Top 5 Things I Love About My Neighborhood

I moved to Brooklyn Heights in 2000.  At first, I didn’t like it.  At first, I thought no one liked me.  Now ten years later, I have a coterie of friends, neighbors, haunts, and even dogs I really like— especially, Hamilton, the white bulldog.  Here is my list of the top 5 things I love about my neighborhood, and if you feel inspired, add 5 of your own.

1. The Brooklyn Heights Deli on the corner of Henry and State Street.  Frankie, the proprietor, has been insulting me for the past five years, but in a good way. I am family.  I’m in there at least three times a day (I know I should get a life).  This location has been a store since the beginning of the 20th century.

2. Tazza on Henry between State and Atlantic.  Simply the best cup of coffee in the neighborhood, far surpassing Starbucks.  The freshest sandwiches, the flakiest croissants, and comprehensive wine bar.  In the evening, I like to go there for a mocha bar and glass of  white wine.  There are always left over sections of the New York Times to peruse.  The staff is out of this world friendly.

3. My friend, Butch, who sits on the corner of Willow and State.  He grew up in the neighborhood.  He is a font of historical information.  He tells me that Willow used to have tons of marauding children (he was one of them), that he could swim in the river, and that it used to snow so much, you couldn’t walk down the street.  He knows who owns what properties, what they paid for them, and the going rate for one bedrooms.

4. The YMCA on Atlantic Avenue, off Court Street.  I’ve been a member since the fall of 2006.  The membership is a true cross section of what makes this city so great— all cultures, all religions, families, single, straight and gay.  It is meticulously maintained.  It opens before the sun rises and closes long after it sets.  It has a pool, a steam room, a sauna, tai chi, yoga, spinning, pilates (and more).  It’s insanely cheap to become a member.  Why would you bother with anything else?

5.  The Dog Run at the end of State Street.  The BQE looms overhead, but down below, Molly, my Shih Tzu, can socialize with her own kind; terriers, poodles, chihuahuas, and other assorted miniature doggies.  The people are pretty friendly as well.  There’s even a Saturday morning meet and greet.  We stand there, coffee cups in hand, and gaze lovingly at our dogs running, gamboling and peeing on each other.  Pure bliss.

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  • lifer

    the Brooklyn Heights Deli- they are way expensive, I would buy a sandwich and a soda in there and the guy behind the counter is like “ONLY 9.50″ always stressing the ONLY, .its great they have been there forever, and they have a signed picture of one of the Ramones on the wall, but they are way overpriced, the bodega across the street is half the price for the same stuff..

  • CJP

    Mass transit connections through Brooklyn Heights. Any train will get you to where you need to go.

  • No One Of Consequence

    Haven’t been there in a long while, but Marky purportedly lives around here somewhere.

  • my2cents

    how about the promenade? that’s in my top 5!

  • anon

    1. PS 8
    2. Trader Joe’s and Sahadis on the same block
    3. the pretty buildings

  • Publius

    1) Architecture that uplifts me every day.
    2) The Promenade.
    3) Quiet and verdant streets in the middle of the City.
    4) Close proximity to other neighborhoods with good food, bars and entertainment.
    5) Hillside Dog Park.

  • vspingola

    the light at sunset
    the architecture
    eating bagels on the promenade in the am in summer
    the people
    the kids

  • Teresa

    The Brooklyn Bridge!

  • AEB

    1. The all-of-a-piece, all-different picture-prettiness. And in re this and in particular: Willow.

    2. The nighttime quiet. At about four AM I can hear my cats breathing.

    3. Peas and Pickles and the unfailing friendliness of its staff.

    4. The Watchtower time and temp flasher, my first morning checkout.

    5. Easy escape.

    There are more, but….

    On the other hand:

    1. The (relative) lack of urbanity.

    2. No nearby laundromat! Jeeze!

    3. No reliable, inexpensive but still reliably good restaurant.

    4. No great bookstore.

    5. Winter streets…..

  • benita berman

    To Lillian Ann – I’m glad you’re so happy in the Heights. I grew up here, graduated PS8. My family owned 3 brownstones – the 2 on Clark St. were demolished for the tall high rise there now. I’m sure your friend Butch remembers. I’m trying to track down the whereabouts of a marble fireplace mantle that was in 97 Clark. Nancy and Otis Pearsall and Mr. Rullman were on the committee and went in before the demolition. They were on the Landmark committee and they placed some architectural details from the homes that were destroyed. I believe the mantle is in a house on Willow. As Butch if he knows anything about it. The Pearsalls still live on Willow and I think the fireplace and/or mantle is in another property they own on Willow. Please let me know if anyone else knows about this. Thanks, Benita Berman

  • http://behearbenow.blogspot.com Robin

    The playgrounds
    Clark St Diner
    The fruit streets
    Brooklyn Heights Cinema
    Pete, who holds court on Willow St and always has something nice to say about my kids

  • henry & state

    1. photographing & running on the Brooklyn Bridge in the early morning or in a snow storm – quiet, beautiful
    2. the promenade on a clear night with a city view
    3. being able to get there from here easily and lots of options in which to do so
    4. cranberry’s
    5. people watching on a summer day from the stoop ….. priceless
    6. fascati pizza!
    7. living here over 25 years

  • joseuribe

    1) Brooklyn Heights Cinema
    2) Fascati’s Pizza
    3) the dog park
    4) the wild game festival at Henry’s End
    5) dinner @ the bar at Jack the Horse Tavern
    - honorable mention – The BHA House Tour

  • hoppy

    1. Walking distance to NY
    2. Quiet sleep
    3. Sahadi’s
    4. An abundance of squash courts for the kids
    5. The greatest blog on the internet!!!

  • bornhere

    1. Forsythia at St Ann’s in the spring
    2. The beauty of so many of the houses/buildings/wrought iron
    3. Location, location, etc.
    4. Having lived here all my life
    5. The “Time and Again”-ness in the snow

  • Nikki

    I love the Y. I’m a 10th grader and I go the Y after school 3 – 4 times a week. Great place to make friends, do community service, stay in shape and stay out of trouble.

  • http://www.litchfieldjazzfest.com Lindsey

    My husband and I are new to the neighborhood (just moved here in October), but so far we really love it. I echo a number of comments above — the promenade, Fascati’s, the fantastic express subway trains, the view of NYC.

    We just hope that when we need a 2-bedroom, we can afford to stay in the neighborhood, we’d love to be here for the long haul!

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  • hickster

    1. mellow, non poser vibe where i dont need to gre dressed up to get the newspaper

    2. my pals at Sea Asian

    3. quaint community feel and quiet

    4. promenade

    5. proximity to great food and culture in Fort Greene, Dumbo, Cobble

  • Bart

    1. You can live in this neighborhood for years and not feel that you have to get to know your neighbors, and they don’t need to get to know you or your children. People respect privacy.

    2. Brooklyn Heights real estate is expensive, at least for Brooklyn. This keeps out the rif raffs.

    3. That my kids school is both expensive and highly selective. Again it keeps out the hooligans.

    4. That the coop board in my building insists on minimum prices for apartments: this prevents a seller from selling too low diluting the value of the rest of our apartments.

    5. That the area is a Historic Landmark.

  • http://brooklyneagle.com Eddie The Eagle

    Shorter Bart: Colored people scare me. Except the one who takes care of my kids.