NY Mag Names Park Slope (Yeeesh!) Top NYC Nabe, Brooklyn Heights Ranks 6th

Oy to the vey!  New York Magazine has named Park Slope New York City’s “Most Livable Neighborhood”.   Their survey is based on many attributes including housing cost, safety and shopping.  Brooklyn Heights ranked 6th behind Greenpoint, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Sunnyside and the Lower East Side.

Here’s their “reasoning” on why those other nabes ranked higher than NYC’s first suburb:

NY Magazine: Though it’s the most expensive neighborhood in the outer boroughs, Brooklyn Heights is arguably still a good deal. Commute times into the densest parts of Manhattan are faster than all but a few neighborhoods on the island itself. Throw in the newly expanded Brooklyn Bridge Park; perhaps the most beautiful homes in the city (the entire neighborhood is a historic district); and safe, clean, tree-lined streets, and it clearly has a lot to offer. What’s missing? The main retail artery, Montague Street, is underwhelming, and there’s little diversity.

Montague Street? This again? Makes us feel like:

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  • Norman E-Mailer

    I don’t mind that we’re ranked behind the Slope, but Greenpoint?!!! Whatever charms it may have is outweighed by the fact that it’s a toxic waste dump. I’ll sacrifice trendy restaurants for a normal expectancy, thankyouverymuch!

  • Colleen

    NYMag rated us after LES? That’s ridiculous. One quick glance at the murder map and there’s a little bubble of nothing which is BK Heights. Nice research NYMag.

  • ABC

    well, how isn’t montague underwhelming? it’s overwhelming in it’s underwhelmingness.

    still, by law and by vow, I am not allowed to take NY Magazine seriously. ever.

  • my2cents

    I disagree with putting us behind the LES, and Greenpoint, but I don’t have any quarrel with the description provided of the nabe. It’s completely accurate. On second thought, though, isn’t DUMBO the most expensive neighborhood in the “outer boroughs”?

  • Monty

    Have a read about his methodology. He acknowledges that choosing and weighing criteria is extremely difficult. There is a little widget linked off the article that lets you set your own weighting. So parents can push schools ahead of night life and get updated rankings. Surprisingly, I only managed to push BH up to #4 and I would apparently be happier in Murray Hill.

  • Spicy

    Surprised we were that high on the list. BH has the worst restaurant choices in the city. Period.

  • Norman E-Mailer

    BH has the worst restaurant choices in the city.

    Eh, for reals? Maybe I have dull taste, but I think JtH remains one of the borough’s great restaurants and Iris Cafe is the best new brunch place to come by in ages. Now, there are quite a few mediocre joints — won’t argue that — but solid places too, like Noodle Pudding and Iron Chef — but I wouldn’t go overboard. For what is a very small neighborhood, the selection is actually pretty damn good.

  • bornhere

    When people choose neighborhoods in which to live, raise families, and stay for longer than x-number of semesters, are local restaurants really an issue?

  • Quinn Raymond

    Nate Silver is a very smart guy. I think the fact that he allows you to adjust the weight of each factor in the ranking makes this far more interesting.

    I can tell you though that most of the people who live in the LES do not consider the nightlife situation there to be a “plus”.

  • Homer Fink

    Quinn – correct about the LES… I wonder if they created a tipping point for nightlife where “oh wow” becomes “oh no!”

    Also.. to get BH to number one, I zeroed out diversity, nightlife, restaurants and shopping (or some combo like that)…

  • ABC

    restaurants are very much an issue for me.

    I’m afraid I go the other way. I think it’s worse than people report. I think JtH is really hit or miss and how can you take anyplace seriously who pre-poaches all their eggs for weekend brunch! (Confirmed by the waiter!) That’s so… lame. And Iron Chef is equally mediocre. I do like Iris Cafe. Doesn’t having a nice cafe where you walk in and see friends remind of all that is missing?

    I think restaurants are really important for an urban community. It’s where you meet your neighbors. It’s street life. It’s like saying local churches are unimportant.

  • bklynnate

    With you there ABC. I love Brooklyn Heights but, until something major changes, I’m very partial to Joralemon Street or south, i.e., within easy striking distance of Cobble Hill/Boerum Hill and the walk further afield to Carroll Gardens.
    But, with such a permeable (read: walkable through pretty streets) boundary between the two, I really consider that part of the extended neighborhood. For me, Iris Cafe, Bocca Lupo, Henry Public, Floyd, Roebling Inn and Waterfront Ale House are mentally, if not physically, closer than Jack the Horse, Noodle Pudding, Iron Chef, etc.. In the summer, I have no qualms about the walk to Lucali, Calexio, the GYC, Zaytoon’s, Oaxaca, Bar Great Harry etc. Despite all those disclaimers, man would it be nice to have a couple good spots on Montague Street with outdoor seating. And a Union Market.

  • AEB

    Yes, yes, the BH restaurant scene is, all-in-all, a no-show, mostly because there is (or was) no food culture here, such as so-called ethnic nabes provide, and no demand (until recently) for the higher-end stuff.

    Another major difficulty with restaurants here is their inconsistency: one night place X is very good, on another, so-so.

    Bottom line: BH lacks a sufficient number of “creatives,” as the mag so ickily refers to them. To have a bit of edge, one needs…a bit of edge.

  • BH Lover

    But we’ve got the subway access that no neighborhood can claim. I’d rather walk to Smith Street for dinner than schlep to the train on a daily basis.

  • ABC

    I don’t think there’s a law that says you can have subway access OR nice places to eat. We can have both.

  • http://loureads.com Lou

    Montague street is super-duper boring. The amount of real estate broker joints has totally sucked too many good store front spaces on that street. Everyone agrees that the food choices in the area are slim pickings. That and the fact that there isn’t one real bar on the street anymore makes it extra lame. I mean a bar that isn’t just a length of seats in a restaurant. The fact that Iron Chef, that new asian place that took the place of Sea, the sushi place in the Clark Station and Fortune House and Wall of China (or whatever it is next to the dry cleaner) are all within like a block or two of each other in such a small neighborhood is crazy. Doesn’t anyone vett that kind of stuff? Sigh…

    So, I like our neighborhood but its most certainly not happening on the fronts that people seem to be into these days.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    I have no problem finding a place to eat out in the Brooklyn Heights area and vicinity. Right down the block I have Noodle Pudding for Italian food and many people think this place is excellent. To great Italians Giamatti and Markowitz frequent the place. Henry’s End is always a good meal. The steaks and veal dishes are excellent. Five Front has an excellent chef in Paul Vicino and its atmosphere is super especially during the warmer months and its back yard. Superfine is always a good meal and nice atmosphere. Plenty of Chinese and Thai places from which to choose and Hibino on Pacific and Henry is top notch for sushi and authentic Japanese hot dishes. Next door we have Henry Public for cheap eats.

    Then there is Smith Street and tons of places in all shapes and sizes for the wallet. Saul, The Grocery, Chestnut, Char #4, Po and Bar Tabac come immediately to mind. Finally if venture out a little further, Frankie’s 457 is great and Alma has a few good dishes with great views. Also, Atlantic Avenue has some interesting places also like Jolie and Bacchus. Also Queen ain’t bad, Bocca Lupo is super, The Waterfront Ale House and Armando’s has its ups and downs. Middle Eastern food is great on Atlantic.

    Bottom line, when my wife and I decide to go out to eat in the Brooklyn Heights vicinity, we have no problem finding a place to satisfy our taste buds.

  • Adam

    There ARE food options in BH, but they are all pretty average at best. And this neighborhood is as diverse as Martha’s Vineyard.

  • ABC

    I hear you KJ. Nobody is starving. But of all those places you just listed, only Henry’s End, Noodle Pudding, and Armandos (blah) are in Brooklyn Heights. (C’mon — the local chinese and thai are crap.) Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens have great options.

    This is the Brooklyn Heights Blog, right? We all live – and love – Brooklyn Heights. I dont feel the need to defend it at all cost ala a Brownstoner thread.

    Hey, the first step to recovery is admitting we have a problem.

    My real hope is that Iris Cafe and the soon to open neighboring Italian place lift the area up a bit and prove that locals will support great local joints.

  • BH Lover

    ABC – Our food options have the potential to change/improve. The transit in Cobble Hill/Carrol Gardens probably doesn’t.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    ABC, are you who I think you are? Very cool.

    It’s obvious I love Brooklyn Heights but when considering food options I consider DUMBO, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens extensions of the Heights, not separate entities. I live on Middagh and walk, at minimum, twice a week to Pacific and Henry for my Sushi consumption. Henry Public’s Pork Sandwich is incredible.

    By the way, I agree on the Chinese but Fortune House isn’t bad for take out, sitting there would make me lose my appetite. And those poor koi stuck in that little tank is depressing. lol I do miss Su Su’s Yum Yum and Susan.

    May I also add, Bread and Butter is a fun place to go when calories aren’t an issue.

    Finally, may I add that my wife had the gas turned off in our apartment 15 years ago so we eat out frequently. The only thing we cook is tea in the morning when too lazy to go to Cranberry’s for coffee and a scone.

  • heights mom

    The thing about Iris Cafe is that it is just so pretentious to try to be so English. “Egg and Soliders” for instance.

  • ABC

    heights mom, how would you put “egg and soldiers” on a menu without writing that?

    Karl, am I who you think I am? Maybe…

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    Hmmm…I haven’t tried Iris Cafe yet, but, Anglophile that I am, I suppose I should. I wonder if they serve toad-in-the-hole, or spotted dick.

  • http://loureads.com Lou

    The Thai in BH is really really subpar and over priced for what you get. I wish Ghang Thai (formerly Tuk Tuk) would open here. That food is awesome. Leechee Nut is y favorite local chinese. Fortune House is passable but really bland on average. How is it that there is not one decent Mexican option anywhere? Mezcals sucked but it was better than Mexicali and after those two… Lobo? Alma? Not in BH.

  • Andrew

    ABC wrote: I don’t think there’s a law that says you can have subway access OR nice places to eat. We can have both.

    In fact, it seems that if there was anything like the density of quality dining options on Smith Street along Montague and/or Henry, that would make the Heights a far more vibrant area than it is now. While the Heights includes Dumbo, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill in the walkable radius (when the weather is nice), it could be far more appealing as a destination than the neighboring neighborhoods– because access from most parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan is easy. (I guess the flip side is that Park Slope has all of these options because transit isn’t as easy from the neighborhood as it is from the Heights.)

    I largely agree with Silver’s rankings (though I’d put the LES lower at this point the amount of nightlife can tip quickly from excellent to overwhelming. And either I’ve gotten that much older in the last couple of years to become a curmudgeon or that neighborhood passed very quickly into a neighborhood overrun by nightlife.) And it’s not just restaurants and nightlife, but the complete lack of retail vibrancy. Even though so many tourists come to the neighborhood to visit the Promenade, why aren’t there more local businesses to encourage spending in this neighborhood? With all of the empty storefronts, real estate offices and restaurants that combine too much expense with too much mediocracy, are there any reasons to spend money here except for convenience to home? If you didn’t live in the Heights, would you come from any other neighborhood to visit a restaurant here? (FWIW, the only one I’d consider worthwhile under that criterion would be Henry’s End.)

  • AEB

    Fortune Garden koi update: they’re looking fat and sassy. In fact, the whole place has cleaned up it’s act, at least in terms of decor.

    Now, Karl, I appreciate your willingness to go where the better nabe-ish food is, but for me, also a Middagh-Hicks resident, it makes more sense to hop in the nearby A train, detrain in the Village or nearer-Manhattan, and enjoy restaurants whose (consistent) worth I’m assured of.

    The restaurant back-and-forth here will go on and on, as each of us feels s/he knows food. We do–as we know it.

    PS, I too am hoping that from Iris Cafe, other better things will grow….