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Brownstone Brooklyn

Brownstone houses in Brooklyn
picture from allthebuildingsofnewyork.com
If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that during my New York trip I had a thing for Brownstone houses ;-)

What I loved about historic Brooklyn brownstones is that they define the style and the atmosphere of the neighborhood by setting a standard of charm and elegance for the whole street.
And I found them so romantic!
Named after the once popular building material, by the 1980s this kind of townhouses started to be renovated by artists, academics and other well-educated professionals moving from Manhattan to Brooklyn Heights first, and then to the rest of South Brooklyn.
Of course this process of gentrification in one of the city’s most infamous industrial slums lowered the criminality rate, but it raised the rent (and -in general- the cost of living in such neighborhoods), which is wildly high nowadays especially for this kind of terraced historic houses, while there are also some developers building townhouses anew, as they are really sought after.
But I won’t write about this polemic issue (gentrification is a really hot topic in Brooklyn right now, not only related to “brownstone Brooklyn” but also to other areas such as Williamsburg and Bushwick) as I don’t feel I am enough “qualified” to write about it… I just want to show you a few pictures of these extremely fascinating townhouses, adding some random rambling about the neighborhoods where you can find them.

Brownstone houses in Brooklyn > Brooklyn Heights

Let’s begin with Brooklyn Heights, the neighborhood where this phenomenon began.  Here you can find over-the-top brownstone houses inhabited by “Brooklyn aristocrats” and other extremely wealthy people.
 Brooklyn Heights brownstones new york
Brooklyn Heights is to Brooklyn what Upper East Side is to Manhattan.
Brooklyn Heights brownstones new york
Wandering around this extremely peaceful neighborhood, I was fascinated by the elegance of the facades.
Brooklyn Heights brownstones new york
There are no touristic attractions in this area of Brooklyn (actually, there are no attractions at all, besides a few restaurants and boutiques), but a walk along its elegant streets is something you should not miss!
Brooklyn Heights brownstones new york
Moreover, from this neighborhood you can enjoy a superb view on the most popular skyline in the world!
skyline Brooklyn Heights brownstones new york

Brownstone houses in Brooklyn > Park Slope

I can definitely picture myself living in Park Slope! I loved the park, the bistros, the boutiques, the long tree-lined avenues… and all the beautiful brownstone houses, of course!
brownstone Park slope brooklyn new york
This neighborhood is very trendy-chic (but not pretentious at all) with wonderful rowhouses you can’t help dreaming about.
brownstone Park slope brooklyn new york
On a sunny Saturday morning I enjoyed a pleasant walk around Prospect Park lake; the park is more wild and authentic than Central Park and even Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux –the landscape architects who had designed both parks- said that Prospect park was a better creation than its big brother in Manhattan. And while Central Park is over-crowded with tourists, Prospect Park is the perfect place to mingle with locals. The park is always full of people playing baseball, riding horses, jogging or simply relaxing on the grass.
At least, until the big storm suddenly arrived…
prospect park Park slope brooklyn new york
And so I took shelter at 12thStreet Bar & Grill, a cozy place where I had a tasty burger, and by the end of the meal I was actually grateful to the rain for having fallen down!
12th street bar grill brownstone Park slope brooklyn new york

Brownstone houses in Brooklyn > Clinton Hill

This neighborhood wasn’t in my New York plan, but luckily this is exactly where the subway left me while I was going to the Artists and Fleas market. It would have been a pity to miss this hood and its lovely brownstones!
clinton hill brownstone brooklyn new york
clinton hill brownstone brooklyn new york
Besides brownstone houses, every building in Clinton Hill is extremely elegant and romantic! Actually my favorite brownstones are in this area… one more very pleasant neighborhood to be living in!
clinton hill brownstone brooklyn new york
clinton hill brownstone brooklyn new york
clinton hill brownstone brooklyn new york

Brownstone houses in Brooklyn > Fort Greene

Another beautiful area is Fort Greene, with its relaxed atmosphere of families chilling at the park or buying some organic food at the Fort Greene Park Greenmarket.
fort greene brownstone brooklyn new york
fort greene brownstone brooklyn new york
fort greene brownstone brooklyn new york
fort greene brownstone brooklyn new york
There are not so many brownstones such as in the nearby Clinton Hill, but the area is very nice with a big, hilly park (Fort Greene Park) where you can go for a walk, to admire the view above the Brooklyn skyscrapers and to spend the morning trying to get a decent picture of a squirrel (or, at least, that’s what I did… ;-) )
fort greene park brooklyn new york
fort greene park brooklyn new york
Or you can go to the Artists and Fleas market to buy some hipster vintage clothes. The market is on Saturday, while on Sunday it is held in Williamsburg: stands are pretty much the same, but the “mood” is totally different and I recommend to opt for this one, where I found a more authentic atmosphere.
fort greene market brooklyn new york

Brownstone houses in Brooklyn > BoCoCa

BoCoCa is the abbreviation of Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens (but when I used it in the presence of a local he told me that only estate agents call it so…).
In the past, this area was considered “the only authentic Brooklyn”, as testified by Jonathan Lethem in his detective story “Motherless Brooklyn”: <<…this was Court Street. And Court Street, where it passed through Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill, was the only Brooklyn, really—north was Brooklyn Heights, secretly part of Manhattan, south was the harbor, and the rest, everything east of the Gowanus canal…apart from small outposts of civilization in Park Slope and Windsor Terrace, was an unspeakable barbarian tumult>>.
Besides its historic relevance, this is also an especially rewarding area for a brownstone hunting.
Unfortunately I happened to wander around here always at night, and so I don’t have any decent picture of brownstones to show you. You just have to trust me when I say that brownstones in BoCoCa are simply lovely! ;)
(and guess what? I can totally picture myself living there too! ;-) )
bococa brownstone brooklyn new york
When in Cobble Hill, don’t miss the trendy Smith Street with all its boutiques and restaurants. We ate at a very fancy thai restaurant named “Spice”, whose food was not so spicy but definitely tasty!
Brownstone houses in Brooklyn
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Brownstone houses in Brooklyn  Brownstone houses in Brooklyn

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