Non-Quote Of The Day: L Mag’s “50 Best BK Blocks” Ignores Heights

Despite the fact that it’s based in neighboring DUMBO, bi-weekly arts & culture freebie The L Magazine apparently doesn’t think much of Brooklyn Heights. The pub ran a feature on “The 50 Best Blocks in Brooklyn,” including the likes of Best Secret Block, Best People Watching, Best Block for Brownstones, Reddest & Bluest Blocks, Best Blocks for Pretending It’s the 1970s & the 19th Century, and Most Literary Block.

While there’s a decidedly hipster demeanor to the piece, it’s surprising that with inclusion of most every nabe imaginable—from Fort Greene, Sunset Park and Bay Ridge to East New York, Cobble Hill and Park Slope—Brooklyn Heights merits not a single accolade in L’s top 45 tally. A second list to cap the top 50 offers the 5 Best Blocks To Live On, which does offer the Heights a shout-out. The block the L Word showcases is Cranberry Street, between Willow and Columbia Heights.

The descriptor: “At the conclusion of the Battle of Brooklyn, as British troops encircled the Continental Army’s encampments on the Heights, Washington and his men beat a daring retreat across the East River back to Manhattan, marking the last time anyone willingly vacated real estate in this neighborhood.”

Hmmm, if that’s the best they got, perhaps Brooklyn Heights was spared, not overlooked.

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  • AmyinBH

    Why did the old Groucho Marx quote “I would not join any club that would have someone like me for a member.” pop into my head as I read this article?

  • Joe from Grace

    My eleven best blocks in the Heights:

    1. Grace Ct (I am partial)
    2. Cranberry between Willow and Columbia Heights
    3. Willow Place
    4. Sidney Place
    5. Garden Place
    6. Willow Street between Clark and Pierrepont
    7. Orange Street between Hicks and Willow
    8. Remsen Street between the Promenade and Hicks
    9. Pierrepont Street betweem the Promenade and Hicks
    10. Monroe Place
    11. Montague Terrace

  • Claude Scales

    I’d add Joralemon between Hicks and Columbia Place for its Belgian blocks and being the only block to live on if you miss San Francisco.

  • Rick

    At a publication like L Magazine I think there is an editor’s bias when determining lists like this one to not select the obvious. That would conflict with their yearning desire to be thought of as irreverent, quirky, and unexpected.

    Since everyone (or at least their idea of “everyone”) knows Brooklyn Heights is beautiful, they don’t want to be called out for supplying an opinion already widely shared.

    And they probably don’t think BH is hip enough! :p

  • Joe from Grace

    @Claude: That would have made my top 15.

  • Quinn Raymond

    Surely our collective ego will never withstand this withering assault.

    On the bright side, wasn’t Atlantic between Court and Clinton chosen as the best block for food shopping by TONY a while back?

  • Peter

    Maybe I’m partial too, but I’d include Grace Court ALLEY on that list.

  • She’s Crafty

    This means nothing to me. What is L magazine anyway?

  • David on Middagh


  • BH’er

    I’ll speak for myself when I say that I’m happy be remain quietly out of the consciousness of “L” readers

    If we can’t be a gated community, I have no issue with remaining subtley out of the spotlight.

    we have enough tourist traffic as it is… perhaps we should raise our notoriety for being a ‘dangerous’ place to be in order to tap down the crowds

  • http://n/a Barbara Shernoff

    BH’er–kudos for your comment. i totally agree with what you said and found the last sentence funny–that possibly could (though doubtful) work to keep the crowds away.

    The writer in L magazine purposely left our great neighborhood out.
    He/She probably was not able to find a place in the Heights to live and is sore about it. Sour grapes.

    Barbara Shernoff

  • Jonny Diamond

    Honestly, most of what you’re all saying is pretty close to the mark… None of us can afford to live in Brooklyn Heights and find it a little dull.

    So I confess this is definitely a case of sour grapes. This is not the kind of feature I’m going to pretend isn’t rife with editorial bias (insofar as it’s a ridiculously subjective list).

    In summary: Brooklyn Heights is infuriatingly beautiful (and some of us would live there if we had better jobs).

  • ifsandsor

    Clearly they are kids and “newbies” to Brooklyn – they know nothing about our culture. Be patient – they will grow up and understand what class is really about!

  • Jonny Diamond

    My son was born in Brooklyn. Maybe one day he’ll have access to your culture.

    Jonny Diamond
    -The L Magazine

  • Ali

    Funny. I work in bk heights and find it the least vibrant and dullest neib in brooklyn. The architecture is amazing. The people…not so much. The restaurants are as flavorless as the residents.

  • She’s Crafty

    Ali – please. You find BH duller than the Flatlands? Ridgewood (and I don’t mean the Queens portion)? East New York? Brownsville? Brooklyn is comprised of more than Park Slope and Williamsburg or any other currently hip neighborhood. And since you work here, unless you are working weekends, how much contact do you have with actual residents?

  • She’s Crafty

    And, I just have to add: if the people and the neighborhood are the dullest and least vibrant you know in Brooklyn, why read or comment on this blog? I am surprised that you would waste your time on us dullards with our dull business in our dull, unvibrant neighborhood.

  • Sajh

    I live in the Bk Heights and I will never understand people’s snobbery on their neighborhoods. Who cares if you live in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island… or the one people really have a complex about, Manhattan. I live in Brooklyn Heights mainly b/c of it’s proximity to multiple subway lines and the apartment was at the right price and right time. It’s a beautiful neighborhood but there are many beautiful neighborhoods in NYC.
    However, point being, who cares that Brooklyn Heights is or isnt listed in a magazine that until today had never been heard of. And after today, will never be heard of.

    But also, anyone that states something like “couldnt afford to live here” as a defence/insult argument (which is just the same argument that “Manhattanites” use for Brooklyn vs Manhattan) needs to rexamine how they see themselves. I’m sorry, but it’s classless, clueless. childish and snobby to state such things.

  • Sheila

    At least we weren’t featured on Jon Stewart Tonite about park slope’s coop!

  • David on Middagh

    Thanks for the tip. I caught the Food Co-op segment here:

    (about ten minutes into the show)

  • Elaine Comstock-Leirer

    Perhaps we are not dull as much as selfcontained. We view from our sidelines the activities of Truman and others and they lend spice to our lives. Just love the Heights and aren’t we happy here. The editors of L magazine just will never know what they are missing.

  • Andrew Porter

    I was offered a free subscription to L because I’m a member of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I’ve read two issues, and I find this magazine is for the Williamsburg crowd, with very few ads from this area, a very young, hipster orientation; lots of design-y elements that don’t impress me, small, sans-serif type that leads me to believe the designers (and readers) are young, with good eyesight. I’ve been in book and magazine publishing since the Mad Men days, and this magazine impresses me not at all. Ditto their list of 50 streets I’m going to avoid.

  • BKNYNative

    I like the L, I’ve read it for years. They did an overall about two years ago to focus exclusively on Brooklyn (they had been covering more of the Village and LES). I think they have well researched news articles. But yes all of their “Top Picks” lists are oriented to the hipster crowd and definitely avoid neighborhoods such as the Heights and Park Slope.