Hill Food Co-Op, set to open next year on Putnam and Grand, will bring fresh produce to the area more efficiently than the Fort Greene Park Greenmarket, and encourage realtors to extend “Clinton Hill” ever farther east of Classon Avenue, leading to a further upheaval of retail, services and demographics in Bed-Stuy.


Where You’ll Find Us>
Nodding thoughtfully during a reading at Greenlight Bookstore. Playing Skee-Ball at Rope. Browsing the hangers at the stoop sales popping up in the blocks surrounding the Flea. Burying our face into buttery grits at the General Greene, Raising our glass in salutation at the posters of Sean Connery and Elliott Gould in Fulton Grand.


Second Thoughts

The thing about charmingly scuffy brownstones along peaceful tree-lined streets an affordable distance from commercial strips in an only softly gentrified neighborhood, of course, is that at night…


How Much

Average rent of a two-bedroom apartment: $3,200


Greenpoint | Fort Greene/Clinton Hill | Ditmas Park | Cobble Hill | Williamsburg | Gowanus | Bushwick | Park Slope | Carroll Gardens | Brooklyn Heights | DUMBO | Red Hook

09/28/11 4:00am
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1. Greenpoint

Why You Should Move Here

Greenpointers are under the misapprehension that their quiet, lovely (but not dull) post-industrial waterfront neighborhood is still some kind of secret—it is not. But some of its gorgeous, quiet blocks retain a marvelous hidden quality (we’re looking at you Oak Street) just steps from the old New York neighborhood-bustle of Manhattan Avenue or the mellow gentrified sheen of Franklin Street. Maybe it’s the stalwart presence of the longstanding Polish community (half of the hood’s approximately 40,000 residents), or the isolating “G” factor but, somehow, Greenpoint has managed to absorb the northward seep of Williamsburg’s consumer-driven “counterculture” without turning into a hipster mall. And that’s why it’s our number one neighborhood in Brooklyn.


What the Future Holds

Long thought to be one of the most polluted, toxic neighborhoods on the Eastern seaboard—a fact borne out by tragically high cancer rates—Greenpoint is finally getting the environmental remediation it deserves. Given Superfund status in 2009, America’s most polluted waterway—the Newtown Creek—will be getting the full treatment (possibly even a boathouse!), and there’s $25 million from oil-spill culprit ExxonMobil to spend on dealing with a huge undeground oil plume (those are bad). On a lighter note, the recent addition of a ferry stop at the end of India Street takes a very small (but picturesque!) amount of commuting traffic off the G.


Where You’ll Find Us

Eating brunch at Five Leaves (if we can get a table). Having a nothing-but-local dinner at Eat. Reading under the trees at McGolrick Park (a book bought at WORD). Enjoying near-perfect cocktails at the Manhattan Inn.


Second Thoughts

So yeah, cleaning up generations of toxicity is going to take awhile… (But hell, if you’re living in New York City, environmental purity isn’t number one on your list of “WHY I LIVE HERE,” is it?)


How Much

Average two-bedroom rental: $2,600


Greenpoint | Fort Green/Clinton Hill | Ditmas Park | Cobble Hill | Williamsburg | Gowanus | Bushwick | Park Slope | Carroll Gardens | Brooklyn Heights | DUMBO | Red Hook

09/28/11 4:00am
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12. Red Hook


Why You Should Move Here

Red Hook has evolved unlike any other neighborhood thanks to its relative seclusion—the subway only goes near it—and its proximity to the hip parts of South Brooklyn. The heart of Red Hook is the sprawling Red Hook Houses; the rest of the neighborhood is dotted with the kind of homes, low-rise apartments and vacant lots you also see out on Mermaid and Neptune avenues. But unlike in Coney Island, artists and other creative types have moved into many of these homes, creating a diverse neighborhood with a real sense of community that maintains equal parts old-world charm, 20th-century renewal, and 21st-century reinvention. Plus, there’s the IKEA, the Fairway, and those famous seasonal food trucks.


What the Future Holds

Smith-Ninth Street will re-open in 2012 and it’ll be nicer than ever. Local artist Dustin Yellin has purchased an enormous warehouse he’s working to turn into an exhibition gallery with artist studios and a sculpture garden.


Where You’ll Find Us

Behind the Fairway, leaning on a decommissioned trolley. Eating key lime pies at Steve’s. Looking for Michael Shannon. Having pre-dinner drinks at Fort Defiance. Singing karaoke at Hope and Anchor. Enjoying after-dinner drinks at Bait and Tackle. Passed out on Ben Sutton’s couch.


Second Thoughts

You’re going to pay too much money because, despite the lack of amenities like subway service, the finite supply of housing and high demand among the hip inflates prices. The nearest subway station, Smith-Ninth Street, recently closed down for renovations. Plus, a footbridge over Hamilton Avenue is closed for repairs. Red Hook is not easy to get to, and it recently got more difficult. (The sign at a local diner—”Welcome to Red Hook. You made it!”) There’s also something discomfiting about the Van Brunt strip’s disconnect from its public-housing neighbors.


How Much

Average rent of a two-bedroom apartment:$2,600


Greenpoint | Fort Green/Clinton Hill | Ditmas Park | Cobble Hill | Williamsburg | Gowanus | Bushwick | Park Slope | Carroll Gardens | Brooklyn Heights | DUMBO | Red Hook

09/28/11 4:00am
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11. DUMBO


Why You Should Move Here

Full disclosure: This magazine has had offices in DUMBO for just about a decade, now, and we’re still not crazy about the neighborhood. But let us try to list the good: wonderful views of the city, some very good pizza (Grimaldi’s), accessible by land and sea, a good bakery (Almondine), two good bookstores, and two good bars (68 Jay and Superfine). And, sure, if you like tourists taking pictures of the Manhattan Bridge and overpriced delis and roadwork, this is also the place for you.


What the Future Holds

Great news, everyone, you can finally visit Jane’s Carousel! Also, luxury condominiums in parks, in order to pay for said parks—thanks free market!


Where You’ll Find Us

See above. Or waiting on line for the ferry.


Second Thoughts

Seriously, unless you can afford the penthouse views and/or to have your groceries flown in by helicopter, we can’t see why someone would actively seek to rent in DUMBO.


How Much

Average two-bedroom rental: $4,600 (HAHAHA)


Greenpoint | Fort Green/Clinton Hill | Ditmas Park | Cobble Hill | Williamsburg | Gowanus | Bushwick | Park Slope | Carroll Gardens | Brooklyn Heights | DUMBO | Red Hook

09/28/11 4:00am
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10. Brooklyn Heights


Why You Should Move Here

This one’s pretty easy: this could be one of the prettiest urban neighborhoods in the entire country—a stroll on the promenade anyone? So why is it so low on our list? Well, it’s crazy expensive, and it’s so boring it makes Park Slope look like Kreutzberg.


What the Future Holds

Well, not much, really, as the exigencies of historical preservation dictate that the Heights is pretty much a “finished” neighborhood. Of course, the nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park is trundling its way to completion, and there’s been recent speculation about Brooklyn getting its own “big dig,” as the BQE gets buried underground, but even these are but the faintest peripheral shadows on the eternal beauty of Brooklyn Heights.


Where You’ll Find Us

On the promenade reading a copy of A House in the Heights (Truman!), a mixed vegetarian platter from Tut Café by our side, gazing wistfully across the river at the cheaper rents of Manhattan…


Second Thoughts

Seriously, look at those rents. And don’t expect to have much fun (at least the kind of fun that involves anything louder than a decorous “indoor” voice). Also, the hood’s high street, Montague—and its mediocre, overpriced restaurants—feels like it could belong to any pokey little college town in America.


How Much

Average two-bedroom rental: FOUR-THOUSAND DOLLAREE-DOOS!


Greenpoint | Fort Green/Clinton Hill | Ditmas Park | Cobble Hill | Williamsburg | Gowanus | Bushwick | Park Slope | Carroll Gardens | Brooklyn Heights | DUMBO | Red Hook

09/28/11 4:00am
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9.Carroll Gardens


Why You Should Move Here

“Gardens” wasn’t just appended to the end of this neighborhood’s name to make it sound classy: it’s a reference to the oldest homes here, which are set back a few dozen feet from the street to allow for large front gardens. “It is this legacy that sets us apart from being just another brownstone neighborhood,” Katia Kelly has written on her Pardon Me for Asking blog. Like in Cobble Hill—which, c’mon, aren’t these basically one neighborhood? Let’s call it Smithtown—a bumper crop of stylish nightlife spots occupy Carroll Gardens’ section of Smith Street. But the neighborhood also still retains the flavor of its Italian immigrant community. In the last 20 years, an influx of French have arrived, as well, making Carroll Gardens home to an annual Bastille Day celebration.


What the Future Holds

The city is in the process of trying to create a larger historic district, which critics say imposes an undue burden on property owners; supporters point to studies that say property values rise in historic districts. Buy now!


Where You’ll Find Us

Wondering why we never see Mike Conklin at Abilene anymore. Enjoying the croissants at Provence et Boite. Making a meal of the sides at Buttermilk Channel. Cramming into a corner at Bar Great Harry. Eating garlic pita bread at Zaytoons. 


Second Thoughts

The neighborhood also still retains the flavor of its Italian immigrant community. In the last 20 years, an influx of French have arrived, as well, making Carroll Gardens home to an annual Bastille Day celebration.


How Much

Average rental of a two-bedroom apartment: $2,300


Greenpoint | Fort Green/Clinton Hill | Ditmas Park | Cobble Hill | Williamsburg | Gowanus | Bushwick | Park Slope | Carroll Gardens | Brooklyn Heights | DUMBO | Red Hook

09/28/11 4:00am
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8. Park Slope


Why You Should Move Here

The neighborhood may have become a punch line to jokes about baby strollers and over parenting, but there’s a reason the Slope topped Nate Silver’s list of the best neighborhoods in New York last year: block after block of leafy trees and stoops descending from stately brownstones; the proximity to Prospect Park, the nicest place in the borough; the copious restaurants and bars.


What the Future Holds

Then again, Park Slope’s position as the borough’s kid-capital is slipping, with erstwhile hip Williamsburg poised to take over. Will the whole neighborhood become as cool as its hipper south side already is? Or will parents simply take over the borough? The ranks of all those fogeys opposed to the Prospect Park West bike lane are bound to start thinning.


Where You’ll Find Us

If it were socially acceptable to erect a tent in a banh mi shop, we’d live at Hanco’s, feeding off the sandwiches. If evicted, you’d find us down at V-Spot, enjoying some of the heartiest vegan fare in Brooklyn, or spread out in the park’s Nethermead, playing with a stranger’s dog, reading a book (from the Community Bookstore—perhaps a graphic novel from Galaxy Comics even!)—or illicitly drinking a bottle of wine (from Red, White and Bubbly).


Second Thoughts

All those lingering parents do have an adverse effect. We lived here briefly, and a neighbor yelled at us during our housewarming to move our barbecue because we were “smoking out” his kid. That same neighbor woke us up one Sunday yelling at the guy above us to stop smoking marijuana on his fire escape. Hell, we used to sit and brood about those kids upstairs making such a racket. Nice things are for old people—old people who can afford the million dollars a year it takes to live well here.


How Much

Average rent of a two-bedroom apartment: $2,900


Greenpoint | Fort Green/Clinton Hill | Ditmas Park | Cobble Hill | Williamsburg | Gowanus | Bushwick | Park Slope | Carroll Gardens | Brooklyn Heights | DUMBO | Red Hook

09/28/11 4:00am
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7.Bushwick


Why You Should Move Here

Well, according to Patti Smith, the only cool place left near New York City is Poughkeepsie. But, if you’re sort of young and self-identify as “cool,” you could still give Bushwick a try (though, obviously, you’re pretty late to the party, dude). Seriously, though, Bushwick has cornered the ever-shifting market on “artsy,” as Williamsburg galleries like Momenta Art and Nurtureart have made the move, along with a big splash by Chelsea’s Luhring Augustine, which has a space opening later this fall, in a building they bought… So yeah, there are still a few young people here, doing interesting things, but who knows how long they’ll be able to afford it.


What the Future Holds

Williamsburg has come and gone as the locus of cool, and as the waters recede there remains surprisingly sparse evidence of a once thriving gallery scene. Some have suggested the absence of serious investment from cultural institutions, the kind that has happened in Queens, is at fault, so here’s hoping Bushwick can survive the next phase of gentrification with its artistic soul intact.


Where You’ll Find Us

Drinking a $2 PBR at Cafe Ghia. Eating a burger at Burger It Up. Saving up for a big night out at Roberta’s. In Paul D’Agostino’s living room, looking at art.


Second Thoughts

The benefits of gentrification (a thriving arts scene, small businesses serving good coffee/beer/food) are a little diffuse, and it’s obviously more of a hike from Manhattan (if you care about such things). And the greenspace in Bushwick makes Williamsburg look like Montana.


How Much

Average rent of a two-bedroom apartment: $1,600


Greenpoint | Fort Green/Clinton Hill | Ditmas Park | Cobble Hill | Williamsburg | Gowanus | Bushwick | Park Slope | Carroll Gardens | Brooklyn Heights | DUMBO | Red Hook