Crown Heights for real now.
July 14, 2011 7:42 AM   Subscribe

Crown Heights, Brooklyn II: a few weeks ago, I asked this. Answers were helpful. I've now signed a lease for an apartment in Crown Heights and will be moving in early August. It would be useful if you could give me tips and hints about living in my new neighborhood.

I'm on Park Place, between Rogers and Nostrand. Yay?

Where do I buy groceries? Which restaurants are the best? Which everything is the best? Where are fun weird things to go see? Last time you told me about the character of the neighborhood, which was so helpful. Now tell me all the secrets and tricks to living in this part of Brooklyn. I know very little about the neighborhood and after looking at a million apartments in the past few days, I barely even remember what's on my block.
posted by millipede to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Ok, I know there is a Compare Foods down on St. Marks and Franklin, I believe. I have to tell you, Franklin Ave. between the Eastern Parkway and Park Pl. is the best place to be right now. So many new businesses including a FABULOUS vintage botique shop. This lady sells items dating back to the 1800's! Rosebud Vintage is the name.
posted by InterestedInKnowing at 8:07 AM on July 14, 2011

Welcome! Well, we're moving, but welcome regardless! Nostrand has the venerable Imhotep, home of incredible ital food, and more West Indian spots than you can shake a jerk chicken breast at.

We've been living just off Franklin for the past four years, and things have come a very long way on that strip. There's a brand-new Compare supermarket on St. Marks b/w Franklin and Classon (about two blocks west and two blocks north of you) that has excellent produce/meat/fish, as well as three "upscale bodegas" (Nam's, Pine Tree, and whatever the Fisher grocery at Franklin/Lincoln is called now), coffeeshops, a GREAT Indian place (Bombay Masala b/w Prospect and St. Marks), a new brick-oven pizza spot opening at some point, etc etc etc etc. Just walk up and down Nostrand and Franklin and you'll get a feel for what they have to offer. And don't miss Franklin Park, the beer garden on St. Johns just west of Franklin.
posted by LDL_Plackenfatz at 8:12 AM on July 14, 2011

Hi, millipede! You moved just a handful of blocks directly north of me! My wife and I have been in the neighborhood for three years now, and know it pretty well by this point. MeMail me - there's more to say than I have time to write at the moment, but perhaps we can get together some afternoon at Franklin Park Bar for drinks and a Crown Heights debriefing!
posted by Dr. Wu at 11:09 AM on July 14, 2011

Your two main drags for food, laundry, gorceries, and bars near you are Franklin and Nostrand ave, just kind of walk up and down those and you'll figure it out. In the past year or two, Franklin Ave has gotten very Park Slope-y, meaning very expensive. If you need a good grocery store, the MET on Nostrand is reasonably priced, but doesn't stay open late. You'll want one of the many West Indain markets along Nostrand for any late night groceries. The park and the museum and the library are your mainstays for entertainment, although Launchpad on Franklin often has random stuff going on. There's no real trick to living here, just loop the block a couple of times and you'll see what's up.
posted by edbles at 11:25 AM on July 14, 2011

You are moving just a couple blocks east of me, Welcome! The area is great! Franklin Ave is getting better and better every day. I rarely venture far off of the Franklin to Washington area that I live in, so... I am talking about that area here. The design firm I own actually did a big project on the area... the digital map we made shows many of our favorite places, check it out. We did this less than a year ago and the number of bars/restaurants has easily doubled since then.

Grocery: I shop for groceries at the Compare Foods on St. Marks between Classon and Franklin (a little far for you maybe). It is really great. There is also a fancy little grocery store on Franklin called Pine Tree which is super cute but kinda expensive (I believe the same owners as NOM's, another cute grocery shop on Franklin). You can get all the strange little items you might normally expect to find a Whole Foods at these two places.

Drinking: Franklin Park is awesome, def check it out on a nice night (I'm doing it tonight!)! A new place called Franklin Roadhouse just opened, which is... OK. The food is good, the drinks are nicely priced, but the environment is pretty lacking. But, its closer to you than Franklin Park. There is also a new place called Voudou up at Nostrand and Halsey (north of Atlantic) Which is supposed to be great - though I haven't gone yet. There are also tons of places on Washington Ave. Its starting to be a bit of a walk, but if you have a bike, definitely check them out (The Way Station has fun music, and Washington Commons has AMAZING beer)

Restaurants: Bombay Masala is FANTASTIC. Chavellas is too (on Classon). Slice of Brooklyn Pizza is good, but I am actually starting to like Franklin Roadhouses better. There is more thai, chinese, and sushi take out in this area than I know how to handle.

Fun: LaunchPad - is a community art space, they are always doing something fun and it is definitely worth checking out!! When you go, talk to Mike (the owner), he is great and knows everything about the area. They opened right after I moved here and I made a lot of friends there. The Way Station on Washington has fun music most nights, sometimes jazz, sometimes burlesque, sometimes folk... it's always changing, but its usually a good time. Crow Hill Community Garden - at Part and Franklin, it's very new but getting nicer every day.

People to follow: LaunchPad, Franklin Avenue Merchants Association, I Love Franklin Ave Blog, Crow Hill Community Association

The area is awesome, but it is not Park Slope by any means (there is still quite a bit of crime). Be sure to keep your wits about you, especially at night. A friend of mine recently got mugged and I hear about that sort of stuff from time to time.

Feel free to message me if you want, maybe we can meet up for a beer!
posted by LZel at 12:54 PM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

I just moved out of Crown Heights (on Dean, between Brooklyn and Kingston) and even though it was within walking distance to me, I found it much more convenient to shop online at Foodtown (use the Bed-Stuy one as your delivery base) because I wanted to control exactly what I was eating and calculate how much I'd pay for it. Delivery is $10, and the guy who worked the Saturday/Sunday shift almost always brought the bags up my two flights of stairs while I waited downstairs. In fact, delivery from there is one of the things I have been missing since I moved.
posted by TrishaLynn at 5:06 AM on August 11, 2011

Washington Ave is a little bit farther from you, but has a lot of other awesome things, including the Way Station, which has a bathroom which is the Doctor's Tardis, Teddys, which is a cute little Greek place, Tom's Diner, which is a people pleaser old-school tacky diner complete with samples as you wait in line, and more. Actually, brunch is fantastic in the neighborhood: Beast and the Spot both have unlimited Sunday mimosa brunches, for example.

If you head all the way to Underhill, you can go to Blue Marble, which is the best ice cream, like, ever. And Cheryl's is my favorite brunch place nearby. And on Vanderbilt is a number of fancier places for fine dining.

Welcome to the neighborhood!
posted by likeatoaster at 10:56 AM on August 11, 2011

There are also a handful of really great places are Nostrand and Fulton. The Trinidadian food is definitely worth trying, and there's a hole in the wall place on Nostrand and Fulton that sells doubles for, like, $1.50 that are totally fantastic. Also the Halal buffets on Fulton between Nostrand and Rogers/Bedford are great too.
posted by likeatoaster at 7:17 AM on August 14, 2011

Also I would stay away from the Sushi. In my experience, there really isn't anything very good nearby, and it's New York so why settle for gross?
posted by likeatoaster at 7:18 AM on August 14, 2011

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