Artists in Residence: Spotlight on Boerum Hill

Known for its charming residential streets lined by 19th-century brick townhouses, Boerum Hill is “a gorgeous, leafy neighborhood with many artists, writers, actors, and musicians,” according to Patricia Cronin and Deborah Kass. That’s why the couple chose this Brooklyn enclave near Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens as their home. Cronin is a cross- disciplinary artist and professor at Brooklyn College; Kass is an artist and sculptor whose work blends pop culture, art history, and identity. Her most recognizable piece is a giant yellow OY/YO sculpture that greets visitors outside the Brooklyn Museum.

OY/YO sculpture
“OY/YO,” by Deborah Kass (Photo: Gabriel Ramos/Shutterstock)

They liken Boerum Hill to Sesame Street for its friendly neighborhood vibe, its diversity, and its creative spirit. Twice a year, their street is closed off for block parties. “There is live music (musicians live on the block), sometimes a bouncy house depending on which child is graduating from what grade, a potluck dinner, and a pig roast,” they say. “Kids ride their bikes up and down the block with shrieks of joy.” —Natalie Chomet


Cronin and Kass are big fans of Books Are Magic (225 Smith St., 718.246.2665), an independent bookshop owned by bestselling author Emma Straub and her husband, Michael Fusco-Straub, recognizable by its bright pink store logo painted on the wall outside.

Just down the street is Paisanos Butcher Shop & Deli (162 Smith St., 718.855.2641), a family- owned “neighborhood institution” that’s been in its current spot since 1960. Offerings range from heroes by the foot to organic beef, and they’re “always striving to add more” variety.

For great luxury resale clothing, footwear, and accessories, check out Consignment Brooklyn (371 Atlantic Ave., 718.522.3522). You’ll find such covetable brands as Chanel, Burberry, and Prada, among many others.

Nearby, Tangerine Yoga (225 Schermerhorn St., 718.855.8622 ) offers heated (to 90 degrees) and nonheated vinyasa classes in an eco-chic space.

Rucola (Photo: Daniel Kukla)


When it comes to favorite eateries, Rucola (190 Dean St., 718.576.3209) is the clear winner. “We feel so lucky to live so close by this farm-to-table restaurant with northern Italian flair.” The small menu features house- made pastas, whole-roasted brook trout, and risotto with mushrooms, butternut squash, and kale.

For sweets, the couple heads to Betty Bakery (448 Atlantic Ave., 718.246.2402 ) for “divine almond leaf cookies dipped in chocolate.” Nostalgists with a sweet tooth can indulge in the bakery’s retro goodies, including house-made Ring Dings, Twinkies, and Rice Krispie Treats. You’ll also find a selection of vegan and gluten-free treats, as well as Unicorn Cupcakes with rainbow icing, sure to delight younger customers.

Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
Brooklyn Academy of Music (Photo: Connie Zhou/OTTO)


Cronin and Kass often enjoy live shows at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, otherwise known as BAM (30 Lafayette Ave., 718.636.4100), a multi-arts center and Brooklyn cultural hub for more than a century and a half.

They are also fond of the Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Pkwy., 718.638.5000 ), a “gem of a major NYC museum.” A lesser-known favorite is Pioneer Works, “a fantastic incubator creative institution with great exhibitions, public programs, and artist residency programs.”

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