|Land Area:||71.5 sq miles|
|Listing(s):||2848 (no-fee + fee)|
The borough of Brooklyn used to be a separate city until the creation of the City of New York in 1898 transformed it into one of the newborn city's boroughs. More than a century on, it sometimes feels like it still is: Brooklyn has its own "Downtown", for example, (Downtown Brooklyn) and a few other features (e.g. Prospect Park) that seem more befitting of a city, not a mere district. To be sure, if Brooklyn decided to go its own way today (not that it's likely or particularly desirable), the ex-borough would immediately become one of the top five US cities by population and its GDP would leave many a country in the dust – to say nothing of its global cultural and artistic sway. But let's not get carried away: for many people Brooklyn is New York just as much as – or even more so than – Manhattan.
While most of Brooklyn's neighborhoods are low-rise, quiet, and residential in character, some parts are anything but. Overall, it's a remarkably dense district which is home to more New Yorkers (over 2.6M by last count) than any of the city's other four boroughs.
Classic Brooklyn. The Brooklyn neighborhoods one hears about are, more often than not, located in the north-western section of the borough, which corresponds to community districts 1, 2, and 6. Rents in some of these areas (and especially in Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg, Park Slope, and DUMBO) approach and even exceed Manhattan levels.
Here we have edgy Brooklyn. Bushwick is the new frontier of hip in the city, offering relatively cheap rents and abundant (if no longer cheap) industrial loft space, while more traditional (and quickly gentrifying) Bedford-Stuyvesant ("Bed-Stuy") and Crown Heights boast many attractive brownstone row houses with spacious, high-ceilinged apartments.
Working-class-family Brooklyn. These ares are largely residential and offer rents that are considerably lower than in the more fashionable neighborhoods (see above).
Likewise, family-friendly and residential. Moving further down south we find Brooklyn neighborhoods that feel more sparse, less densely built-up and sometimes even less "urban" in character. This may be painting the picture with too broad of a brush, though: some sections of southern Brooklyn (CD's 9, 11,12, 13, 14, 15, and 17) are still very much high rise. The presence of first- and, especially, second- generation immigrants, notably from Italy and countries of the former Soviet Union, is felt in many of these areas. Brighton Beach, for example, is largely Russian-speaking.
Community Districts 5, 16, 18
These somewhat less fashionable and, in places, more economically challenged parts of Brooklyn may also hold some of the borough's best rental values.