General Question

ambos's avatar

Where to live in Brooklyn?

Asked by ambos (496points) February 22nd, 2008

I’m moving to New York in August and wanted to know more about the various neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Which are the safest? The least safe? Best rents? Best scene? Actually any advice you have on living in Brooklyn would be great.

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16 Answers

GD_Kimble's avatar

The most desirable neighborhoods in Brooklyn right now are without a doubt Greenpoint and Williamsburg, they’re the newest “hip” places to live and the rents are skyrocketing accordingly. Both have traditionally been blue-collar enclaves of immigrant families, but recently, they’ve become the epicenter of young, cool, affluent New Yorkers. What used to be warehouses and factories are becoming (high priced) apartments/condos, art spaces, nightlife, restaurants, and shops.
Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope remain very popular, and are largely populated with affluently professionals and young(ish) families. Also very pricey. But with both Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights, the immediate surrounding neighborhoods are pretty great as well, with decreasing rents depending on subway proximity, etc.
Some of the cheapest neighborhoods to live in are Bedford-Stuyvusant and Bushwick, which are undoubtedly, more than a little rough around the edges, but if you look carefully, you can get some great deals. For example, I live on the far eastern edge of Williamsburg, right where it collides with Bushwick to the north and Bed-Stuy to the south, and I have a great, huge , beautiful apartment a block away from the subway…. for a comparative steal. The trade off is my neighborhood is pretty crummy. Especially at night.
That’s the hitch in NYC: you can live in a great apt. in a bad neighborhood, if you’re willing to do the legwork and find one, or you can get a crummy shoebox in an amazing neighborhood, for roughly the same rent. You just have to make a decision as to where your priorities lie: personal space, or community.
With regard to safety, it’s NY, you have to keep your eyes open everywhere, but the neighborhoods I named besides Bushwhick and Bed-Stuy are generally safe®, and to be fair there are better, up-and -coming parts of those two neighborhoods as well… one of the few nice products of gentrification.
For my money the best mixture of price, location, safety, and general quality of life are in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill… great cultural diversity, surprisingly lower rents, ever-declining crime, great restaurants, good bar scene, urban renewal all around. If I could snap my fingers and move, it’d be to one of those two.

softtop67's avatar

depends what you are looking for if you wnat to be on the top end think Park Slope, very much like a little yuppy manhattan or move a little further away and try Bay Ridge or Dyker Heights
In Brooklyn safe usually = expensive think one bedroom in a nice area in the 3k a month range

ambos's avatar

@GD Kimble – Thanks! I’ll be in New York next month trying to get a feel for the neighborhoods and I will definitely have to visit Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. I was getting a little discouraged about trying to find an interesting neighborhood that I wouldn’t have to pay for with all of my vital organs. In regards to where you live in Williamsburg, what do you mean by crummy? I’m trying to get a handle on how different it is from my current situation and if something like that would be acceptable.

@softtop67 – Yeah, I figured as much about the price. I’ve been doing a lot research on apartment prices and I’m gathering that Williamsburg and Greenpoint are the most affluent/sought after neighborhoods in Brooklyn. And from what you said, the safest. I’m not seeking the safest neighborhood, but one that isn’t going to scare me into never leaving the house at night.

softtop67's avatar

If you are in or around East NY, Bushwick , Bed Stuy well lets just say i wouldnt be walking around those neighborhoods at night

Amurph's avatar

Williamsburg is not necessarily the safest – just one of the most expensive (more so than the Lower East Side of Manhattan and parts of the East Vllage in Manhattan at this point) and (I’m sorry, Billyburg) at this point it’s almost over rated. HOWEVER – the pizza place on Bedford between North 8th and 9th is one of the best in the city….

There are great things there, true but I’d look at Fort Greene, Park Slope, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, and Greenpoint. They all still have their old vibe flavor (esp. Fort Greene & Greenpoint), are mildly affordable (for good neighborhoods in Brooklyn).

If you’re looking for truly affordable, check out the area of Fort Greene by the Navy Yards, East Williamsburg (between the expressway and Bushwick), Prospect Heights (as I mentioned). OR areas of Queens like Astoria and Long Island City.

Welcome to The City!

readergirl119's avatar

I lived in Brooklyn for a long time and I defanitlay say you should live in Greenpoint and Clinton Hill. They are the best places in Brooklyn to live.

breedmitch's avatar

Williamsburg is ugly! They should get a tree! And yes, it was once a cool neighborhood, but that’s really over. I’ll second the above positive comments about Ft. Greene, Park Slope, and Clinton Hill. Add BoCoCa (Bourem Hill-Cobble Hill-Carrol Gardens) to your list. All these are already gentrified neighborhoods that are extremely safe. If you want cheaper, up-and-coming areas that are also safe take a look at Ditmas Park, Midwood, Greenwood Heights, Windsor Terrace, and certain parts of Sunset Park ( 18th st to 25th along 5th ave). All the neighborhoods I’ve mentioned are within walking distance to Prospect Park. Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick are all really far from the park and like I said, Really Ugly. Welcome.

ambos's avatar

Everyone, thank you so much! You have been so helpful! I can’t wait to visit in 2 weeks and see all the neighborhoods and make my decision!

BtB_Inc's avatar

To Ambos:

Let us know what you find out and think of the different neighborhoods. I’ll be making the move to Brooklyn around the same time as you.

To Everyone else, thanks so much for all your insight—really helped me out in my own research.

ambos's avatar

BtB Inc, I will most definitely let you know. I’ll actually be in the city next week looking for an apartment, so there should be an update sometime around/after that. Good luck!

leighc's avatar

To Ambos and BtB Inc – how did you get on? where did you end up choosing? I am moving to NY myself in a couple of weeks, being put up in a TINY studio in the west village for the first month and then it’s over to me! Was initially thinking Williamsburg, but think the majority of people seem to think that’s “over”. Can’t decide between a tiny place in the east village or simliar, or a bigger place in brooklyn… what did you go for?

ambos's avatar

Time for an update.

Found a place in Brooklyn. I’ll be living with 2 other people, in a 3 bedroom 1 bath for $2400 a month.

While I was in NYC I stayed in Williamsburg with a friend. I liked the area, mostly for how much there was to do, but I didn’t think it was worth how much they paid. It seemed like they were paying more for location than anything else. Which I guess is what you do in NY, although the Village is really cool. But I ended up going for Brooklyn because I was able to score a bigger place for less rent.

leighc, if you want, I’ll send you some pictures of the place so you can get an idea of what we ended up with.

calcat's avatar

I too will be moving in August, to work in Brooklyn Heights. Thank you for asking this question, Ambos, and many thanks for all the informative answers. I dislike hipper than thou neighborhoods, but also want something “easy”. I now feel like I could find something fun and within walking distance. This is wonderful.

Response moderated
kennedy220's avatar

judge what you see and go with it, i was looking at apts with my best friend and came across a place in bedstuy. i told him i didnt like the neighborhood. long story short we didnt get that apt and he couldnt get out of his current apt. my bf and i found a large cheap place in that neighborhood that i said i didnt like and moved in anyway. less than a month later we where heading to the G train and robbed by 4 guys. 1 went after him and 3 after me. they cut each end of my lips (the commisures) right underneath my eye and a deep cut on my lower cheek. now i wont go out after dark unless i have a car that i can park right at my door or have a cab drop me off. we are constantly looking over our shoulder day and night till we can move from bed stuy

dag1234's avatar

Email me at if you are searching for an apartment rental in Brooklyn.

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