Brooklyn neighborhood hunting
January 5, 2015 1:10 PM   Subscribe

Tell me why I want to live in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens in Brooklyn.

I'm 99% sure I will be priced out of my current apartment when my lease is up. I adore my apartment and my neighborhood, but it's pretty unrealistic for me to stay here given my financial constraints.

I live in Clinton Hill and I love how it's quiet and has beautiful architecture but there are plenty of things within walking distance. I go to Fort Greene if I want to have a nice dinner or glass of wine, into Bed-Stuy if I want a more casual/younger vibe. But I tend to lean toward less rowdy/more classy. A year or two back, I decided I would move to Crown Heights if I got priced out of Clinton Hill, but as of right now I'm already priced of Crown Heights, but that neighborhood is the kind of vibe I'm looking for.

So I've been looking at PLG/Southern Crown Heights. I have seen a few apartments around my price range but I know next to nothing about the neighborhood itself. Other neighborhoods within my price-range I am familiar with and have looked at and are considering include Ditmas, Flatbush, Sunset Park, South Slope, etc. But I want to explore PLG--I'm mostly interested in areas around the President and Sterling 2/5 stops and the Prospect Park B/Q/S stop. I looked at previous AskMe's but nothing is current and I'm sure things have changed over the past couple years.

Things that are important to me:

1) Relative safety. I'm an early-thirties single woman, but I tend to not venture out too late after midnight, and if I do I take a taxi/uber. I'm going to try to live not more than three or four blocks from subway. I get the feeling that it's a safe-ish neighborhood--right?

2) Things to do. I don't need a huge selection of places to hang out, but I love having a handful of walkable restaurants/bars nearby. I'm going to visit the area this weekend to scope it out, and I would love recommendations of places to eat/drink/shop (bookstores?). I'm not huge into ethnic foods (I have a long list of food aversions), so "it has a great Ethiopian food concentration" or whatever won't really sway me, though it's not a negative thing.

3) Beauty. Like so many, I love Brownstone Brooklyn (see: Clinton Hill). I used to live in Bushwick and I hated it because I thought it was so so ugly. Not into the industrial look or vinyl siding so much. Trees are nice. I like the park, but it's not a huge draw for me. More into architectural beauty.

Obviously I will have to compromise on some things, but where should I walk around to get a feel for whether or not I want to live there?

TLDR: I'm not familiar with PLG but I'm looking at moving there in the near future. Can you recommend places to drink/eat/shop/walk that would give me a feel for the neighborhood?

[And if anyone has any leads on a 1br opening up in June, let me know :)]

posted by greta simone to Society & Culture (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm VERY familiar with this neighborhood! Feel free to memail me if you have more specific questions.

1) There is some crime, which tends to come in waves and is sometimes alarming, but overall I feel pretty safe in PLG (I'm a formerly 30's single woman). It's the kind of neighborhood where you really get to know your neighbors, and there's a very strong sense of community.

2) Lots of new businesses have opened up in the last year or so. It's been a pretty dramatic change, and part of the gentrification process, which is of course a mixed blessing as you have probably seen in the other neighborhoods you are now priced out of. But the additional choices for eating and drinking are definitely welcome! Here are a few...

Midwood Flats
Cinnamon Girl
Tip of the Tongue

There are also tons of great Caribbean restaurants, but I won't list since you're not into ethnic food.

Sadly there are no bookstores.

There's a cool CSA and a brand new food coop for non-traditional food shopping options, plus a new yoga studio.

3) It's a very pretty neighborhood. Plenty of beautiful old limestone row houses and leafy streets. And even if it's not necessarily your thing, having Prospect Park and the Botanical Garden close by is really nice when you need a little burst of green space and fresh air.

For further reading, here's a neighborhood blog.
posted by bobafet at 3:30 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

I don't know PLG very well, but from your description I think you might really like Ditmas Park. Pretty Victorians, nice food but also quiet, and still substantially cheaper than Crown Heights. And if you can find something near the B/Q stops (Beverly, Cortelyou, or Newkirk), you'd still be pretty close to PLG & the park as well. I moved away from the neighborhood a few years ago, but I think the Cortelyou Rd area has only added things to do since then. Feel free to message me if you have questions about that area.
posted by milkweed at 5:30 PM on January 5, 2015

Response by poster: Milkweed, I'm already familiar with Ditmas as an option. I don't know anything about PLG which is why I am asking, so that I'm able to compare.

Thanks bobafet, that's helpful info!
posted by greta simone at 8:33 PM on January 5, 2015

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