Where is Safe, Affordable Housing in Brooklyn?
May 24, 2007 8:38 AM   Subscribe

I need to find an apartment in New York City, quickly, moving from Adams-Morgan in DC. I am looking to live in Brooklyn somewhere, maybe along the L train or the J/M/Z. Apart from Williamsburg hipster haven, can any of you recommend areas that are some combination of affordable and safe?

I'd prefer to live alone, but will consider roommates, if that helps.

Any suggestions on apartment hunting in NYC in general are much appreciated as well.
posted by chinese_fashion to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
See here.
posted by sanko at 8:42 AM on May 24, 2007

Craigslist. Craigslist, craigslist, craigslist. Also: the areas you're looking for are usually called East and South Williamsburg and maybe Bushwick. I live off the Montrose L stop and close to the Lorimer JMZ and found my place (with roommates) on CL.
posted by youcancallmeal at 8:50 AM on May 24, 2007

Best answer: Also: this area varies in safety greatly so I can't overstate the importance of just coming up and walking around before you commit to a place. Since you're coming from Adams Morgan, you shouldn't have a huge trouble dealing with the rent sticker shock. A friend of mine moved here from Woodley Park and is actually paying less than he was there.

If you have other questions, feel free to email. I just went through this myself.
posted by youcancallmeal at 8:53 AM on May 24, 2007

How much are you looking to pay?

Is having stores/restaurants/bars in walking distance important or are you willing to trade that for cheaper rent?

What part of the city will you be working in?
posted by huskerdont at 9:02 AM on May 24, 2007

Safety, tidy streets, decent shops vary block to block in some of the more affordable neighborhoods on the lines you've mentioned. It's true, you've got to scour CL, make some appointments and then walk the neighborhoods at various times of the day.
posted by thinkpiece at 9:09 AM on May 24, 2007

Response by poster: Hey there -- thanks for your tips. I'll be working from home/in Manhattan for meetings. Hoping to be able to bike as much as I can to and from work, around the city.

I'd like to have stores, bars, restaurants nearby ... will be in the city next week for four days or so scouting for cribs.

I'm currently paying $900 for a studio with seperate kitchen/dining area, bathroom, walk-in closet and a HORRENDOUS roach problem right btwn Mt. Pleasant/18th area. Is this spoiled or comparable?
posted by chinese_fashion at 9:43 AM on May 24, 2007

Two affordable and safe-ish neighborhoods that I like are Ridgewood (which is technically in both Brooklyn and Queens) and Greenwood Heights.

Ridgewood doesn't have a lot of bars, but its proximity to both the L and M trains means that if you wanted to, you could go to Williamsburg pretty easily. There are some stunningly beautiful blocks, and it's affordable. (Caveat: There are parts of Ridgewood, however, that aren't near the train and that are also kind of sketchy.)

Greenwood Heights is mostly on the D/N/R line, but during rush hour the M runs there as well. Again, there aren't tons of bars and restaurants (though there are more and more by the day), but it's easy to get to oh-so-urbane Park Slope from there, and walking/biking to the Brooklyn Bridge and into Manhattan is really easy. Also affordable.
posted by veronica sawyer at 10:29 AM on May 24, 2007

Chinese_fashion: $900 a month for a studio in NYC is difficult but doable.

The bad news: For proximity to Williamsburg, you're not going to find it.

The good news: I know a lot of people who live in Greenwood Heights, Kensington and Ditmas Park in Brooklyn who are paying +/- that. Apartments for a similar price can be found in Queens as well, in Ridgewood (natch), Astoria, Woodside, Elmhurst and (especially) Jackson Heights.

They all have relatively fast commutes to the city and even if less "hipsterish" than Williamsburg, have their share of stores/bars/restaurants nearby. Kensington, especially, has been getting a big spillover of artist-types who have been being pushed out of Sunset Park by rising rents.

And if you're willing to do a share, $900 can easily get you a comfortable-sized room in prime Williamsburg and a ginormous loft share in East Williamsburg or Bushwick.

One word of advice though: Avoid anything along the G train. Its reputation for slow, erratic service is well deserved - and as the only train line that does not enter Manhattan, means excruciating morning transfers at either Lorimer Street, Hoyt Schermerhorn or Long Island City to city-bound trains.
posted by huskerdont at 10:38 AM on May 24, 2007

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