Gone are the days when Brooklyn played second fiddle to its prettier, more popular sister, Manhattan. In the past 10 years, the neighborhood has undergone a transformation with the preservation of notable homes, the trickling in of upscale shopping, good eats, amenities, and the expansion of Brooklyn Bridge Park. This, along with an incredibly strong sense of community, has somehow made the older sister a spectacle, and gives reason to why the residents of this charming neighborhood consider themselves very, very lucky to live here.
Finding inspiration in the perpetual palette of lush tree-lined streets and heavenly brownstones is not difficult, and the Heights has become synonymous with movies like Moonstruck or notable residents like Arthur Miller.
Truman Capote, a once notable resident of the neighborhood, is well-known for stating, “I live in Brooklyn. By Choice.” While this seemingly innocuous statement harkens back to the days when the Heights was considered a suburb of unmatched Manhattan, current residents take umbrage at the remark. The neighborhood is flourishing with trees, calm, amenities, and is frankly stunning. Long-time resident Caitie Murphy maintains, “I feel incredibly lucky to live in such a peaceful neighborhood, where I can pop in a shop with my dog, dine at wonderful cafés and restaurants, and greet my favorite shopkeepers on a first-name basis.”
Often thought of as “too far away from Manhattan”, Brooklynites revel in the knowledge that downtown is actually a single subway stop away, thanks to easy access to 2, 3, 4, 5, A, E, R and F lines. On pleasant days, residents hop on a Citi Bike or walk 30 minutes across the Brooklyn Bridge into the Financial District. Those who may have slept in or have a last minute meeting can simply head over to Clinton St. and flag down a cab. It’s easier than it sounds—cabs frequent the street due to its direct link to the bridge, so waits average a stupefying 40 seconds. If coasting along the cool waters of the East River to work seems more appealing, Ferry service is a welcomed addition to the neighborhood, with convenient stops at Pier 6 and Dumbo at the Brooklyn Bridge Park entrance.
Residents luxuriate in daily strolls to the Brooklyn Promenade, a scenic stop that overlooks the New York harbor, brimming with tugboats and majestic Staten Island Ferries transporting their passengers against the backdrop of the city. The Promenade has arguably the best views in all five of the boroughs—stretching from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building—as the skyline of Manhattan towers above the river to rise up and meet all who visit.
Tucked below the promenade is Brooklyn Bridge Park, a burgeoning presence in the neighborhood with new amenities gradually popping up as the waterfront piers are cleared. Locals spread out and catch some rays at on the Vale Lawn at Pier 1, or hop in one of New York’s most undercover gems: the pool. Pier 2 provides an abundance of activities for those in search of more athletic pursuits, including soccer (also at Pier 5), handball, bocce, shuffleboard and a roller rink in warmer months. Pier 6 boasts beach volleyball, a “dog run” and the popular Water Lab for the excruciatingly muggy summer months.
In close parallel with the laid back culture of the enclave, there is an offering of smaller, more mellow parks like Cadman Plaza Park and War Memorial where dogs are welcome, sponge-like running trails lead down to Dumbo, and residents can work on a bench courtesy of free Wi-Fi. Affluent Gen Xers head to Adam Yauch Park, a tribute to the beloved Beastie Boy and activist who grew up on State Street, complete with a community garden, basketball court, and a dog run.
The historic neighborhood provides endless opportunities for leisurely strolling, shopping and even learning. Several homes predate the Civil War, with General George Washington employing the town as a retreat during the Battle of Long Island (also known as the Battle of Brooklyn Heights). The Brooklyn Historical Society on beautiful Pierrepont Street preserves the history of the borough, examining everything from the Civil War to Jackie Robinson’s legacy, complete with a library of archival collections.
Scoot, stroll, saunter into Sahadi's this summer! We've got everything you need for when it's too hot to cook. Thanks for the snap @annemarieconte! ・・・ When in Brooklyn…find out what the heck everyone is raving about. @sahadis, my husband and I just licked clean a plate of hummus and baba ganoush, and we will return for the labneh we foolishly thought we didn't need. #nutsforsahadis #lidsmcgids #brooklyn #hummus
When some shopping is in order, a visit to the legendary Sahadi’s is a must. This delightful Middle Eastern staple offers tea, hummus, grains, fruits, nuts, and snacks galore. Named The Best Grocery Store in America by Epicurious, this stop is not to be missed. The family-owned, upscale Tango has remained a shopping staple within the continually evolving storefronts of Montague Street, offering a carefully curated selection of clothes, accessories, and shoes including Tom Ford, Vince, and Diane Von Furstenberg. For those looking for colorful patterns, unique art, and exquisitely handcrafted furniture for their spacious Heights home, Collyer’s Mansion is a local favorite. The friendly and helpful staff ensure a pleasant shopping experience, and the space is brimming with perfectly selected finds.
The Heights offers no shortage of delectable dining options, so much so that locals don’t feel the need to head into Manhattan for a drink or dinner.
Along the south side of the neighborhood bordering Cobble Hill is Colonie, offering a diverse and delicious menu that proudly highlights local farms. It is best known for its notable brunch that includes Ricotta Crostinis and Monkey Bread. If the brunch crowd gets too hectic, River Deli brings its Sardinian traditional fare to hungry locals, complete with fresh mozzarella and signature flatbread. The hotspot is just a few blocks away, but remember to bring cash.
To the north, Jack the Horse Tavern is more upscale than a tavern, and is known for its Happy Hour oyster bar. Clark’s Restaurant is an unpretentious neighborhood staple filled with patrons no matter what time of day, and shares its local favorability with Henry’s End down the road on Henry Street. An under-the-radar delight is Lantern Thai Kitchen, with reasonable prices and upscale bites. For those that want to stay in, this spot has hands-down, the fastest and kindest delivery.
Floyd is a neighborhood staple for those looking for comfy couches and a fireplace, or a more casual atmosphere of “bocce, bourbon and beer.” The popular spot is anchored by a 40-foot indoor bocce court, making it a great spot for a party. Those looking for a fancier beverage can head to Le Boudoir, a throwback to underground speakeasies, complete with red velvet couches, imaginative cocktails, and cave like ambience.
Brooklyn Heights provides infinitely more space for the money, with high demand and limited supply. With all these tree-lined streets, wide sidewalks, amenities and friendly neighbors, Douglas Elliman takes luck out of the equation with exclusive listings below.
Brooklyn Heights, New York
6 Bedrooms | 4 Bathrooms
Stunning brownstone with high ceilings and breathtaking original stained glass windows. Fireplaces figure prominently throughout the home as do European style crown moldings. An overabundance of closets assures that there is no absence of storage space. The vast chef’s kitchen includes a new Verona double oven, Whirlpool refrigerator, and a new Samsung dishwasher. A verdant outdoor garden is idyllic for relaxation and the basement includes washer, dryer, and tons of space for storage.
Brooklyn Heights, New York
7 Bedrooms | 8 Bathrooms
Offered for sale for the first time in 48 years, this property has five above ground floors plus a full height cellar. Residential tenants enter at street level through a magnificent set of ornamental wrought iron doors, into the wainscoted vestibule with original mosaic floors. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th floor each have 2 sunny, high-ceilinged apartments per floor: a large front facing apartment with large windows onto Montague Street and a rear facing apartment with large windows onto the garden. The 5th floor features one full-floor 1-bedroom. Other value-add options are the rear yard, which is available to be included with an adjacent unit and the building has additional development rights leaving open the opportunity to extend or add rear decks.
Dumbo, New York
2 Bedrooms | 2.5 Bathrooms
This 2,500 square feet corner loft features 2 en suite bedrooms plus library. The large and bright gourmet kitchen features stainless appliances, tons of storage and granite counters. The oversized living room is made for entertaining with north and west exposures. The library is lined with custom mahogany shelves and cabinets and features massive mahogany and frosted glass pocket doors. The Sweeney Building offers 24-hour doorman, newly renovated health club and roof deck.
Brooklyn Heights, New York
Studio | 1 Bathroom
This expansive and bright penthouse studio has oversized windows with room for sleeping, living and dining areas, separate from the kitchen and bathroom. The kitchen boasts granite countertops and stainless steel appliances in pristine condition. Four closets make storage easy. This full-service building with 24-hour doorman includes all utilities, has a card-operated laundry in the basement, private storage, bike storage and monthly on-site parking (for separate fees).
Brooklyn Heights, New York
Studio | 1 Bathroom
This newly renovated, spacious studio, boasts bright city views, high ceilings and ample storage. It includes a walk-in closet, customized built-ins throughout and a separated built-in bedroom/office area and a large living and dining area. A separate windowed kitchen and spacious bathroom single this unit out from the competition. Amenities include 24-hour doorman service, live-in super, bike storage and laundry in the building.