Fort Greene


Fort-Greene-300x200Fort Greene is the quintessential NYC neighborhood. It’s where neighbors congregate on well-kept stoops, walk over to the park for a game of hoops or to the outdoor market-cum-old fashioned town square, maybe hit up a sidewalk café for a bite afterward, and then reconvene back on the stoop to review the day’s events. On these stoops can be found a broad spectrum of socio-economic and ethnic diversity, making Fort Greene one of the most well rounded neighborhoods in the city. From young families looking for more space, to professionals seeking a nice neighborhood and a short commute, to successful and not yet successful artists, to long-time residents who contribute a sense of history, people in this slice of the city are engaged with each other and their community.

Where the Livin’ is Easy
There’s always something happening in Fort Greene, yet the vibe is relaxed and friendly. Restaurants and bars are casual and it’s not uncommon for people at a partially filled table to invite others still waiting to join them. The popular Habana Outpost is touted as both an eatery and a community gathering space. Another popular gathering spot is Greenlight Bookstore, an independent bookshop, which hosts a steady stream of events. The summer gets busy with block parties. Designed by the same landscape architect as Central Park, Fort Greene Park‘s beautiful 30 acres provide tennis and basketball courts and plenty of greenery. The Brooklyn Academy of Music offers world-renowned performances in all of the arts as well as classes, talks, and neighborhood outreach. MoCADA, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, is another cultural gem in Fort Greene.

A Residential Potpourri
Most of Fort Greene consists of intimately scaled, landmarked, tree-lined blocks of historic brownstones and carriage houses as well as some brick rowhouses and wood frame houses. On the western edge of the neighborhood, by BAM, new mixed-use towers provide performance, rehearsal, and studio space as well as many apartments. Fort Greene is slightly more affordable than Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo. Prices here are similar to neighboring Boerum Hill, Prospect Heights, and Park Slope.

Nearly every subway line passes through Fort Greene, making it easy to get almost anywhere in the city.

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Fort Greene is also home to Atlantic Terminal.

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Battery Park City

Battery-Park-CityAlong the lower western waterfront of the island of Manhattan lies the modern planned community of Battery Park City. It’s tucked away alongside the bustling Financial District, and offers a peaceful oasis directed toward the open water and the Statue of Liberty. The neighborhood boasts a tree-lined promenade, 5 parks, and beautiful sailboats bobbing in the harbor.

Luxury high-rise condo and rental buildings attract both professionals looking for a five-minute walk to work in the Financial District and families looking for plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities. Within the soaring glass Winter Garden, with its dozen imported palm trees, Brookfield Place has been transformed into a retail and public space featuring world-class shopping and dining and a European-style marketplace.

Battery Park City is served by the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, E, J, R and Z subway lines as well as PATH trains through the architecturally lauded brand new Fulton Center . The neighborhood is also served by the NY Waterway Ferry.

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ChelseaBeauty, in art, architecture, and landscape, defines Chelsea. An old elevated rail line has become the most popular park in the city. The High Line Park weaves its way along the far west side of the neighborhood, furnishing a feast for the eyes: its own incredible design with a backdrop of old buildings full of character juxtaposed against sleek modern marvels designed by the masters. Western Chelsea between 10th and 11th Avenues is teeming with art galleries, and the Rubin Museum of Art highlights the art of Himalayan Asia.

Recreation and Exercise
A beautiful promenade follows the Hudson River Park with welcoming piers and a bike path that continues from the southern tip of the island to the George Washington Bridge far uptown. The Frying Pan, a historic lightship, is now a floating bar and grill. Between 17th and 22nd Streets, a group of piers have been connected to form Chelsea Piers, an indoor sports and recreation complex which includes an ice rink, a driving range, a bowling alley, and much more.

A Culinary Cornucopia, and more
Chelsea is also a foodie heaven, anchored by the always hopping Chelsea Market, one of the greatest indoor food halls in the world located in an old factory that runs the entire block between 9th and 10th Avenues from 15th to 16th Street. Cookshop is one of the original farm-to-table restaurants in the city. There are so many top restaurants in Chelsea that every few steps offer another potentially fabulous taste sensation.

At the southern end of Chelsea, west of 9th Avenue between Gansevoort and 14th St., the meatpacking district’s cobblestone streets are home to high-end boutiques and a wild nightlife scene.

Distinctive Residential Opportunities
Housing stock in Chelsea is varied. There are elegant brownstones, large mid-century complexes, and sleek modern condos. As one of the most desired neighborhoods in the city, it is also one of the most expensive.

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The neighborhood is also served by the PATH train.

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East Village

East VillageThe East Village is teeming with cozy, often packed restaurants and bars established on the ground floor of pre-war walk ups, creating a grungy vibrancy. At night, this neighborhood hums with the energy of night owls who come from near and far to play in its many local haunts until dawn.

There are culinary delights for every palate and it’s all so good! Japanese and Thai restaurants cluster around 8th and 9th Streets, while Indian restaurants line 6th St. between 1st and 2nd Avenues. Every cuisine from Ukrainian to Venezuelan to Moroccan is represented throughout the neighborhood.

Bars like Miss Lily’s, Pinks, and Niagara are crowed with people dancing to live music or DJs. Every genre of music from jazz at Mona’s to Hawaiian at Otto’s Shrunken Head can be found.

Sprinkled throughout the neighborhood are quirky, locally owned shops peddling old records, vintage eyewear, yarn, or whimsical jewelry. Bohemian culture is alive and well in the clothing and head shops along Astor Place. 2nd Avenue is littered with vintage clothing stores. Tompkins Square Park hosts a greenmarket, a Halloween Dog parade, a drag festival, and The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival.

Young newcomers to the city, artists, liberals, and people who have lived there forever all share this exciting neighborhood. They live mostly in the pre-war walk-ups that make up the architecture of the neighborhood. Prices here are around average for NYC. In the far eastern section of the neighborhood, also called Alphabet City, prices are somewhat lower than the NYC average.

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Financial District

financial districtA Sense of History
The glass and steel skyscrapers of the Financial District, or FiDi, proclaim the might of the nation’s financial markets. Situated on the narrow southernmost tip of Manhattan, it is also where settlers first disembarked in the 17th century and built low solid brick buildings along cobblestone streets; all beautifully maintained over the years. It’s this juxtaposition that charges the energy of this neighborhood; each is more spectacular next to the other. By day, the area is bustling with activity. At night and on the weekends, it’s a quieter, peaceful seaside oasis.

One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the U.S., proudly anchors this neighborhood. Its thoughtfully designed observatory offers stunning views and an incredible ride up in the elevator. Powerful and moving, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum occupies the exact location of the towers that fell. Designed by Santiago Calatrava to resemble a bird being released from a child’s hand, the award winning Oculus is an impressive modern transportation hub. The new WTC also boasts a performing arts center and plenty of retail space at the shops of Brookfield Place. The imposing 1903 neoclassical façade of the New York Stock Exchange is just a few blocks away.

At the South Street Seaport on the East River, historic sailing vessels are docked in the harbor, the merchants at the indoor Fulton Stall Market hawk their farm fresh produce, and the shops on Schermerhorn Row, built in the early 1800s, give the feel of having stepped back in time. The pier that juts out from here offers the perfect view of the famous Brooklyn Bridge. Plans underway to transform Pier 17 include a public open space with outdoor summer concerts and films as well as a glass enclosed retail space. Stone Street, a charming old brick-and-mortar block in the heart of the neighborhood, explodes with life from happy hour into the wee hours with bars and restaurants of every variety and a hidden picnic table-lined cobblestone back alley that links them all.

Parks and Rec
At the confluence of the East and Hudson Rivers, this neighborhood is awash in waterfront parks, with vistas of New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, and much more. Bike paths continue all the way up the entire west side of Manhattan to the George Washington Bridge. During the summer, a ferry transports New Yorkers to Governor’s Island, a walking and biking only park of artistic landscaping right in New York Harbor. The island also hosts concerts and other events.

FiDi Diversity
As with Battery Park City right next door, because FiDi is a bit removed, new and converted high-rise buildings with all the amenities offer a more affordable option compared with other neighborhoods in the city. Walk-ups in older buildings offer even more attractive pricing. FiDi appeals not only to people who work in finance, but also to families looking for more space for their money.

Getting Around
The Financial District is the most convenient neighborhood for getting anywhere else in the city. Almost every subway line goes here, including most express trains. In addition, the neighborhood is served by the NY Waterway Ferry, Staten Island Ferry, and the PATH. The architecturally lauded Fulton Center and Oculus transportation hub are a pleasure to walk through, and a destination in their own right.

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FlatironFun, Food and . . .
Aesthetics figure strongly in desirable Flatiron. The iconic triangle-shaped Flatiron building is a marvel of early 20th century architecture and the whole neighborhood is rife with many more striking facades. Every spring, anticipation runs high about what this summer’s art installation will be in Madison Square Park. It’s always something engaging to be savored while enjoying lunch on one of the benches lining its winding paths, or picnicking on its lawns. A free concert or a BBQ festival may be happening there, too. The Olmsted and Vaux designed Union Square Park, NYC’s answer to the European piazza, holds the city’s largest greenmarket 4 days a week as well as a holiday market and a steady stream of impromptu yoga classes, chess games, and free music.
Visual treats tempt from the storefronts along Broadway as well. To wander through ABC Home is to be immersed in a magical land of curated vignettes, at the rear of which are some of the most enchanting and acclaimed restaurants in the city. Across the street is Fishs Eddy, a fun and funky shop that sells old-time restaurant dishware and other nostalgia inspired items. Eataly is a stunning Italian food market/eatery where it’s tempting to either pick up fresh ingredients for a lavish feast at home or sit and enjoy a meal either at one of the ground floor market area restaurants or at the Birreria on the roof.
During the day, the streets are packed with professionals who work at the many office buildings in Flatiron. At night, the mood is more upscale fun at places like Society Billiards and the many fabulous restaurants and well-appointed bars that dot the neighborhood.
Flatiron Real Estate
With so many commercial buildings, apartments are scarce in this very hot neighborhood and come at a premium. Vacancies in the recently developed, amenity-laden luxury buildings get snapped up by families and professionals who can afford the hefty price tag. There are also a few smaller doorman buildings and slightly more affordable walk-ups. The area north of Madison Square Park, or NoMad, has more apartments, both new and old, on the market and is somewhat less pricey.
Flatiron has easy access to all parts of the city and Brooklyn by subway. It’s also an easy walk into Midtown, Chelsea, or Gramercy, and downtown into Greenwich Village or the East Village.
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The neighborhood is also served by the PATH.

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GramercyA home in one of the grand old buildings on the perimeter of Gramercy Park comes with a lot of caché. It also comes with a key to the only private park in New York City: a lush, idyllic rectangle that breaks up the street grid and sets the tone for the peaceful, green, manicured feel of the neighborhood. Without a key, the park can still be enjoyed from the encircling sidewalk through a wrought iron fence.

From celebrity chef Danny Meyer’s Maialino to Pete’s Tavern, the oldest continuously operating restaurant and bar in the city, locales in this neighborhood feel special. The National Arts Club is housed in a fabulous old mansion on the park and offers exhibits, lectures, and classes. Another mansion on the park is home to The Players, a prominent members only social club.

Gramercy Real Estate
The many large turn-of-the-century brownstones of Gramercy are immaculately maintained and often display greenery on their stoops and facades, expanding the park-like feel.  While it abuts vibrant Union Square/ Flatiron neighborhood to the west, and the East Village to the south, Gramercy offers a clean, secluded haven in the heart of the city.

The beautiful pre-war doorman buildings and brownstones of Gramercy come with a spacious feel and a high price tag. Walk-ups are also plentiful, and are more affordable. Even less pricey are apartments in Stuyvesant Town, a huge housing development on the Far East end of the neighborhood bordering the East River.

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Greenwich Village

Greenwich VillageDotted with beautiful residential buildings and historic spaces that recall the days of the beatnik generation, Greenwich Village presents a classier version of downtown cool. The centerpiece of the neighborhood is Washington Square Park where crowds are entertained by a daily array of performances and events as well as the occasional demonstration. Purple flags flying on many buildings south and east of the park proclaim the presence of New York University. Exquisite full-service pre-war co-ops, grand mansions, and brownstones occupy the somewhat quieter streets north of the park.

Culture, Cafés and Much, Much More
Included among the many retail establishments south of the park are some landmarks of 1960s cultural history which still offer opportunity to creative individuals. Places like Café Wha?, where Bob Dylan got his start, and The Bitter End, the oldest rock and roll club in the city, continue to serve up music nightly.  Poets and writers, both 50 years ago and today, gather at the Strand bookshop to browse miles of books or listen to a reading.

This cultural affinity has given birth to many newer locales as well. The Angelika Film Center and the IFC screen independent and foreign films. An eclectic mix of musical styles can be discovered at dozens of small bars and venues like Le Poisson Rouge or Zinc Bar. The Comedy Cellar and The Joffrey Ballet School are a few more examples of the many cultural possibilities in Greenwich Village.

There are tons of eating and drinking options in this hopping hood. Many pop-in restaurants offer a quick, delicious bite: falafel at Mamoun’s, bahn mi at Num Pang. Upscale dining is also available at top tier establishments like Gotham Bar and Grill or Minetta Tavern. There is a bar for every preference.

Greenwich Village attracts everyone from students to professionals to families, and the popularity and central location of this neighborhood are reflected in the high prices. Pre-war walk-ups can be slightly more affordable, but still command a higher price than the citywide average.

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The neighborhood is also served by the PATH train.

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HarlemWhile continuing to celebrate its rich cultural history, Harlem is also experiencing an influx of new development and new neighbors. The vitality of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance has been reinvigorated at historic music venues like the Apollo Theater. The Studio Museum is a nexus for art of the African diaspora. Along Lenox Avenue in the 120’s, a restaurant row has emerged led by Red Rooster, a popular place where great local food, art, and music come together. On Sundays after church, Harlem’s strong community spirit overflows into the neighborhood restaurants where soul food is often on the menu. At the southern end of the neighborhood, Central Park’s Harlem Meer beckons with its beautiful landscaping and lake. Activities include fishing, a Discovery Center, and a nearby pool that transforms into a skating rink during the winter.

Recent tax incentives created a swath of new development along Frederick Douglas Boulevard from 113th Street to 125th Street. These condos have attracted many professionals to the area as well as plenty of new businesses that cater to them. Harlem Tavern entices passersby with its welcoming patio and live music, while Bier International serves German beer at friendly communal tables. Pastry shops and a modern supermarket make food shopping a pleasure. The surrounding streets display many newly renovated brownstones and pre-war buildings. At the nearby western edge of Harlem, Morningside Park provides greenery, playing fields, and a stairway up to Columbia University.

While much of Harlem consists of prewar apartment buildings and brownstones, new developments are popping up all the time throughout the neighborhood. Although prices have been rising, Harlem still offers a more affordable option than the nearby Upper West Side or Upper East Side.

Midtown is about 20 minutes away by subway.


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Hell’s Kitchen

Hell's KitchenMany stories vie for how this neighborhood got its name: from the shantytown overflowing with dock workers of mid 1800s, to the rumrunners of Prohibition, to the violent Irish mob domination of the mid-20th century. It was considered worse than hell, which had too mild a climate. It was Hell’s Kitchen! The real estate industry has tried to change the name to Clinton or Midtown West as the area has sloughed off its now very out-of-date reputation, but folks in the neighborhood are proud of its colorful history and name.

Dining and Nightlife
As new high-end condo developments are being built among the many six-story brick buildings and commercial spaces, this increasingly hip neighborhood has maintained its low-key, slightly gritty feel. Trucks rumble down 9th Avenue and up 10th Avenue past the many fabulous established ethnic and new restaurants and bars that attract people who are perhaps on their way to see a taping of Last Week Tonight or The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, or perhaps catch a class or a performance at modern dance mecca Alvin Ailey. 11th Avenue is home to Gotham West Market, a vibrant market dining destination, as well as The Press Lounge rooftop bar with views of the Hudson River.

Art and More
Along this section of the river is docked the Intrepid, a retired aircraft carrier, which is now a museum and home of the space shuttle Enterprise. The long piers host a variety of hugely popular art and design shows throughout the year. A restored old boat has new life as floating lobster shack North River Lobster Company, which ventures out onto the Hudson for short cruises.

New Spaces Meet Old Soul
At the southern edge of Hell’s Kitchen, bordering Chelsea and the north end of the High Line, a huge new neighborhood is under construction. Hudson Yards buildings are being designed by the top names in architecture to create luxury apartments, shops, restaurants, performance spaces, and over 14 acres of public open space.

More affordable than other areas in Manhattan, Hell’s Kitchen attracts many artists who work nearby in the theaters of Broadway as well as the many other performance spaces in Midtown. Young professionals also find a comfortable home here with a walkable commute to Midtown or an easy subway ride to anywhere in the city.

Hell’s Kitchen is served by the 1, 2, 3, A, C, E, B, D, N, Q, R, and 7 subway lines, although most of these (except for the 7) are either along the eastern edge of the neighborhood or one block outside the neighborhood. The area is also served by the NY Waterway ferry at 39th St.

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