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What are the best areas to live in Brooklyn?

In recent years, Brooklyn has become an incredibly popular and coveted destination, more so than any other borough of New York City. Not only has Brooklyn become seen as the ‘hip’ borough, Brooklyn has also become rather expensive, especially when compared to Queens, Staten Island, The Bronx, and even parts of Manhattan.

In Brooklyn, prices have skyrocketed and many neighborhoods have transformed into hot spots for business both large and small. The gentrification in Brooklyn cannot go unnoticed; neighborhoods like DUMBO (short for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) have become the most expensive areas to live in all of NYC, with rents surpassing $3000 a month, and real estate prices starting in the millions. 

Brooklyn is an attractive place to live due to its spread out feel and abundance of available public transportation. Brooklyn is home to the R train, L Train, 2, 3, 4, 5, Q, G, B, D, A, C, J, M, Z, F as well as dozens of bus routes.

These days, the best Brooklyn neighborhoods for young families are located in South Brooklyn. These neighborhoods include DUMBO, Clinton Hill, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Park Slope, Red Hook, Gowanus, Fort Greene, Boerum Hill and Brooklyn Heights. These family-friendly areas boast historic brownstones, multi-family homes, good public schools, private schools and cute parks. 

Meanwhile, hipsters, young singles and young professionals are often pining to move to Bed-Stuy, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Crown Heights and Bushwick. Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights have some of the most beautiful homes in the city. Be sure to check out Decatur Street to get a look at some historic stained glass brownstone gems. Renters should also check out Bushwick and Crown Heights because these neighborhoods tend to have more affordable rents. 

Greenpoint is one of the cutest neighborhoods in Brooklyn. The area, once a predominantly Polish enclave, has retained many of its cute small-town Polish charm full of classic row houses and brownstones. With gorgeous East River views, a weekly farmer’s market at McCarren Park, and a love-hate relationship with the G train, Greenpoint is one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Brooklyn. 

Another neighborhood which tends to be super popular with the youth is Williamsburg. Located right next to Greenpoint, this area still has plenty of Italian charm, edgy street art, as well as upbeat nightlife, live music venues, co-op apartment buildings, creative energy and cute coffee shops! One of the best parts of living in Williamsburg is the access to subway lines that can get you to lower Manhattan and Midtown in less than 30 minutes! 

There are also plenty of neighborhoods in Brooklyn that boast old-school energy and haven’t yet become popular destinations for newcomers in Brooklyn. These include Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, Windsor Terrace and Flatbush where cold brew coffee may be harder to find but you can get a feel for classic, un-gentrified Brooklyn. These areas have plenty of single family homes which provide more space and a more relaxed suburban feel. 

Understanding Crime & Safety in Brooklyn: What are the safest neighborhoods in Brooklyn?

The good thing about crime and safety in NYC, is that it has gone down significantly in the past few decades. Back in the 1990s, many in NYC were actively concerned about crime. However, those days are over. Fortunately, NYC has become an incredibly safe place to live, Brooklyn included. And although Brooklyn remains an incredibly safe borough, there are still precautions to take and guidance that may serve you well. 

There are many desirable places to live throughout Brooklyn, ranging from Northwestern Brooklyn to areas further South. To better understand crime and safety in these areas, we can use statistics generated by the NYPD.

The neighborhoods with the highest reported crime: 

Using Computer Comparative Statistics (CompStat), The NYPD has launched an interactive map, identifying crime rates in all precincts throughout New York City. This map classifies locations of reported crimes and general statistics about crime throughout the city. According to the map, the neighborhoods shaded with a darker orange hue have higher rates of reported crime. 

As visible by the interactive map produced by the NYPD, in the last year (Jan 2019-Jan 2020), the neighborhoods with the greatest crime were in the 75th, 81st, 84th and 88th precincts. However, do not be alarmed. This crime statistic remains very minimal with approx. 19-49 crimes per 1000 people. The precincts and their corresponding neighborhoods are listed below:

  • 75th precinct: East New York and Cypress Hills
  • 81st: Bedford Stuyvesant and Stuyvesant Heights.
  • 84th:  Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, and Vinegar Hill.
  • 88th: Clinton Hill, Fort Greene Park, and Commodore Barry Park

Some of these areas are more residential than others. For instance, East New York and Clinton Hill are not on tourists’ radars. However, other parts of Brooklyn like Brooklyn Heights and Vinegar Hill can get quite busy during the day, but become more residential at night, as most of the daily visitors and commuters live elsewhere.

The neighborhoods with the lowest reported crime: 

The areas with lowest reported crime per 1000 people between January 2019 and January 2020 are the ones shaded in the color beige. These neighborhoods belong to the 61st, 63rd, 68th, 62nd, 66th and 70th police precincts of New York. These neighborhoods had fewer than 9 reported crimes per 1000 people in 2019. 

  • 61st: Kings Bay, Gravesend, Sheepshead Bay, and Manhattan Beach
  • 62nd: Bensonhurst, Mapleton, and Bath Beach.
  • 63rd: Marine Park
  • 66th: Borough Park including Midwood and Kensington.
  • 68th: Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights.
  • 70th: Midwood, Fiske Terrace, Ditmas Park, and Prospect Park South.

Many of these neighborhoods are far quieter and residential. Some of these neighborhoods like Marine Park are mostly filled with green spaces like marshlands and parks, which may explain why there are so few crimes. 

Midwood, Ditmas Park and Dyker Heights, on the other hand, have far more suburban feels, where some people may prefer to raise their kids. Ditmas Park is full of grandeur Victorian architectural marvels! These areas are filled with big family homes that are less densely populated than some of the areas in Brooklyn with greater crime. Sometimes these areas feel so suburban, you can convince yourself you’ve left the city for Long Island.

Where should I avoid in Brooklyn?

Frankly, you should be safe in all areas of Brooklyn. By ‘safe’, we mean you can feel comfortable going out alone and feel that your kids are not in any imminent danger. Of course, don’t be oblivious to your surroundings. Use your street smarts, like you would anywhere else. 

For more specific information about NYC crime rates, check out the city’s crime mapper tool for yourself. 

What NOT to avoid in Brooklyn:

Brooklyn is full of some of the best neighborhoods in NYC. Home to wonderful cafes, restaurants, bars and attractions, there are many spots you don’t want to miss! Consider checking out Coney Island, or the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Museum and BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), among other destinations. Other fun places to go are the Barclay’s Center near Atlantic Avenue to catch a Nets’ game, since you’ll probably want to support the local basketball team!

One of the most beautiful areas in Brooklyn is Prospect Park, which is home to several neighborhoods nearby like Windsor Terrace and Prospect Heights. Another fun place to go is the Greenwood cemetery (we know it sounds nuts) but it’s actually one of the most beautiful and historic parts of Brooklyn, full of gothic architecture and interesting greenery. 

Downtown Brooklyn is also a cool place to visit! It’s one of the few places in Brooklyn where high-rise apartment buildings are the norm. Be sure to check out the Time Out Market and the Brooklyn Bridge Park when you are in this part of Brooklyn.  

If you are planning a move to Brooklyn or moving from Brooklyn to Manhattan, be sure to inquire with local Brooklyn movers in your area.







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