Best Neighborhoods in Brooklyn, New York
Brooklyn is located in the southwestern area of Long Island (but not considered part of Long Island), and separated from Manhattan by the East River, to the west by the Upper and Lower New York bays, and to the south by the Atlantic Ocean.
It is linked to the mainland by the Brooklyn Bridge, the world’s first suspension bridge, opened in 1883 and to this day carries 150,000 people a day back and forth. Fun fact: PT Barnum marched 21 elephants across it in 1884 to prove it was stable.
Brooklyn is the largest of the five boroughs of New York City and has served as the first home for many immigrants looking for the American Dream. Brooklyn was the site of many factories and a naval shipyard, and by the 1850s, many of the population had arrived from Ireland, Britain and Germany, drawn to opportunities. The late 1880s saw another wave of immigrants, this time from Italy, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Denmark and a smattering of Finns.
The teddy bear was invented in honor of Theodore Roosevelt by Morris and Rose Michtom, a couple of toymakers in Brooklyn. Coney Island invented the hot dog. Many authors have been inspired by life in Brooklyn, including Betty Smith (“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”), Alfred Kazin (“A Walker in the City”), Jay-Z (“Decoded”), Leonore Fleischer (“The Lords of Flatbush”) and Deborah Feldman (“Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots”) amongst others.
Brooklyn is the home to more than 700 cultural and arts institutions, including the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, New York Transit Museum, Building 92: Brooklyn Navy Yard Center, Jewish Children’s Museum, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art, Coney Island Museum and hundreds more.
Brooklyn is certainly a fascinating place to visit, but is it a good place to live? Let’s see.
To determine the best neighborhoods in Brooklyn, we took things like crime, demographics, diversity, transportation and attractions into account. Home to 2.6 million people, Brooklyn is home to more people than Manhattan, and if it were an independent city, it would be the fourth-largest in the USA. Here are some of its best neighborhoods, in alphabetical order.
Brooklyn Heights was originally called Brooklyn Village and has been around since 1834. It's bounded by the East River, Old Cadman Street (near the Brooklyn Bridge), Cadman Plaza West and Atlantic Avenue.
Matt Damon, Emily Blunt and John Krasinsky, Adam Driver, Mary Louise Parker and Paul Giamatti have all called Brooklyn Heights home. It’s also the home of historic brownstones, cobblestone streets, Brooklyn Bridge Park and the New York Transit Museum.
Niche.com gives Brooklyn Heights an A+ overall rating, calling it the 14th best place to live in New York City. It earns A+ for nightlife, health and fitness and outdoor activities, A for good for families and the commute, and B+ for diversity.
The upkeep on all those historic brownstones isn’t cheap, and the median house value is $1.1 million, with rent averaging $2,333. It’s a 53/47 split between rent and own. The average income is approximately $145,000, and people are well educated, with 47% having a master’s degree or higher and 35% holding a bachelor’s degree. Nineteen percent of the residents have children.
Brooklyn Heights is listed as the 6th safest neighborhood in New York City by Localize. To get to Manhattan from Brooklyn Heights, it will take you 30 minutes by subway, 50 minutes by bus, and it’s a 20-minute drive.
Located in the northwest part of Brooklyn, Prospect Heights is bound by Atlantic Avenue, Eastern Parkway, Flatbush Avenue and Washington Avenue.
It’s home to the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, who play in The Barclays Center. It’s also home to the Brooklyn Public Library, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Brooklyn Museum. Ethnically diverse, the largest annual parade in New York City, the West Indian Day Parade, winds its way through the ‘hood every Labor Day.
Niche gives Prospect Heights an overall A+ grade, including A+ for good for families, outdoor activities, nightlife and health and fitness, A for diversity and A- for the commute.
Niche lists a median home value of $1.1 million, most people (61%) rent, and the median rent is $2,087, twice the national average. The median household income is $131,000, and residents are well educated, with 39% having a master’s degree or better and 35% have a bachelor’s degree. All those ancestors working hard to give their children a better life rubbed off.
The area earns a B- for crime, with theft being the predominant problem, followed by assaults.
If you’re working in Manhattan, it will take you 30 minutes by subway, 50 minutes by bus, and it’s a 20-minute drive, depending on the Bridge.
South Slope was originally called South Slope Park and is bound by Sunset Park, Greenwood Heights and Park Slope. Home to a large LGBTQ+ population, it is the site of many Pride events.
South Slope is also home to Green-Wood Cemetery, established in 1838 and the final resting place of notable residents such as composer Leonard Bernstein, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Blatchford; Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing machine; Henry Steinway (the piano manufacturers); and thousands of others amongst the 560,000 buried on the grounds.
Niche gives South Slope an overall A+, including outdoor activities, health and fitness and nightlife. It earns A for good for families and A- for diversity and the commute.
Median house values are $1.5 million, and rent is $2,446. It’s a 60/40 split between renting and owning. The median household income is approximately $138,000; 39% have a bachelor’s degree, 39% have a master’s degree or better and 32% have children.
When it comes to crime, Niche gives the area a B-. The biggest crime concerns are theft, assault and burglary.
If you live in South Slope and work in downtown Manhattan, it will take you 30 minutes by subway, 20 minutes to drive or take a cab (which will set you back about $100) and the bus will take you 50 minutes.
Brooklyn is the original melting pot, so if you have family treasures from the old country to keep safe, Storage Post has several locations in Brooklyn with a variety of sizes of units, including climate-controlled options to keep your treasures safe.