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


4.Cobble Hill


Why You Should Move Here

Much of Cobble Hill is a designated historic district, which means that it hasn’t succumbed to overdevelopment the way so many other neighborhoods have in the last decade or two. Twenty-two square blocks, lined with brownstones and row houses, still retain a flavor of the 19th century, when many of them were built. Smith Street, the major commercial strip, has been glutted with trendy bars and restaurants in recent years, but they coexist with traces of the neighborhood’s Italianate mom-and-pop past, represented by traditional spots like Los Paisanos Meat Market and the Smith Street Barber Shop.


What the Future Holds

Alex McCord, a Cobble Hill resident and cast member of The Real Housewives of New York, has reportedly been kicked off the show. That can only be good, right?


Where You’ll Find Us

Enjoying the retro pre-show reel telling us there’s no smoking allowed in the theater, and to please silence our pagers, at Cobble Hill Cinemas, our favorite non-BAM movie theater in the borough. Getting kicked out of Bookcourt under false accusations of shoplifting. Following Martin Amis around. Nursing whiskey-sodas within Camp’s campy summer-camp motif. Trying to sneak onto the secret lower-level platform at the Bergen Street station.


Second Thoughts

Paul Auster lived here—like, 25 years ago! And then he moved to Park Slope, because if you have the money to live in this part of Brooklyn, why wouldn’t you? The park has a powerful appeal. (And we don’t mean Cobble Hill Park, which, FYI, had a rat problem this summer.) Sure, the shopping and nightlife on Smith and Court streets is nice, but Brooklyn isn’t exactly wanting for hip nightlife strips. And while the F train offers access to the rest of the borough and city, you’re kind of cut off in terms of walking. Where you gonna go, Downtown?


How Much

Average rent of a two-bedroom apartment: $2,800


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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3. Ditmas Park


Why You Should Move Here

This is where Brooklynites go when they’ve gotten a little older, when they’ve tired of the nightlife, the noise and excitement of Bedford Avenue, and want to settle down somewhere a little quieter—someplace close to the park, someplace with big beautiful houses from the early 20th century, no two of which are alike. The lawns and tree-lined streets are meant to evoke a park setting, the street names—Argyle, Rugby—an English dignity. “I feel like I live in a small, charming town,” novelist and Ditmas resident Helen Phillips told us. Thanks to the influx of new residents, cool shops have begun to sprout up on Courtelyou Road, the neighborhood’s southern border. But it’s still a diverse middle-class area. “It doesn’t have the only-rich-white-people-live-here kind of vibe that Park Slope has,” resident Maritza Norr told us.


What the Future Holds

Ditmas Park can’t stay a poorly kept secret for much longer—more people are coming. “It really feels like no other part of Brooklyn I’ve ever been to,” Norr told us. “So maybe don’t hype it up too much, because I want it to stay that way!” Yeah, sorry.


Where You’ll Find Us

Drinking flowers and picking the petals off glasses of beer at Sycamore Flowershop & Bar. Eating an Iraqi sandwich at Mimi’s Hummus. Swirling a glass of Cabernet Franc at The Castello Plan. Stocking up on dried lentils at Market. Waiting for coffee to cool at Cafe Madeline. Shvitzing at Brooklyn Banya.


Second Thoughts

Deeper into the heart of Brooklyn, train service starts to get spotty, especially during nights and weekends, when residents might actually want to escape the suburban-style calm.


How Much

Average rent of a two-bedroom apartment: $1,700


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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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

08/31/11 4:00am
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08/31/2011 4:00 AM |


Raul Guerrero

Fashion Editor at Fiasco Magazine


What trends are you most excited about this fall?

The relaxed cut, and the slight and subtle trend of cobalt blue: That’s one color apart from black (the absence of color) that catches my eye. But most importantly the stay-on-trend trend. Designers are now developing this trend where they don’t follow them and cater to the brand, fully experimenting within the brand’s heritage.  


Favorite fall collections?

Phillip Lim’s men’s collection. Looking back at my most important purchases in fashion, there’re these Phillip Lim cargo shorts… From Spring-Summer 09, I’ve been following his progress closely. The current collection catered to both the traditional and the experimental, without losing either end or catering to one end more than the other. 


If you could recommend any piece to invest in this season, what would it be?

This is a very tough one, but I’m going to ahead and say the men’s Givenchy varsity jacket. Not only is it pretty bad ass, but it will live in your closet for years. That’s the beauty of investing in designer wear: pieces can straddle seasons without looking dated. 


What/who inspires your style?

Extremities. As an extreme person, I adopt a style and submerge myself in it. If I believe this particular style would be more powerful by changing my haircut, then I go ahead and do that. I want to live up to it, to its full capacity in many different aspects of life. That can be music, a way of thinking, even the way I study my surroundings. Right now I’m going through a direction where minimalism is my whole inspiration. 


Allison |
Nicolette |
Evren |
Zana |

08/31/11 4:00am
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Evern Caitlin

Fashion Editor at Bullett Magazine


What trends are you most excited about for this season?

I’m very much into all these amazing, hyper-vivid prints and patterns, collages and layers, interesting textures, colorful furs and leather; I also like the shoulders side cutouts (shoulders or waist) on dresses, blouses and shirts; oh, and 90s platform shoes and sneakers, leather backpacks, animal-face sweatshirts, vintage wool and leather college jackets…


Favorite fall collections?

My favorites this year are Givenchy, Suno, Maison Martin Margiela, and Rodarte for Opening Ceremony. 


If you can recommend any piece to invest in this season, what would it be?

I have a few: J.W. Anderson’s mutant hiking boots with those amazing fur fringes;  Givenchy’s black panther print Nightingale bag, and their printed black panther face sweatshirt and skirt. Also, Miu Miu’s wool felt cap. 


Who/what inspires your style? 

Nothing (and nobody) in particular; I just go by a feeling. I get inspired by traveling, art, music, weather, people… I love vintage clothes. 


Any trends you hope don’t make it to 2012?

Yes, many: harem pants or so-called drop-crotch pants look like pajama pants and aren’t sexy. Gladiator sandals, floral leggings, draped dresses, jackets or shirts, jeggings, sweatpants, Uggs, ladybugg sunglasses, ballerina flats, crocs, flip-flops platform flip-flops, and wrinkled clothing.  


Allison |
Nicolette |
Raul |
Zana |

08/31/11 4:00am
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Nicolette Mason

Writer for Vogue Italia, Refinery29 and

Contributing Fashion Editor at Brooklyn Magazine


What trends are you most excited about this fall?

I’m loving all the colorful, faux furs that have been coming out recently. I’m planning on wearing lots of faux fur collars on top of some of my favorite coats; it’s an instant (and inexpensive) way to update my classic pieces. Besides that…I’m so glad glitter is having its major fashion moment! I can’t get enough of sparkly, shiny things.


What are your favorite collections this season and why?

Marc Jacobs for his brilliant use of polka dots and pillbox hats, Miu Miu for its marriage of classic 1940s silhouettes and high-shine glitter, Louis Vuitton for making fetish-inspired looks that Upper East Siders will probably end up wearing. 


If you could recommend any piece to invest in this season, what would it be?

The perfect leather jacket. Leather jackets are my favorite garment, ever, and fall is the perfect time of year to put them front and center.  For this fall, I’ve already bought myself a leopard and leather jacket from ASOS.com.


What/who inspires your style?

Life in New York, the mid 90s (especially riot grrls and cult movies), and every collection released by Miuccia Prada.


Keep updated with Nicolette’s style by visiting her blog nicolettemason.com.

Allison |
Evren |
Raul |
Zana |

08/31/11 4:00am
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Allison Miller
&#8232Freelance Stylist


What trends are you most excited about this fall?

I have Scottish heritage, so I always enjoy plaids, checks, stripes, etc. Also, I’m excited to see color being used for fall. 


What are your favorite collections this season and why?

Thakoon—for his use of color and patterns; Rag & Bone—I like the graphic look of their collection; Chloe—love the snakeskin pattern used in different textiles.


If you could recommend any piece to invest in this season, what would it be?
Ok, let’s just say, if I could, I would “invest”in a Rick Owens leather jacket, or leather cape with fur lining. 


What/who inspires your style?

I guess just New York City at the moment—it encompasses a lot—and I don’t get out of the city much.

See more of Allison’s work here.


Nicolette |
Evren |
Raul |
Zana |

08/31/11 4:00am
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Zana Bayne

Designer, and Editor of her Blog, Garbage Dress


What trends are you most excited about this fall?

Leather, latex, pvc, and lace. Taking sex-shop textiles and mixing them into casual contexts, like pairing a patent-leather skirt with a button-down, or wearing stacked handcuffs like bangles—not necessarily wearing all of these elements at the same time, rather using them as a way to add interest to layers.


Favorite fall collections?

Givenchy, for its restraint, pop, and reinvention of the color purple. Junya Watanabe, for the draped leather, tailored capes, and twisted sweaters. Damir Doma, for aggressive textures and minimal styling. Ann Demeulemeester, for the wicked corset detailing and leather overload!


If you could recommend any piece to invest in this season, what would it be?
I finally decided that it was time to get a pair of leather leggings, and found a fairly affordable pair by Gestuz. I think having a leather jacket that fits your style can be a struggle to find, but once obtained can be a staple for years to come. I’m looking forward to donning my Rick Owens leather from FW10, which was certainly an investment, but also my most worn and versatile jacket.


What/who inspires your style?

I’m most inspired by my talented and creative friends here in New York.


Any trends you hope don’t make it 
to 2012?

I could care less about others’ poor style choices, as long as it makes them happy!


Allison |
Nicolette |
Evren |
Raul |

08/03/11 4:00am
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08/03/2011 4:00 AM |


Best First Book

And Yet They Were Happy, Helen Phillips

Brooklyn College professor Phillips’s debut collects two-page stories grouped loosely by theme (floods, fights, helens), each of which reads like an entry from a cut-up combination of diary and dream journal. Packing each page with poignant symbols and devastating insights, she casually blends realism with surrealism, the workaday with the mythic, reminding us of Zachary Mason’s Odysseus book, or Philip Pullman’s Jesus one, except the mythology she’s recasting is her own.


Best Reading Series
–Poetry: The monthly Blue Letter series offers “lyrics where you live,” provided you live in the backroom of Cobble Hill restaurant Watty & Meg. Come for the verse by primarily local, young poets; stay for the $3 beers. Or is it the other way around?

–Prose: The Franklin Park reading series brings ever-more prominent authors of fiction and nonfiction to the lovely outdoor capital of upscale Prospect Heights every month.


Best Small-Press Branding

Melville House

How to trick attractive young people into buying reissues and literature in translation? Collect-‘em-all series of jacket-pocket sized titles with clean covers. Their Art of the Novella and Contemporary Art of the Novella now being imitated by New Directions’ Pearls series, the Dumbo publisher has moved into an International Crime line (shades of Europa Editions and, well, large-house trends) and started the Neversink Library for out-of-print classics (including slim, terse Simenons) not already rediscovered by NYRB Classics.


Best Education Reporter

Liza Featherstone

Featherstone’s “Report Card”column for the Brooklyn Rail takes an in-depth, skeptical look at the economics of public and charter schools in Bloomberg’s New York—and at the well-intentioned pieties of brownstoners, which this Clinton Hill mom knows all too well.


Best Local Blog

Atlantic Yards Report

Many might have given up on fighting the Atlantic Yards development, seeing it as a lost cause, an inevitability. But Norman Oder’s watchdog blog, now in its sixth year, is still attacking the project—its false promises and environmental costs, as well as its credulous media coverage—several times a day.


Best Turnaround of a Moribund Local Paper

The Home Reporter

Until the longtime owners of this Bay Ridge weekly sold the paper (to the publishers of the Queens Courier) early this year, it barely even had a website. Now, it’s even on Twitter and Facebook! And publishing, both in print and online, a wealth of solid local reporting—just about the only non-News Corp.-owned newspaper still doing so in Brooklyn.


Best Locally Focused Single Issue if a Magazine

City Limits‘ Brooklyn issue

This civic-affairs bimonthly gave over its entire March-April issue to contributing editor Jake Mooney’s investigation of Brooklyn—the decline of its industrial sector, homeownership in East New York, and the evolution of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank tower—painting a richly detailed portrait of the borough’s often neglected and underreported margins.


Worst Puppetry Critic in the World

Thurston Dooley III

The Brooklyn Paper‘s puppetry critic, obviously not a real person, periodically uses the phony byline to trash, in roughly 600 absurdly harsh words, local puppet shows put on by local puppet theaters for local children. It’s time for the paper to retire this very mean-spirited, very unfunny joke.


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Best Cover

Kate Christensen, The Astral

That the novel is a two-dimensional gallery of Greenpoint stereotypes is even more disappointing when you look at the tilt-shift photography on the cover—Brooklyn in lyrical miniature.


Best New Yorker Staff Writer Under 40

Ariel Levy

Putting the “fun” back in “feminism,” the Female Chauvinist Pigs author has taken wrly rigorous looks at everything from handbag designers to Cindy McCain to bra-burning to bunga-bunga.


Best Beautiful and Majestic Lion of Organized Labor

J. Hoberman

The Village Voice workforce—the only unionized alt-weekly staff in the country!—went down to the wire with their New Times bosses when their contract was up last month. After some very public strike-preparation, a work stoppage was prevented—and the Voice’s generous, hard-won employee health plan was preserved—thanks to their lead negotiator, the paper’s last remaining middle-aged left-winger. Awestruck coworkers took to Twitter to call the film critic a “hero” and “a God.”


Best Emotionally Confusing GQ 
Celebrity “Profile” 
By a Former 
L Magazine Editor

Edith Zimmerman on (on!) Chris Evans

Possibly honest about the confusion many feel when being gladhandled by the famous and chiseled (who may themselves be seeking friendship outside the bubble of celebrity—or are they?), and definitely hilarious in its account of a coveted freelance assignment nearly wrecked amid a fog of alcohol and pheromones, our old friend EZ’s diary entry about that time she maybe kinda almost drunkenly flirted with Captain America left us with many conflicted feelings. Like: by some weird transitive property we’re not quite sure we understand, Facebook now lists our relationship status as “It’s Complicated” with Hayley Atwell.


Best Weiner Dick-Joke Headlines

Plenty of media outlets made obvious hot dog and Twitter jokes, but the funniest ones were about penises.

Weiner: I’ll Stick It Out, NY Post, June 10//Weiner: “I’m Sorry I was a Little Stiff Yesterday,” FoxNews.com, June 1 // Weiner Finally Yanks Himself, NY Post, June 17 // Boehner Pokes Fun At Weiner, CNN video, June 7 //He Couldn’t Keep It Up, Metro, June 17-19 // Weiner’s Junk Defense, The Daily Beast, June 1 // Battle of the Bulge, NY Post, June 2 // Fall On Your Sword, Weiner, NY Post, June 8 // Weiner Is Shrinking, NY Post, June 6 // Obama Beats Weiner, NY Post, June 14 // Weiner Pulls Out, NY Post video, June 16 // Take It Out of Tony’s Hands, NY Post, June 3 // Weiner’s Pickle, NY Daily News June 2 // Mounting Pressure On Weiner, CNN video, June 8 // Steny Hoyer Joins Push to Force Weiner Out, UPI, June 12